had a most interesting conversation this morning, the pinnacle of which was the statement: 'Christianity is not as clear cut as you might think!' which provided me with plenty of food for thought. After all, I've always known that, as has any thinking and open Christian, so why the surprise? Probably because the issue under discussion was one that actually I considered to be pretty clear cut!
The conversation centred along the lines that the defining Bible passage for everything was the 'golden rule' - that we treat others as you'd we'd to be treated and this was the basis upon which every attitude and act was judged. That we just loved our neighbour as ourselves and
made real the words of Matthew Chapter seven's account of the sermon on the mount as we refrained from judging and accepted whatever others did, approving and affirming rather than rebuking or denying.
Apparently the key to removing what some consider to be 'sin' is to remove the label sin from it. What we need to do is accept that people are different and the 'one size fits all' approach of Christianity is flawed and doomed to fail from the start. Better to accept that we're all different and concentrate on the things we can agree on and agree to accept the things (perhaps ignore is a better term) we can't.
The Church is an evolving body of people and they are realising that what we believed in centuries past is no longer relevant or valid. People are apparently realising that these days 'we are not called to live and act' as they did before and 'happiness' is the universal indicator of the rectitude of such thinking.
Having heard what they had to say, I have to be honest and say that I thought their views to be flawed and not merely self-indulgent and approving but actually, if Christian is what we are as a breed, a terminal disease!
There are many good things to be found in this world and many that are obviously bad - or are they? After all, I hear more and more people proposing that we should act illegally to deal with people who act wrongly - so the old statement 'two wrongs don't make a right' has now obviously itself become wrong.
One of the joys of being Christian is that we have, or at least should have, doors, arms and hearts that are open to everybody - for Church is an 'inclusive' entity. The problem for many comes with the reality that it is not a 'permissive' entity.
So this morning, whilst I heard what was said I really couldn't agree with it because what was being demanded was that I put aside my views in favour of theirs in the name of some misplaced understanding of love. I was being told that the only way to be loving was to ignore those things I considered wrong in the name of unity and 'being kind'.
The stumbling block for me came with the parting shot in that the other party considered that what they were asking for was exactly what Jesus would have done.
Obviously not only a different theology on display here but a different Jesus too!