I really like Mountain Dew, and I mean like REALLY LIKE. Nothing wraps up a hard day of studying and waiting tables like a nice can of Dew. But of all the flavors, of all the different concoctions those geniuses at Pepsi gift to the public, there is one that will always hold the special place in my heart (and my stomach): Baja Blast. I have made many a midnight run to Taco Bell late at night just to grab 32 ounces of that sweet, heavenly elixir. That is not to say that I don’t enjoy the other Mountain Dew Flavors; Code Red, Dark Berry, Vault, Gamer-fuel, White Out, and of course the traditional.
I go to a megachurch, I work with the junior high kids there, and I like it. Now I’ve had plenty of people tell me how they agree or disagree with our beliefs at the megachurch. And you know what, I’m fine with that most of the time. People are allowed to tell me that they don’t like what we do over at my church, and people are allowed to tell me they don’t like Baja Blast. Both of them are only flavors; Baja Blast stems out of Mountain Dew like my church stems out of the wider body of the Church.
Like I said earlier, I enjoy all the flavors of Mountain Dew, but Baja Blast is my personal favorite. In the same sense I love all of the different flavors of the Church, but my church is my favorite; it’s where I feel called. I love going to a Greek Orthodox service and participating in the beautiful and truth filled sacraments, and I love talking with my Mennonite friends about social justice and service. Different flavors, different tastes, but the same truth.
Dr. Moroney taught our theology class about how the Christian faith is made up of Dogma (unshakeable tenants of the faith such as the Lordship of Jesus, and salvation through grace), doctrines (issues of faith which are important but are able to differ, the Calvinist vs. Armenian debate fits nicely into this category), and issues of opinion (differing worship styles for example). I think the important thing for us to remember while approaching brothers and sisters of the faith who don’t attend our home churches is that we share the same dogmas; we all believe that Jesus Christ, Son of God, fully God and Man, is the one hope for salvation.
We differ in matters of doctrine, but that doesn’t have to be a bad thing; the differences in doctrine and opinion can provoke different flavors for us to enjoy in the church, instead of ammunition for the 21st century Holy Wars. If we view brothers and sisters from different denominations as inferior, lesser, or heretical, we are not helping build the unity and love that we are called to live and strive for. And if we cannot accept and value the different flavors, and differences that appear in the church, how will we be able reach out to those outside the church, whose beliefs and values differ even more?
I’m not writing this article with specific people in mind. I actually have never felt like my opinions have been disregarded because I go to a megachurch. In fact, I feel like my opinions are appreciated. However, I felt like it’s an important point to make.
So what’s your flavor?
Rich Nisly is a senior youth ministry major.