In Non-Essentials, liberty ...

“In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity.”

So said St. Augustine...

But how very far we stray from this in the world of American Christianity today.

The other evening we had friends over

and I started to tell a fun story about a mutual friend and acquaintance.

As one of our friends listened to the story,

he said:

"Does she go to your church?"

"Yup," I said.

"Well," this friend said ...

"I didn't think she was really a Christian,

because I knew she supported ______ [a charitable organization that has become deeply politicized]."

"What?" I said.

"Well, how could a person who is a true Christian ever support _______ [said organization]?"

I will spare you the rest of the details of this conversation.

Let's just say I raised my voice a titch ...

This kind of rash judgment of another person's faith

based on nothing about that person

except their perceived support, appreciation or lack of condemnation

of one of the hot-button social issues of the day,

is patently ridiculous,

mean-spirited

and an affront to the love, grace, unity and mercy Jesus died for.

It is also an affront to the idea that Jesus' followers can hold a wide range of views on a wide range of issues.

His disciples certainly did.

There is nothing uglier in followers of Jesus

than self-congratulatory

moral

self-righteousness, 

combined with

moralistic

judgmentalism

of other people's faith based on 

what St. Augustine would clearly call

"non-essentials."

Let's not do it.



Tags: Called to Community, Living Hospitably, Developing a Rule of Life