The tool of a lazy mind, the product of shallow thinking and the evidence of unsettled and angry spirits, the stereotypes that are ubiquitous in the religious and political discourse of our age are also evidence of a nation misguided, the immaturity of the body politic.
If Chick-fil-A is going to continue to serve this liberal Baptist pastor from around the corner, I don’t see that drinking their tea and building relationships with their staff is making me unfaithful to my convictions.
When I listen to many Christians speak, more and more I respond with the thought, “Is it honestly fair to call what they believe and what I believe the same religion?”
I believe in the power of the Gospel. I believe Jesus changes hearts, and that his calling is a daring summons to a truly social justice – to a salvation that changes our minds as well as our souls. But much of the preaching I hear these days makes me cringe.
While upholding the goodness of marriage, maybe it’s time the Church dismissed the legalism of “marriage only” in favor of true, loving relationships that are consummated, not in following the letter of the law, but with the spirit of living principles – commitment, communication, trust, respect and a deep and true spirituality.
The depth of ignorance of science displayed by many religious people today is tragic, and the reach of an anti-intellectual, anti-education mindset threatens our future as a Church and a nation.
Some people would tell our incredible story of tragedy averted and credit angels’ wings, the intervention of something powerful and supernatural. That doesn’t fit my theology. But I have no doubt God was with us.
Although divorce does not carry the stigma it once did, in our culture it still whispers, “You failed.” The Church needs to find better language and better theology to respond with grace when a marriage dies.
This season of quiet reflection, introspection and contrition may be the best time to consider our misunderstandings and to seek repentance, receive forgiveness and start anew. And to hear again the words of Jesus: “You have heard that it was said, but I say to you…”