Saturday, May 27, 2006

Getting into hot water...

I avoid trouble. (I have found that it only causes headaches.)

I was reading a horsey book (I am not a horsey person) but it is quite inspiring besides the cheesy horses on the cover (Run with the Horses by Eugene Peterson). And I came accross another good quote from one of the most quotable Christians who ever lived - GK Chesterton. Here it is:

"I believe in getting into hot water, it keeps you clean."

One of the things I struggle with in the church (particularly the seminary) is the sometimes and often reluctance to get into debate. When there is debate - the water boils. The subjects of debate are always too hot or too close for comfort. (I am one of those who boils too soon.) I worry that the 'cut and thrust' of classroom debate might be a bit more 'hack and shove.'

I guess to change the world we start with ourselves... so I'll work on it.

But wouldn't it be nice if debates in the church didn't run so quickly to boiling point but just remained hot enough to keep us all clean.

1 comment:

Rock in the Grass said...

Hey - I love the analogy. We need debate to cleanse our thinking. But somehoe Christian people are afraid of expressing our differences. So either we end up pretending that "we cordially agree". Or we just leave and find another church/home group/ fellowship where everyone agrees with me. And so lose an opportunity for growth. I believe that this can be traced to two reasons:
1. Some of this stems from the individualistic understanding we have of our faith. It is all about me. And when I am with people who disagree - such as with the issue of homosexuality - I do not listen to those who think differently. "They" are obviously wrong! I believe that only when we understand that our faith is communal will we begin to appreciate the need for dialogue and differences of opinion.
2. Sometimes this comes from the experience of "group-think". I do not think my thoughts unless the group gives me permission to think. So I will remain silent on the morality of , for example, Jacob Zuma - until the group gives me permission to say something.
so we live in the cusp of the dialectic: the tension between the group and the individual. Which is another way of saying 'damned if I do and damned if I don't'