Thursday, January 25, 2007

Issues based religion

I don't get to spend a lot of time surfing, usually i read the blogs in the sidebar every few days/weeks and a few most days. When I do surf a bit - as i did between taking my daughter to school and going out on my first visit of the day this morning - i am amazed and disappointed by what people narrow faith down to - as if God's only concerns were the teaching of sex education in school, or homosexuality, or whether Creation happened in six days, or whatever - this kind of issues led religion seems to me in direct contrast with a Christian faith which believes that God is somehow intimately involved with all of creation.

I can see the need to raise awareness of certain political, social, ecological etc issues as part of our faithfulness to the standards of the Gospel, but to judge whether or not someone is a 'sound Christian' by their response to one or two issues is to miss the diversity and disagreement that comes from God calling us to be ourselves within the body of Christ not a homogenous blob of humanity who all think, act, believe the same. I would probably be considered very liberal by some of my Christian sisters and brothers, and very conservative by others - I like to think that this is because through my own prayer, study of scripture, intellect and faith i have come to some understanding of what I believe.

There are certain issues where I would say that I have come 'under the authority of scripture' or 'under the authority of the Church' where my own inclination might be to do things a different way. There are, I believe, many issues where I can't just say 'well you believe what you want' because I think the standards of the Gospel and of Christian faith give us certain principles to live and act by - but at the same time I am willing to listen and respond to different viewpoints, to integrate this within my own understanding and interpretation of the Bible and the teachings of Christian faith - and not judge others by their disagreement with me or my own opinions about Christianity. And though I think i am quite a tolerant person, i am intolerant of intolerance - and bigotry and prejudice...


Dr.John said...

I agree with your post all the way. Sometimes even our chuches aren't sure of what the Bible says on an issue. Luther said where the Bible is clear let us speak but where it is not we should keep silent. Of course hge didn't always follow that.

moog said...

I agree too! Let's debate these issues lovingly and listen. Perhaps we might strengthen our faith that way. I think that is why i find a lot of christian blogs so dull, they are forever going on about how they are right about an 'issue' and everyone else is wrong.