Sunday, August 12, 2007

Still drawing lines that divide

“…Professor put my life on the board. He drew a line that angled uphill: ‘Many evangelical students see their life as a progression from the legalism of their youth to a more mature Christianity that stresses issues of lifestyle and justice and explores authentic Christianity. It appears they have moved forward.’ Then he drew a circle and wrote “legalism,” “simple lifestyle,” “freedom to drink,” and “issues of justice” at different points. ‘They move along, but they are not going anywhere. They just change one means of judging themselves as superior for another.’

“I had used the “broadening” of my faith perspective in the same way I used the legalism I was born into: to draw lines between myself and others. I considered myself right in relation to others because my Christianity now included concern for the poor, a realization that those who consumed alcohol could be Christians and a commitment to social justice and a simple lifestyle… I had torn down one house and built another that looked so different I never realized that the foundation of the houses was the same.”

from Religious No More: Building Communities of Grace and Freedom

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