In our ever-divided country, a lot of us are pointing our fingers to the left and the right and describing left-wing/right-wing fundamentalism. Recently, I read a blog article entitled, The Five Features of Fundamentalism by John Donaher. I was curious to see what the “pathology” of fundamentalist thinking looks like. I wondered, Do I behave like a fundamentalist? How would I know?
Here are the features of fundamentalism:
As people of faith, we are especially at risk. These qualities can happen even when we aspire to be liberal-minded and inclusive. I remember going to a church that prided itself on being open and affirming, but boy, did they get spiteful about those conservative Christians! It’s easy to find reasons to distrust and dislike. We are all at risk of fundamentalism. If you don’t agree with me, you’re banished! (just kidding).
Jesus was never a fundamentalist. And he could have been the very best one.
He could have divided the whole world by himself and us -sinners. He didn't. Jesus opposed the Roman Empire, but had mercy on the Roman Centurian and his servant. Jesus knew that they were going to execute him, and yet he never gave in to paranoia and distrust. Jesus predicted an apocalypse and admonished his followers to prepare for it, not prevent it. His life was wrapped in the life of God. His hope and agenda were God’s. No one got excommunicated when they walked away. No one.
I want to be like Jesus. Probably, you do too. The more we do, the safer we are from this trap. And the more whole our lives will be. So today, I’m putting aside my part-time fundamentalism for a full time commitment to following Jesus. Join me?
-- Pastor Rebecca
Most of the blog articles are written by our Rector, The Rev. Rebecca Ragland