The fellowship of Christ is a bit like a search party, led on a spiritual journey. We are sometimes criticized for being unable to face the uncertainties of life, and therefore embracing a certainty of knowing what skeptics see as being unknowable. That criticism is undeniably valid in many instances, but is becoming less so, as many of us try for a more mature faith.
The Apostle Paul spoke of God as not only unknowable, but beyond human imagination. I see that reflected further in his advocacy of love as the only real law, and his congratulations to the philosophers of Athens for their worship of an “unknown god.”
I think it is partly the lack of preachy certainty in a younger, newer Christianity that attracts those who seek a transformation in their lives. In baby steps, many worshipers are going back to their more humble roots, embracing an earlier humility. Spiritual needs are met in that fellowship.
So this from Associated Baptist Press is discouraging on so many levels:
BUENA PARK, Calif. (ABP) -- While most pro-life leaders condemned the May 31 murder of a controversial abortion provider inside his Wichita, Kan., church, one former Southern Baptist Convention official called it an answer to prayer.
"I am glad George Tiller is dead," Wiley Drake, the SBC's former second vice president, said on his Crusade Radio program...
Drake is sure about abortion. Dead sure. I'm all over the map on where being human starts. Sometimes I think it is at conception, often at viability. But the operative question is slightly different. I do not object to the good Pastor's certainty that a cytoblast is a baby. If he and his wife wish to base their lives on that certainty, I applaud them. I do object to Drake's corollaries. An adult woman is less valuable than a zygote, and that lack of value must be enforced under color of law. Therein lies what should be debate, not violence.
We see occasional blips on the public radar of right wing violence. Many of us predicted the trend, born of the discovery of powerlessness that shocked those who once thought themselves masters of the universe: A wayward nation has betrayed them. Cheerleaders of violence are in ample supply. O'Reillys and Hannitys are not deterred by the harm their words carry when taken to heart by the deranged. Drake lends violence the cover of Holy faith. We are left to pray that those who are repelled by Drake-type certainty do not reject a more faithful fellowship. "I would like to be a Christian," says a playful friend, "but I can't think of anyone I want to see assassinated."
More recently, Drake prays publicly for the death of President Obama.
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I am grateful, in hindsight, that I went to a place where I read these things. I went there totally alienated from the Southern Baptist religion of my youth. This made me realize that not everyone who believes in something beyond this life has to be a moron or a bigot.
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