So, is there another way for the Conservative Christians besides culture wars and withdrawal into themselves? Nate Pyle thinks so. Speaking of the Evangelicals and starting (again) with Wheaton College trying to purge itself of an inconvenient theology professor, he writes,
....Crossing evangelicals' traditional boundaries are perceived as a threat and met with animosity and conflict.And he bemoans
It seems like, with recent actions, that a diversity of thought is a threat. Which makes me wonder if we could sit down with the Samaritan woman at the well and have the conversation Jesus did. Because our current actions show us more interested in making sure people know that we worship God on the right hill than understanding who they are.But he calls for something quite different:
As the church continues to figure out how to exist in a post-Christian society the question before us is, will our efforts to be distinct from culture come through ritual observance and strict boundary keeping, or will it come through radical concern for the other? Do we cut off relationship with those who think differently than us and make it harder for people to come into community with us, or do we change how we approach our differences? Are we willing to start with a new garment?
I believe the time has come for Christian communities to practice hospitality. Not niceness, but the radical welcoming of the other. Inviting the stranger to the table because we believe that, as human beings, they have a right to belong. The time has come to understand that the Spirit of the Living Christ, the one who touches the unclean and does not become unclean, lives in us. Jesus did not call his followers to remain within the boundaries of an ideology, but to break from and help those in need.Engagement, or isolation. Which will it be?
Click here for the whole series. (once it's published)