My friends tell me that I have lefT mainstream Christianity behind. I don’t know what that means to them. I’m not quite sure I agree with the statement. But I do get it. I understand where my supporters in this new endeavor and my detractors are coming from.
To many it may look like I have left Jesus and his bride behind. I assure you that is not the case. But I will tell you what I am leaving behind. I will never tell a soul again, “This is what you have to believe to be a Christian.”
A week ago I had a conversation with my dear friend John Harrison on the Twitter. We talked about atonement and resurrection. And our mutual friend Deb Avery chimed in and essentially said, “It’s not our job as ministers to tell folks what to believe about the atonement or resurrection. We all might need different things from the resurrection.” That’s a really poor paraphrase but it’ll do.
While I may not need a resurrection of the dead for my faith to make sense, you might. And neither of us are wrong. We’re just standing at different places on the road to redemption. Neither of us are necessarily ahead or behind the other. We’re just working with the truth we have.
So the part of Christianity that tells others that they have it wrong or are damned… I’m leaving that part behind… The fundamentalist… the atheist… the liberal… the libertarian… the Green party…. the stoner… Before their own lord, they will stand or fall. And they will stand because The Lord is able to make them stand.
I’m through fighting fire with fire. I’m tired and hoarse from screaming at those who have different opinions than me and calling them apostate. I choose to practice love, nonviolence and grace. There’s a place for the prophet in the wilderness, the preacher at the mega church, the street theologian and the ecumenical liberal…. and even me however you can qualify me at the table… because Jesus has a big table. There’s room at the table and I’ll believe that no matter what church or faith I’m affiliated with. There’s room at the table and my neighbor at the table will absolutely see things differently than me because that’s how life works. But I can sit at the table next to the fundamentalist and if I can’t do so with grace, then the fault lies with me.