January 17, 2008

I was just having a conversation with my friend Adam regarding disagreements within the church. What sprung the dialog was a conversation I had with someone a few weeks back. They implied to me that Brian McLaren is a “heretic” and “the enemy”.

To me, it’s really fascinating that people can carry this staunch I’m right, you are wrong attitude. It actually makes me a bit self-observant and I wonder what positions in life I take that way. It is a tough pill to swallow when you are trying to make an honest attempt at being open to new ideas and progressive in your faith, and someone pounds down the “iron fist of truth” on you.

So what does this word “ecumenical” mean? I’ll be honest; I didn’t know when I was talking with Adam. I looked it up:

1. general; universal.
2. pertaining to the whole Christian church.
3. promoting or fostering Christian unity throughout the world.

To me, that means when I am speaking with my parents and I disagree with them on some theological point, I am still respectful of them and under the understanding that they are along for the same journey I am. Or when my pastor says a point that I don’t fully agree with, I have to realize that he still loves Jesus just as much as I do and strives to be like him under his own understanding.

Christianity is a beautiful thing, but when we try to humanize it and make our own understanding absolute, it can get ugly pretty fast.


  1. it’s impossible to make something absolute and humanize it. humans are in themselves imperfect. only God is absolute and i think it’s a dangerous position (spiritually) to say that i’ve achieved any kind of God-like understanding in anything.

  2. very well said, t!

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