Monday, September 03, 2007

[THO] Why We Need Each Other

The recent thread on Ray Comfort has led to a sort of response by Living Waters Canada. I'll post his response if there is enough interest, but in post response dialogue to Chris Curry's credit he did admit to not even reading the Ray makes me UnComfortable series??? Apparently once one has made up their mind on an issue it is not advisable to look at alternative view points, at least that is the impression Chris is leaving on me.

But that is really a side issue. The problem I'm having here is that the factioned body of Christ has missed sight of the fact that we all need one another.

We don't need clones and constant affirmation. How are we ever going to grow if all we get tickles our ears? I appreciate the Ray Comforts out there for the simple reason that he doesn't think like I do. Heck I'm even willing to bet God is big enough to work powerfully through Ray's flawed theology to do some good in the world. But, and this is a big but. All of us, even Ray, could do much better.

Recently I was given some articles critical of my denomination, the Vineyard. At first I was a bit ticked, but then I decided to scan them. I heard in them the voice of someone hurt by Vineyards and struggling to articulate what he sees as reals pitfalls. If this is true then is it not worth engaging? So I emailed this fellow and we've begun a dialogue. Does this mean I love my Vineyard less? No, I want what is best for my denomination and that means learning even from those we might be tempted to call our enemies. We have a long standing tradition of not responding to criticism in the Vineyard, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't consider that criticism doesn't come out of nowhere.

I love the ecumenical school where I study. I need those voices. I need the Catholics with their sacramentality. I need the Anglicans with their passion for concensus and unity. I need the Pentecostals with their passion for the Holy Spirit. I need the Anabaptists with their passion for peace and justice. I need the Orthodox with their committment to mystery. I need the Comfortians for their zeal for evangelism. I need the whole Church. That doesn't mean I'm like the whole Church. I'm definitely unique. But that is why the rest of the Church needs me too.

So if Ray makes you comfortable or uncomfortable, I pray that either case will propel you to think deeper about your faith and how you live it. The examined life is definitely worth living!


Mike Samson said...

Amen Brother! Well said! In my own experience, my coming into the Catholic Church did not mean casting aside everything I learned for 13 years in the Protestant world. My Pentecostal brothers taught me that the Christian life is a dynamic livded out in the Holy Spirit. My Baptist brothers imparted to me a deep sense of respect and commitment to the Scriptures. In becoming Catholic I simply built upon what the Lord had already given me. For me it was simply about fulness...

One of Freedom said...

Hey Mike. Saw your response on facebook. Wow. Glad to be of service.

Mike Samson said...

Hey Frank! I sent it to your inbox because I wanted you to see it. Thanks Frank, for making me unCOMFORTable! Pun obviously intended!!!