Monday, May 26, 2008

Portugal, Spain, and the Pope. Oh Treaty of Tordesillas!

I repent, I repent, of trading truth, for false unity.    -Derek Webb

I was thinking about how Christians have constantly made compromises for the sake of the organization continuing. The pope making two Christian countries sign treaties so they would not fight over the land they intended to acquire. I think also about the tolerance churches and denominations have made room for in their pews for the sake of unity and continuity. The problem I have with this is a misunderstanding of exactly what tolerance is. We consider it tolerance when two peoples come together in our country and get along by ignoring their differences or points of conflict. What are you tolerating then? Tolerance is when you both clearly address points of conflict or disagreement, but still continue to work together ACKNOWLEDGING those diversities; not destroying them or melding them into one view. That being said, for people to continue to make the point that 'all religions lead to the same place' is not really tolerance at all. It is one of two things as far as I can gather: either ignorance, or another religion! Nothing is being tolerated. There is nothing you can strongly disagree with and yet tolerate in that statement. I have no real idea as to why I was thinking about this, but I was. I need to start thinking more about the purpose and usefulness of tolerance. Then I will better understand when it can be used properly because there are time when tolerance is not beneficial. 
Well, anyway... one week in Marion is done! I cannot believe I've been here for a week. Church was encouraging yesterday. I am challenged to embrace the dissonance in my life and learn amidst it. I had an amazing dinner with Kristin and Grant Friday night (two students who are taking Greek at Taylor this summer). I think (and hope) that an intentional community is being made between the three of us. Perhaps, that community will enlarge this summer, or while I'm gone in the fall. Nonetheless I am so grateful to learn about the love that is entirely Christ's from them that night. How Christ's love is always direct and intentional because he abides in us. 1 John 4:10-... good stuff. I went to my grandparents house this weekend and spent time with my family and with Genna! She came up with them. Jack is so great, and it really hurts to not be around him much. He's 15 months old this week. My grandparents are full of insights and make me think... and if you know me, you know that I love that. 
     Well, I'm back at the house, and am cleaning up a bit before the Marion Family returns from their weekend vacation. I am going to go for a run, go chill at pastor's house, and aspire to almost finish Kite Runner tonight. It is exciting to read the arabic in it and recognize some of the phrases (like 'tubla' or 'inshallah')! I am reading a book about Africa and it's political, historical, social, and economical problems showing both sides of each debated issue. That should be good. 
       So what do you think? How do we stop China from providing arms and money to the Kharatorum government in Sudan and hurting Darfur? Do we refuse to provide aid for the earthquake? Is that fair? To hold back relief for them for political reasons? Well, divesting isn't being done in a big enough way to change their influence in Sudan yet, and even that will first affect the people of China- the same people we'd be holding relief from. Either way, it seems like anything we do would first affect the people of China instead of the government. I don't know... any thoughts? Will the Political statements made at the Olympics be enough? I fear that they will not do anything. These are some of my thoughts for the day...


wit' knee heights MEN said...

I have been wondering about the China-Sudan thing too. I feel like the government has so much control that doing anything would hurt the people of China. hmmm

I've struggle with the tolerance issue too. We act like we are diverse and happy, but we never talk about underlying issues or what is going on inside. Change seems to be superficial so often. I've been thinking a lot about how the church won't just agree to disagree too.

Anyway, I'm glad to hear you are doing well at your new home and such!

Abraham said...

"Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind." ―Romans 14:5

I'll let you find out for yourself what the context of that verse is.