Which Denomination Are You?

Before I knew it, I was in their car, propped in the passenger seat while he drove and she sat silently in the back.  The heat from our bodies filled the car as a stench from somewhere inside us leaked from our pores.  Sweat seeped through my worn t-shirt as I guzzled another gulp from my water jug.

“Want some?” I asked, glancing behind me and noticing perspiration pouring from my teammate’s brow.

“Yes please!”  It was as if she’d been in the desert eating sand for the past month.

I passed the water backwards as her dad drove out of the gym parking lot and towards my house.  Somewhere along the way, our small talk transformed into a discussion of faith.

“What denomination are you, Kelsey?” the driver asked in his cordial, fatherly voice.  My ears had heard sermons a handful of times in my 13 years of life, and those only happened during vacationed family reunions when everybody else went.  Even then, it was uncomfortable for me to speak the name “Jesus”, even though I’d heard of him before and bought into the stories.

“Christian,” I said firmly, finally landing on a conclusion.

“Oh,” my friend’s father replied, “I didn’t mean which religion.  I meant which denomination.”

Wasn’t there only one group of people who believed in Jesus?  And weren’t those people called Christians?  I asked myself, feeling panic color my cheeks.

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One Comment on “Which Denomination Are You?

  1. As Protestants will soon observe the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, I would like to offer another view about “the priesthood of all believers”. The paragraphs below are excerpted from a sermon by Thaxton Springfield, reprinted in the book “Man’s God and God’s Man” in 1970. (FYI I have posted the complete sermon at https://sites.google.com/site/c7730b/)

    “Contrary to much popular interpretation, Luther did not mean to suggest that every man should be his own priest. This idea was then a popular misinterpretation of the Reformation Doctrine of the “priesthood of all believers ;” it remains a popular misconception today.

    “What Luther really seems to have meant was a simple thing: that we are all priests to one another. When we meet on the street and stretch out our hands to each other; when we sense a need in a friend and try to help; when we sympathize with those in the wrong or rejoice with those rejoicing; when we begin to glimpse the interdependence of all human life; when we begin to see the call to live together in a community instead of in an isolated capsule of our own; when we begin to sense something of the inseparableness of the nature of man and of our need for life together– then we are each a priest to the other.

    “To put it simply and perhaps a little mystically, if you cut your finger, I may bleed to death! This is what it means to say that every man is a priest to every other man. We are all priests to one another.”

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