Backsliding Into All Souls Day

Few weeks hold as many consecutive references to events or celebrations in the Christian Calendar. Reformation Day. All Saints Day. All Souls Day. Do you find the reference to all worth considering?

The history of human beings is not always about all human beings. Consider Winston Churchill’s, “History is¬†written by the victors.” Only after decades, or longer, and greater research do we learn there are other sides to the story told by the winners. Christopher Columbus.

Inconsistencies Are Revelatory

When critics take after the Church and Church history it seems that glaring inconsistencies become the rule rather than the exception. After nearly two millennia it is like picking low hanging fruit. What gets glossed is that Christians are human beings and they emerge from a collective looking toward different values, ideals, while at the same time hoping to jettison the rotten fruit of all human beings malevolent actions toward others. In other words, human history reveals that human beings group into tribes vying for supremacy.

Jesus’ subversive message challenges the human desire to lord over others, “He who is great in the Kingdom is a servant of/to all.” The Apostle Paul pressed the idea, “Consider others more important than yourself.” No wonder Jesus does not fare so well. Human beings in search of an identity often look to form in relation to others, particularly others they deem less than themselves.

Thus, all does not always mean all.

All Is All. All is All?

But, all means all unless you provide the qualifier.

All Saints Day provided the Church an opportunity to honor those martyred for their faith. Some segments of the Church began to include those considered to have achieved a particular status based on certain requirements, Saints. Other branches of the Church sought to include all who have died in Christ. Yes, this may be too reductionistic. This is not meant to be an exhaustive history.

An addition was made when some living saints, notice the lower case s, represented those to whom we could look to as living examples of faithfulness. All Souls Day recognizes all saints. All is all.

Accidental Subversion

What would it mean if the Church’s own development, All Souls Day, actually, even accidentally, provided for the continual subversion of the natural hierarchies that are part and parcel of the human experience? Here it would mean the Church began celebrating a day that would undercut its tendencies to be influenced by the tribalism inherent to the human experience.

Backsliding into All Souls Day means recognizing that all means all. From what are we backsliding? The human canon that requires the formation of one group’s supremacy over another. We are not backsliding from the Christian Faith. We are backsliding from human faith. The faith we put in ourselves as we measure ourselves against others looking for affirmation that I am better than you.

Introducing, Backsliding: A Preacher’s Daughter’s Podcast

Today on the podcast I am glad to introduce one of the all on All Souls Day. Tommie Marshell is putting together a new podcast, Backsliding: A Preacher’s Daughter’s Podcast. It is still a short time from its official debut. But here on All Souls Day, I wanted to help jump-start her project. We are still working on the website, iTunes art, and submissions. She is following some of the best practices that include beginning with a number of recordings so set the release frequency expectations for those who subscribe.

On this episode of patheological Tommie and I talk about what may be expected, what is on her mind and other pertinent information for her soon to be released podcast.

You will not be disappointed.

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About the Author
Husband to Patty. Daddy to Kimberly and Tommie. Grandpa Doc to Cohen, Max, Fox, and Marlee. Pastor to Snow Hill Baptist Church. Graduate of Oklahoma Baptist University and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Reading. Photography. Golf. Colorado. Jeeping. Friend. The views and opinions expressed here are my own and should not be construed as representing the corporate views of the church I pastor.