Rev. Dr. Wayne Chasney

Weekly Meditation

Pastor Wayne began his ministry at Monroeville in August, 1993, after graduating from Lancaster Theological Seminary in Lancaster, PA. Pastor Wayne has his Doctorate of Ministry from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary with a focus on ministry in the small church.

In his spare time, Pastor Wayne loves running, reading and cheering for the Minnesota Vikings.

Pastor Wayne is married to Rev. Wendy Schindler-Chasney, pastor of St. John's UCC, Milan. They have two daughters.

"I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery; you shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself an shall not bow down to them or worship them."
(Exodus 20:2ff)

    The early years of the Protestant Reformation were a somewhat violent time. There were major arguments over baptism and whether infants should be baptized or you should wait until a certain age. There were fights over communion and what it meant to say the bread and wine were the body and blood of Christ. And when the Roman Catholic church launched its "counter-reformation," things really got violent as new and horrible ways to put someone to death were devised in order to discourage anyone from choosing the "wrong" side.
     Today, most of us heave a sigh of relief we no longer fight to the death over issues like transubstantiation versus consubstantiation (yes, those are real things). It's nice, I've been told, that the different churches can get along and work together. After all, we're really not that different. Don't we worship the same God?
    But I wonder. I wonder if we've so much stopped fighting over religion or has our religion changed?
    Sit down and have a sensible discussion with someone about gun violence and before long passions will erupt and those who hold different beliefs will be called names and belittled and, from what I've seen in the comments sections of some social media posts, violence will be threatened.
    Or, put a Democrat and a Republican in a room together with two TV's, one tuned to Fox News and the other MSNBC. How long will it take for violence to break out?
    As I said, I wonder. Have we really stopped fighting over God, or do we simply worship other gods and fight over them? I'm not suggesting we go back to fighting over whether the bread actually becomes the body of Jesus, but maybe we should quit congratulating ourselves for "all getting along" when what we've really done is violated the first two commandments.
    We still fight over faith. We've just put our faith in the wrong gods.