"Having a blog is like wandering around your house naked with the windows open; it's all very liberating until someone looks in the window. However, while being caught unawares is one thing, it is quite another to stroll up to the window and press your naked, flabby body against the coolness of the glass in a hideous form of vertical prostration for all the world to see..." These posts are the smudges that are left behind on the window.

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Dandelions and Daffodils

Let it never be said that I can't change my mind! I have recently changed my mind on one of my most fundamental beliefs - something I've held since was in my teens. In fact I have written about it on this very blog.


There is a blog that I follow a bit, and sometimes post comments on. It has become more and more apparent that the author of the blog, and most of her commenters are charismatic. In fact I would say that a good chunk of the people on the blog also go to the same church.

The other day the topic was Spiritual Gifts. Now I have been mulling over this topic for awhile, and not really sure where I stand on this, but I posted a comment that took a different point of view than most of the others, and was basically summarily dismissed. Needless to say this just annoyed me. I can handled someone having a different opinion - thats fine - but to just dismiss it outright I felt was just rude. I wasn't impressed.

But then something happened.

A picture of a field of wild flowers popped into my head. At first I didn't know what to make of this. Had that burrito at lunch finally returned to that it's revenge? Were the mushrooms I bought off the guy on the street actually magic like he said? But then it slowly dawned on me; this is how God sees all the different versions of Christianity. Each one is beautiful in its own way. Each one has a certain type of attraction. Not all people are attracted to the same kind of flowers, so it takes differing kinds. Not only that, but it is actually the variety that is beautiful. A field that is all one type of flower is not as beautiful as one that is filled with all sorts of flowers. One might say yes, but there is beauty in a monolith. And while that is true, the monolith is only beautiful in contrast to its surroundings. Not only is the variety beautiful, but God wants this variety because each one celebrates a different aspect of his essence: the timelessness of the liturgy, the emotion of the charismatic. the fervency of the evangelical, etc.

I didn't necessarily think that everyone should believe like me, but I did think that there shouldn't be any distinctions. And this is where there is a very big BUT (you knew there had to be one). The field of wild flowers is only beautiful if they aren't fighting with one another, or thinking they should be the only ones in the field, and trying to take over - when that happens we call them weeds - and we pull them out and burn them. And the problem with this whole thing is that I'm not sure that humanity, particularly certain conservative protestant denominations, can actually stop thinking they should be the only ones in the field. I mean let's be honest, Catholics, Anglicans, Methodists, Lutherans etc don't have this problem.

It's the old joke about the guy who dies and goes to heaven. St Peter meets him at the pearly gates and as he leads him in he says to the guy "be quiet as we pass the next room". In the room are a bunch of people praising and worshipping. The guy asks St Peter "who are they?" St Peter says "oh, them. Those are the (insert whatever conservative protestant denomination you want in here) . They think they're the only ones here".

For my part though, I'm going to be ok with whatever denomination or tradition you belong to. I may not agree with everything you believe, but I will try to look for the common ground between us. After all, I can't control what other people think. I can only control what I think, and that's hard enough most times.