The church’s one foundation?

How does the church, supposedly the Church Universal, an entity with presumably some core beliefs, find its COMMONALITY to real issues?

adherentsTheoretically, all the churches in Christendom are on a celebratory mode this week (Yes, I know Orthodox Easter is NEXT Sunday). The idea is that death lost out. So Christians are presumably on the same page, except, of course, they (we) are not.

Some friend of a friend named Roderick wrote: “I’d like to see a pie chart that showed how US Christians divided up: Just plain folks from Iowa who live a good life, Lunatic homeschoolers who don’t believe in dinosaurs, gun-totin’ Kill-a-Commie-for-Jesus grade school dropouts, timid white folk who will pay money every Sunday to make sure they don’t go to Hell, Holy Rollers (unspecified), cheerleaders praying they didn’t get knocked up last night, car salesman who need to be seen as honest, and so on.” Snarky, but not entirely incorrect.

The sharp divisions in Christianity is how you get, in the same month, a majority of Presbyterian Church (USA) presbyteries voting in favor of changing the denomination’s definition of marriage “so that same-sex weddings may be conducted by PCUSA pastors and in PCUSA churches” AND Indiana’s governor signing “a controversial ‘religious freedom’ law that critics say could allow discrimination against gays and lesbians.

I was thinking about this because there’s a narrative that saw discrimination, e.g., in the Indiana law, and complains, “Why aren’t mainstream Christians speaking out on this?” Yet, the bill that is apparently rectified the law came after an outpouring of protest. And a LOT of that protest came from church people.

Much of the mainstream church DOES fight what it considers injustice and inequality, often and vigorously. It may not receive the same level of press because it doesn’t fit into a canned narrative of the “Christian view.”

In fact, early this century, watching ABC News regularly, in particular, somehow Christianity and evangelical Christianity became the same thing. How will “Christians respond to candidate X?”

Christianity is not a monolith, certainly not since the Reformation. Heck, early in the letters from St. Paul to the various churches in the first century of the Christian era, he was writing about different interpretations of the faith.

Still, I’m asking here: How does the church, supposedly the Church Universal, an entity with presumably some core beliefs, find its COMMONALITY to address real issues in the world? Can it?

You might find the story of Dr. Foster, a white-haired missionary surgeon who has lived in Angola for 37 years — “much of that in a period when the Angolan regime was Marxist and hostile to Christians” – an inspiring tale.
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This made me laugh, especially the dialogue.

Author: Roger

I'm a librarian. I hear music, even when it's not being played. I used to work at a comic book store, and it still informs my life. I won once on JEOPARDY! - ditto.

2 thoughts on “The church’s one foundation?”

  1. The reaction to the Indiana law (and similar ones elsewhere) proves, I think, that good people can win (the “bad guys” were 0 for 4 last week…). But here’s the thing that REALLY gets me about this: Look at that chart. If we’re VERY generous, conservative Christians make up a third of all Christians in the USA. So why the hell (so to speak) should they get to call all the shots? Especially considering that not all members of even the most conservative denominations are anti-LGBT, so the true proportion of Christians who are strongly anti-LGBT is even smaller.

    I think that what we’re seeing now is that the majority of Christians—well, the majority of people—are standing up to prejudice and discrimination. I think this also means, to answer your question, that conservative Christians, especially the most rightwing among them, will never agree that there’s ANY commonality with mainstream Christians, not when their rhetoric is filled with language to highlight and promote division. For example, they often refer to mainstream Christians in a way meant to imply they’re not “real” Christians and only the most conservative are “real”.

    On the other hand, there’s a lot of commonality among mainstream Christians. The rightwing has been making common cause for decades now, so maybe the best solution for now is for mainstream Christians to explore, celebrate and embrace their commonalities, and not really worry very much about the right. They’ll catch up, eventually.

  2. That is a very interesting breakdown of denominations. This side of heaven, I’m not sure we’ll every know the answer to your questions. I believe many churches (in all denominations) have lost focus on what their basic core beliefs are….or should be! There’s too many man-made “extras” that muck up the message.

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