Who are the Christians you disdain?
There are so many reasons to disdain them. They baptize infants. They don’t. They want people to have made a commitment to God before they take communion. They don’t. They are pro-life. They are pro-choice. They resist immigration. They use incense. Their sermons are overly emotionally. They scam people with the hope of irrational healing. They don’t vaccinate. They require women to wear dresses and don’t believe they should preach. They actually believe bread becomes Jesus. They don’t care enough to recycle. They are capitalist, socialist, libertarian…
Who do you condemn in your heart?
And if not condemn, at least who do you feel a bit self-righteous about having tolerance for?
If not self-righteous tolerance, what shifts in your spiritual perspective do you identify as enlightened, as if to say those others are still caught up in darkness?
The Netflix series The Chosen depicts the gathering of the disciples. It is not just a fisherman but one who is on the verge of betraying other Jews in order to save his family. It is not just a tax collector but THE tax collector coming after that fisherman’s livelihood. The Zealot puts them all at risk as a political extremist… Why did Jesus pick not only flawed people but also so divergent and contentious a group? We know they quibbled about who is the greatest. Was that abstract or were they fighting about their way of doing things, their ideologies and perspectives… As long as they stayed near Jesus, the whole could hold together. Without the whole, everything crumbles.
So many of us have come to this place through the gifts and failing of other traditions – more Protestant or Catholic, ‘bible based’ or justice-y, liberal or conservative. As faith has become as charged as politics and our wounds inform our leaving as much as anything else, we do run the risk of minimizing the value of those who have not found their way to where we are. We forget how much we need each other’s imperfect and partial reflections if we want any hope of catching a mosaic glimpse of our infinite God.
To all those other Christians: thank you.
The Rev. adwoa Wilson