Two biblical inputs for my report

Monday, February 28, 2022 (20:00)

“I do as Jesus says, not as Augustine says”

Today I got an important feedback for my report. It was 10 minutes before a common prayer with songs from Taizé in Tallinn. A young man sat quite in the back of the big church. I invited him to come closer to the altar and gave him my usual story to encourage people: “Everybody is invited to join the singing. Augustine said ‘He who sings prays twice’, he did not say ‘He who listens to other people singing, neither did he say ‘who sings correctly’. So even when you are not a good singer: don’t be afraid to sing with us.”

And he answered: “Ei, Jeesus ei öelnud ‘laulge’. Ma teen Jeesuse järgi, mitte Augustiinuse järgi.” (“Jesus didn’t ask us to sing. I do as Jesus says, not as Augustine says”).

His answer struck me like a brick. In that moment I just managed to say something polite and to leave him alone. But if I happen to see him again, I will try to thank him for this important answer. Yes, Augutinus is venerated as a basic faith teacher by many Christians, but not by all!

Meeting with a real Baptist

I met with a friend of a Baptist community and asked for her input to the Synod on Synodality. We knew from earlier meetings that we have very differing opinions about the Church. She did not clearly say that she believes I am a saved one.

How is this ‘journeying together’ happening today in your local Church?

We are a community for everyone. Everybody who wants to experience how God touches him is welcome. Of course you need to get baptized before you can participate in communion. We are open to the world, not only physically but also in public media and Internet. There are beliefs from which we don’t concede. We don’t have plans, but the Gospel remains the same. Our governance knows no compromises, the leaders have a big responsibility. We are an obedient community.

What steps does the Spirit invite us to take in order to grow in our ‘journeying together?’

A “Synodal Church” institution is not possible. Trying it will bring a new schism. No single legal person of the visible world can represent the whole Church because God calls each human individually. The world is full of ideologies that want to gain our hearts. But God does not make compromises. We cannot dilute the Gospel. If we want to announce the Gospel in its full power, we cannot remove parts of it, we cannot negotiate it or merge it with other messages.

We continued to talk about miscellaneous topics. I remember that at some moment I quoted “When you can understand it, then it is not God” (also St. Augustine) and she replied “I wouldn’t say that. I’d say that if you understand it, then you are responsible for it.”

Poor old Father Augustine got hit twice today!