samedi, août 22, 2009

Something nice to say?

When I first got this commentary from a colleague, I thought it was going to be about how Mr. Bates of the Guardian lost his faith. But, as it happens, the former religion reporter doesn't seem to have had much to lose.

What he does point out, and what I find so disturbing about many battles fought within Christendom, is how nasty we are to each other. Is that perhaps an unforeseen consequence of our post-Constantinian sense of privilege and establishment?

Who wants to be a part of a group where the members are urged to behave with charity and act like they hate one another?

That being said, abandoning core values in an attempt to make ourselves appealing in a pluralistic and often pagan culture has little integrity.

So where is the middle ground? Does it begin with acknowledging the elephants in our sanctuaries? The high incidence of divorce and abortion among conservative Christians might be a good place to begin. How about our lack of generosity? What about the ways in which we look all too similar to the materialist culture in which we are marinated?

Perhaps, if we invited the skeptical into discussion with us from a place of humility before God, they'd be less likely to be contemptuous -- or worse still, indifferent. As long as we continue to snap and snipe at one another, we are like the grouch at the party that everyone wants to avoid.
If you have something nice to say...don't sit by him.

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