Monday, May 3

And all God's people say...

Ever since I was 9 years old, I have attended a Christian & Missionary Alliance church. Prior that this, I was born and (partially) raised in a Baptist church.

As far as churches/denominations go, the C&MA is pretty even keel, from what I've seen. It's a denomination that believes in the gifts/manifestations of the Holy Spirit but is not typically seen in the Sunday services. The most charismatic that my church gets is raising of hands and the very occasional "Amen," "Thank you Jesus," or "Yes, Jesus."

As God would have it, I also attended a C&MA college, Canadian Bible College aka Alliance University College aka Ambrose University College (the two name changes have occurred post-graduation, so henceforth, it shall always be to me as CBC). Attending CBC was wonderful and any affection I had towards the C&MA prior to attending, deepened into proud appreciation and love for who the C&MA was and is. But this is really besides the point.

Throughout my two years at CBC, I had to take three theology classes; one for each person of the Trinity. All of these classes were taught by the same teacher who is brilliant and highly amusing. I loved my theology classes even though I could never seem to get good grades.

One day, my teacher made an important theological point and then said, "and all God's people say..." to which our class responded with a surprised and mumbled "amen!" Upon hearing this, my teacher proceeded to enlighten us as to what good C&MA people say, in case we didn't already know. We were not the "Amen," "Hallelujah," or "Praise the Lord" type of denomination (although we readily accept such people without hesitation). When a C&MA person hears something that they agree with, as my teacher informed us, they enthusiastically voice their agreement with a resounding "mmmmm" (as if in deep reflection).

At this, our classroom erupted with laughter; partly because we realized that he was spot on, having described many of us. Not wanting to let his previous important theological point pass, my teacher once again asked "and all God's people say..." to which this time (and every time hence) we obediently responded with "mmmmm."

Ever since then, there are times I am sitting in a church (C&MA or otherwise) and will find myself nodding my head and "mmmm"-ing in agreement with the sermon. Upon the realization I usually need to hold back laughter as I remember those quirky and enriching days of college.

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