In this fast paced religious society of cultural wars waged by the “I know the absolute factual truth about our ancient texts in entirety” clans, I sense an ongoing battle to remain in the barbaric days of yesteryear instead of advancing forward into our new world as intelligent, spiritual beings. Having come out of Traditional Christianity myself, I wrestled with where I was supposed to gravitate to. Each time I found what I thought was a leading voice in the Christian community I watched as their writings unfolded into more dramatics rather than the inclusive love of Christ. With all the hate I have seen coming from much of the Christian community I can understand why some folks leave it entirely and the draw of community among the Pagans becomes a refreshing oasis for spiritual growth. I adore my Pagan Kinfolk, and yet I remain a Christ follower because of the delicate and in depth nature of my personal experience with Christ.
Much of the Christian community divides over theological perspectives, religious practices, and by what you claim your allegiance to. Sadly, a lot of them are pushing hard for allegiances to be to their clergy as well. If you disagree with their pastor’s latest book, you’re somehow not “right with God” and in “rebellion to your Creator”. We Christians sure do seem to be in a mess much of the time as we claim to have the latest clarity on Christ. Who are we kidding? We’re a hodge podge gloppity gooey mess and I think it would be much more honest if we just admitted it than pompously proclaiming that we have “the” answers to all the questions.
I’m not opposed to theological differences and a diversity of perspectives, but why does one need to join forces with one over the other? Why can’t we simply glean from each camp while enjoying the fellowship with each one without corralling into the next cow stall? You see, I have said before that I don’t claim to be of the “Orthodox” (ie Traditional Christianity), but that doesn’t mean I don’t see some good in it. I’m not a Neo-Reformer or a Southern Baptist, but I know some very good people who are. Why can’t we simply enjoy the faith without drawling the lines? If I may use a secular topic as a metaphor… I find it difficult to only eat Mexican food all the time..as much as I love it.. there are times when I need to go to the organic salad bar. In fact, I would probably do much better if I had a variety of meals in moderation instead of eating from one restaurant all the time.
Ok so I’ll admit…some restaurants are just flat out unhealthy all the time and it’s best to not eat from their kitchens, ever! The health department inspections can be atrocious. But that doesn’t mean they can’t improve the quality of service, cleanliness, and offer more balanced meals. Do you get what I’m saying? Is it possible to simply share what kind of meals we serve while being open to trying the feasts in other places?
Will we ever have a Christian community where diversity is celebrated rather than condemned? I admit, I wrestle with this myself. Sure there are times when we disagree, but can we disagree in a way that helps one another to see the other’s perspective and at least try to understand one another? Is it ever going to be possible to be diplomatic among one another so that we can join in efforts to feed the hungry or bring fresh drinking water to a dehydrated community? Or will we have cut each other off in such a way that our own pride hinders us from feeding and clothing “Jesus” when he needs us to?
Is it possible to have an open forum of diverse conversations where we can both agree and disagree without getting our feathers so ruffled that we think we have to create wars against each other? I’m certainly not claiming to have the answer to this dilemma. I would hope that we can all add our own voices to the discussion.
What do you think? Can there be some diplomacy without more religious wars? What are your suggestions?