I am prone to read non-fiction pieces, written with great literary style. Modern fiction must be really lush and wondrous to speak to me. Today in the library I did some speed reading through “Speaking of Faith” by Krista Tippet (creator and host of public radio’s Speaking of Faith). Tippet’s writing is rich, intelligent, prose-like and quite insightful in many ways, yet I cannot align with her smart acceptance of all “faiths”. I resonated with this: ” …all that speaks to a love of the mind. From an early age I sensed this in myself, an unlearned pleasure I could take in ideas, the written word, and the thoughts in my head, their powers of making sense…” Yet again we find the wonderful work of a writer: naming things for which we previously could sense, but could not define the essence.
I cannot help but think when I read such broad ecumenically sympathetic pieces (I celebrate the different dialects of the Christian faith that espouse to the essentials of basic doctrine–but I cannot embrace all streams of world religions as being the Way) such as hers that there is the conception that to be a Christian who takes the bible both in a literal and Hebraic-culturally sense, who believes that Jesus is the only way to God and is pursuing each one of us, who believes in a literal heaven and hell, the active unseen spiritual realm and the return of Christ to judge the world, the preservation of unborn life, the sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman and such is to be intolerant, sexist, judgemental, narrow-minded, ungracious, naive, uncultured, under-educated and less than loving. Somehow our “faith” should be, in many authors and such opinions of our day, less exclusive and more generous. Who needs convictions?
Yes, we have often missed the boat on love (although love has little do with absolutes or maybe everything to do with it…) and such things as social justice in many forms in recent decades. Legalism and religious tradition is somehow easier for many of us to grasp than Spirit-walking and the ways of a learner-disciple. But we are not staying on the land, we are moving across the waters. After all, our set up beliefs, our values, our biblical worldview, as put forth by God Himself, have never been up for public or personal opinion. Jesus made this very clear (It is really not about what we think. These are what would be called never-ending arguments and pretensions which equal strongholds which equals keeping us from hearing God which equals disunity).
But yet, it all still is, which I find rather intriguing…and exhausting at times…