Sunday, July 26, 2009

Mayonnaise vs. Miracle Whip.

In our household we have an ongoing dispute between those who believe in mayonnaise (AKA the real thing) and those who believe in Miracle Whip (AKA a fake). Today at ECOOS, after reading the Gospel stories of the feeding of five thousand and Jesus walking on the water, we learned that there is a third option: "Here's your fish sandwich, don't ask what's on it."

Our sermon today started with the intriguing question of what would a stranger think if they came into the church, unfamiliar with Christianity, and heard these "strange stories?" I thought to myself, "Maybe we are going to hear a discussion about the miracles of Jesus." Of course I was mistaken, and we went down the path of hearing about the focus on food and eating contained in the Bible, the Gospels, the Eucharist, and the "inclusive" dining habits of Jesus.

I am sorry, but if I was unfamiliar with Christianity at the onset, and puzzled by the miracles of Christ in the readings, then I would probably feel as if my Zagat's Guide to Religion had led me to book a dinner at an restaurant where the staff would not or could not explain the menu.

This is especially troubling when the take home message at the end of the sermon was that because we are now filled with God's love, we are to go out and feed the hungry. I guess the question of how the unchurched might understand the "strange stories" of the miracles of Jesus was not as important as the more easily explained ministry of taking care of people's physical needs.

Now I am left wondering, "How am I to feed the unchurched?" Should I use the mayo, or the Miracle Whip?


  1. Tarter sauce. It goes better with fish. If you can buy it ready made or make it yourself. There is also another alternative to Mayonnaise and Miracle Whip. It is called "Nayonaise." It contains no eggs and also comes in a fat-free version. Tofu is used in place of eggs. You can also make tofu mayonaise from scratch.

    In ancient Palestine the fish in the kid's lunch were likely dried--fingerlings, the size of sardines. The bread was likely made from barley and the loaves were likely as big as your fist. The dried fish provided something savory for the boy to eat with the barley bread.

  2. “One canon, two testaments, three creeds, four general councils, five centuries and the series of the Fathers in that period determine the boundaries of our faith.”

    Lancelot Andrewes

    No mention anywhere of becoming a school for social work

  3. Anonymous11:54 AM

    wow - grumpy aren't we - I thought Charlie did a wonderful job - so let me explain it to you - in order for us to grow in a Christ like manner we need to go out and feed people the way Christ did. This sermon probably went over your head because it was another of the "feel good" "Mission and Outreach" sermons that you don't get. Sorry - no fire and brimstone!


  4. Actually, we're not grumpy at all...just tired of the wooly-headed "feel good" nonsense that got us into the current mess. We have rapidly declining ASA (locally and nationally)and rapidly declining plate and pledge (locally and nationally). We are the butt of jokes in the national press. We continue to watch as the biblically-oriented churches run circles around us (you may have noted in the paper that the Assembly of God churches now have more members than the Episcopal organization). If we don't soon return to some sort of reasonable ecclesiology, we'll be turning away all those hungry people at the door because the church, and consequently, the coffers, are empty.

  5. Anonymous3:32 PM

    Jesus always fed people with words first, then food. How does our church equip us to teach people about God the way Christ did?

  6. Not so simple C2G. I think Christ feeds people with more than just bread and fishes. He uses the real deal. Anything else is just an imitation.

    Is Christianity just the imitation of Christ? Let me quote J. Gresham Machen's Christianity and Liberalism where he wrote:

    "Why then did the early Christians call themselves disciples of Jesus, why did they connect themselves with His name? The answer is not difficult. They connected themselves with His name not because He was their example in their ridding themselves of sin, but because their method of ridding themselves of sin was by means of Him. It was what Jesus did for them, and not primarily the example of His own life, which made them Christians. Such is the witness of all our primitive records. The record is fullest, as has already been observed, in the case of the Apostle Paul; clearly Paul regarded himself as saved from sin by what Jesus did for him on the cross. But Paul did not stand alone. 'Christ died for our sins' was not something that Paul had originated; it was something he had 'received.' The benefits of that saving work of Christ, according to the primitive Church, were to be received by faith; even if the classic formulation of this conviction should prove to be due to Paul, the conviction itself clearly goes back to the very beginning. The primitive Christians felt themselves in need of salvation. How, they asked, should the load of sin be removed? Their answer is perfectly plain. They simply trusted Jesus to remove it. In other words they had 'faith' in Him."

    This gives me pause to think about the "Imitation of Christ" by Thomas à Kempis in which Chapter 15 of Book 1 relates to works done in charity. A quick look at the table of contents of Thomas à Kempis' work shows that there is so much more. Perhaps he could have dispensed with the rest of the book and saved a lot of paper by limiting the mission to Chapter 15.