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4.09.2010

Safe, domesticated and distrustful of each other

A great Quote from  Friend Johan


Evil is real; as a movement we cannot respond with anything less than the "whole armor of God." We can't let demagogues set evangelicals against liberals, or create other distracting divisions.

We need the commitment to spiritual warfare that evangelicals claim and the social/ethical zeal that is often the province of ...liberals. 

We all need all-out revival that sweeps over all idolatries--not just the blatant blasphemies of the world's would-be Hitlers, but the more subtle ones that keep us Christians safe, domesticated, and distrustful of each other.



Comments:
This is rather a hard one. I am distrustful. Even your use of the word "evangelical" makes me distrustful, though not of you - I've read too many of your other words. I don't consider you s fundamentalist at all but just where's the line between fundamentalist and evangelical? I have no desire to be evangelical about Christ - I don't think He needs it and I think people can hear His Light in many ways. I just want to live up to that Light in everything I do, though that's too tall an order for me most of the time. I think fundamentalism is the closest thing to evil I have ever seen - the sin of Lucifer, hubris, and it scares me. I think the bible can sometimes be the worst of idols, and the word "Jesus". I am sick at what people who can call themselves "Christian", not the casual users of the word, but the ones who mean to make it their everything, can do and say. I'll take the divides before I'll join forces with that.
 
Somehow I lost my link to Johan's blog, but I would venture to guess that the post had to do with unity among Quakers where those perceptions that border on fundamentalism tend to be less extreme (though I have seen some expression of such). Yes, such things are a cause of deeper division, but the point that we need more dialogue and less suspicion between divergent branches is well made. It's not a bad idea in the wider Christian world either.
 
I have restored the link to Johan's blog. He is writing from Russia about WWII and Hitler.

I was struck by the last paragraph, but it may not come across without the context.

LSM, I agree that this is a challenging point. As you know, I consider fundamentalism to be a sin, a very dangerous one. But I am commanded by my Master to love and engage sinners.

But as often as fundamentalism causes very real problems, I think that I can be prone to a judgemental sort of distrust of anyone who does not agree with me, and that this causes as least as many problems. I find this to be true in my own life.

Jesus said to be wise as a serpent and innocent as a dove. Which I take that we are to hold the paradox of being smart and being good.

(good to hear from you Nate!)
 
I have no trouble loving (or even liking) fundamentalists - I think I struggle more on the other end. I almost always feel very expansively able to include very different people in my world view of "good" and, while I think that's usually good, it can lead to accepting things, in a morally relative sort of way, that shouldn't be accepted - like the evils of fundamentalism or other forms of bigotry. I've had to take a step back lately - and really think about how together I want to be with some groups, including Quaker groups like FUM that are willing to discriminate. I love them and am willing to engage them as people - but I really don't want to join with them in other ways if that means accepting their bigotry. I do not accept it. I honestly think that sometimes Quakers need to worry less about healing our divisions and more about making it clear that we will not water down our testimonies for the sake of some sort of denominational unity. I'm feeling very Hicksite today....
 
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