Monday, October 6, 2014
The Divided States of America?
It is reformation month at church and we are thinking about the questions that led to the split between catholicism and protestantism 500 years ago. That split affected the world for good and woe, mostly good in my little mind. However it has caused me to reflect on the tension that exits in our country between divergent views of the future, between liberal and conservative visions that exist in the Christian faith, in the government and in every diner and coffee shop in America.
We are people who develop views, and defend them. For me, as one who has played this game and really wanted the best answers I could find for lots of issues, I found that hearing lots of points of views was good for me.
Many however, and I have been part of this as well, find it much more rewarding to defend your view will dismissing the views of others. Bill Gaither put new words on a great hymn tune we sing that has such a line. Ive been so loved Im willing to consider another mans point of view.
Os Guiness wrote an excellent book on civility which he beieves is missing from the public square in our dialogue in this country and believes that Christians of all people should lead the culture in this direction. Given our penchant for defending our own turf and denigrating the views of others in evangelicalism I am not sure we are as ready to listen to another point of view as I hope we could.
I continue to believe the church is entering a new phase as a result of all that has happened since the reformation, and evangelicalism will have to face up to some of its claims and procedures that may overstate the case and end up blunting the very sword of the good news we try to advance.
We will see how this all works out in politics, faith, and practice in coming months, and against the backdrop of serious issues in the middle east and on the terrorist front.