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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Communists, Unity, and

...an even keel.

The Sonlight Forums are down for maintenance for a couple of days. And from what I've heard, that may be a good thing.


Sonlight Forums Maintenance

See, in case you hadn't realized it, it's time for some campaignin' in these here good ol' United States. And, for some reason, people get all fired up this time of leap year*.

And when you get people fired up, they sometimes say stuff that isn't, well, calm, cool, or collected. And if you have a moderated community, sometimes the loving thing to do is censor those who won't do so themselves.

But this can lead to upset people. One of the Sonlight customer support representatives told me today, "It's not every day that I hear people say that Sonlight is a communist company."

With all that in mind, let's turn to Sussane's post about unity. Her post is mostly about denominationalism** and how that leads to a refusal even to pray together. And I agree: That's not good.

But...

[and you knew that was coming because, otherwise, it would merely be another "post of note"]

...there is something powerful in all these denominations. Denominations allow people to experience God in a way that is more meaningful to them. And just like the various cultures worldwide that worship God in their culturally appropriate way, so denominations within the US allow each of us to worship God in a way that is suitable to our culture. I don't get much out of liturgy, but I know my "flavor" of worship isn't for everyone.

So, I'm against denominationalism--the tendency to think that you're right and everyone else is wrong to the point of rejection of people--just as I am against flame wars in politics. But I'm very happy for denominations--the opportunity to work within the framework that makes the most sense to you--just as I am happy that we have more than one political party. ...of course, I wish we had a few more viable options for those <smile>.

I do pray and long for unity, but we won't get there by "making everyone the same." Communism doesn't work. And I'm glad I'm not involved with a communist company, even if we do ask people to play nice.


Flame Wars

Are you playing nice, even if you don't agree with others (especially members of the Body)? I hope I am, while maintaining a meaningful stand for what is good, right, and true.

~Luke Holzmann
Filmmaker, Writer, Expectant Father

*The good news is that we have an extra day of campaigning to do! ...wait... is that good?

**Though, from my many chats with Mormon missionaries, I wouldn't list Mormonism as a Christian denomination. And when my missionary friends object, I clarify "oxthordox Christian" because, at some point, we get to disagreeing on the majors.

5 comments:

katemcdonald said...

I had to ask for a similar king of civility. Isn't it kinda sad the thing Christians get most worked up about is politics!?!?!

Susanne Barrett said...

Luke,

Although denominations sadden me, what I was basically calling for is the love for one another as believers without judgment as to denominations. What I want to see is Catholics and evangelicals working together rather than questioning each others' salvation and tearing each other down.

What really upsets me is the church-hopping that is so prevalent among American evangelicals. Oh, they changed the color of the carpeting, so we'd better leave and go to another church. (I'm not kidding -- I've heard this one before, and they were serious.) So much church-hopping is self-centered rather than God-centered.

Our family has worshipped at the same evangelical church for over 15 years. There's a core of long-termers who outlast every change in pastoral staff, every re-design, etc. But there are others who leave at the drop of the proverbial hat because of silly reasons that are not God-centered. I'm not saying that people shoulkd stay at a "bad" church just for the sake of unity, but people also shouldn't leave a decent church over minor reasons, either. I've been judged for staying by some who found a "Godlier" church, but I am not judged at our church for also attending an Anglican church on weekdays, nor is a friend of mine judged for attending Catholic Mass before service; he's still in choir and his wife, who accompanies him to Mass, remains our choir director. The lack of judgment I see at our evangelical church makes me want to stay there even while I wish for more liturgy. ;)

Thanks for discussing the issue I brought up. Churches of different denominations working together for the common good is near and dear to my heart.

Luke said...

Kate,

Yes, it is very sad. Not that what happens in the political sphere isn't important, but we really shouldn't be that nasty. It's not that important. Besides, loving people will have more of an impact than being mean to them.

Susanne,

I with you there: More unity within the Body. Yes, please!

And I've got to admit: Having people from very different backgrounds (everything from Catholic to "crazy" charismatic) in our home small group has been very cool. I also love reading blogs from people of all "flavors"--even a couple hard core anti-Christian people <smile>.

As for church hopping, I agree: We've definitely got a problem there too. But some of it makes sense to me, at least a little. That's a tough one.

Thanks so much for stopping by to add your insight!

~Luke

Anonymous said...

Anonymous comments are not displayed here.

Luke said...

That was my best attempt as a footnote <smile>. I probably should have made them link-able down to the bottom of the page.

Sorry that wasn't clear!

~Luke


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