It seems that the discovery of several heavenly bodies as big as or bigger than Pluto has forced the scientific community to come to a definite decision in their long debate about what a planet is, exactly. Either they had to accept three new planets into our solar "family" or kick tiny Pluto out. Turns out Pluto had to go. It did not fulfill all the requirements of being a planet by the new definition.
Not everyone is happy with this turn of events, and some astronomers are even circulating a petition to overrule that decision. I had no idea "logical, unbiased, unemotional" scientists could get so upset over an issue of semantics. Ironically, Pluto is now defined as a "dwarf planet", which makes the whole deal seem somewhat frivolous.
Pluto isn't the only one dealing with an identity crisis, however. It seems the Anglican Church [and more specifically the Episcopal Church, which is the U.S.'s branch of the Anglican Church] is almost at the point of division, with some conservative Episcopalians no longer wanting to be associated with the Anglican Church.4,5,6 Unlike the debate over Pluto, this disagreement is far from frivolous or unimportant. The Anglican Church has, among other things, ordained at least one openly gay bishop, and supports gay relationships between professing Christians. Some contend, and rightly so, that these things should not be in the Church of Jesus Christ, and do not feel like they can conscientiously be a part of or support a denomination that does so.
Just the fact that such a debate exists in the church in the first place is a sad testimony to the confusion and deception that has taken hold of the church in recent years. But identity crisis at the denominational level is only a symptom of a much deeper problem--identity crisis in Christians as individuals.
The term "Christian" has become so diluted it has all but lost its meaning. Anyone and everyone is a "Christian" these days, regardless of how they live their lives or what they believe. Or at least they are Christians by today's definition of the word. But, unfortunately for those who are Christians in name only, God does not play word games. His definition of "Christian" is the same as it always was, and it will never change. The Father of Lies can re-define "Christian" to include anyone he wants, but his vote does not count in the Throne Room of the King of the Universe. And there is coming a day when many who considered themselves Christians by Satan's definition will be rudely awakened to find that by the proper definition they are not Christians at all, and, like Pluto, will be excluded into outer darkness, separated from the family of God, because they do not meet the qualifications of a real Christian. However, unlike the situation with Pluto, there will be no opportunity for a re-vote.
Are you a real Christian, or only a "dwarf planet", as it were? Have you "made your calling and election sure"? (2 Peter 1:10) If not, I encourage you to "examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith;" (2 Corinthians 13:5) How can we know?
The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.
Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.
And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.
1 John 2:3-6
We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.
1 John 3:14
Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God. And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.
1 John 4:15-16
A Christian never has to have an identity crisis--I can know that I know who I am in Christ. I'm a child of the KING, and will outshine the stars! And, thankfully, no amount of redefinitions or hand-raising votes can change that!
- Dinky Pluto loses its status as planet by William J. Kole, from the Associated Press.
- Pluto Demoted: No Longer a Planet in Highly Controversial Definition by Robert Roy Britt, from Space.com.
- Astronomers: Pluto just a dwarf by Dan Vergano, from USA Today.
- Dallas Episcopalians contemplate break with national church
by KRISTV.com (Corpus Christi, TX), from the Associated Press.
- A new school of thought for conservative Episcopalians: Seminaries partner to unify conservative voice by Jay Lindsay, from the Associated Press.
- Episcopal split mulled in Dallas by Matt Curry, from the Associated Press.