I am fascinated with people's interests. I'm amazed by the variety of things which make people happy. I get a thrill by finding a good piece of jewelry for almost nothing at a garage sale or charity shop. I love pruning azaleas and hand-weeding flower beds. I polish silver for relaxation. I love reading history, theology and murder mysteries. So many interests, so little time.
I'm reading a thread of an online evangelical group I joined a year or so ago. I seldom respond to the issues because the first time I responded I got whip-lash from the hostile response. This group enjoys bad mouthing my denomination although all are a part of the same Church. They agree with one another on how crappy everything is going but don't ever comment on the need to renew their own commitment. Well, once or twice renewal was mentioned but they meant for someone else to renew, not them.
Great quantities of passion are being spewed on the latest round of upset with the group. The subject is the Lord's Supper with subtext of how the Roman Catholics are apostate about the Mass. Ok, ok. Protestants do this kind of thing every now and then. I keep thinking we are over it but it heaves up. The wild thing about all the passion is that many of the correspondents in this group have NO CLUE about the Reformed understanding of the sacraments so additional voices have to chime in to give them clues.
Then the group began discussing throwing out all of our confessional documents because the documents are old. Oh puleeze! I value these documents because of the historicity, clear theology and usefulness in worship and teaching. I've read and re-read the catechisms, creeds and statements of faith religiously through the years. One member did comment that perhaps the group had not read the confessional documents. No one agreed with this. Let's just throw the entire history out because it may be tainted by liberals.
Just when I was getting ill with the group (not the first time for stupid overload and POD -pious and overly devotional) the new thread began when one of the members left the blog address for his poetry.
His blog announces that he is intimate with God and further, God gives him this poetry. First, if this is God's poetry then God needs to return to Freshman high school creative writing and listen to the teacher. Second, it is appalling for an elder of the church to not understand that our knowledge of God comes from the Bible first and foremost. God doesn't select us for a chat fest that we are to put into a blog as God's own. A group member responded with a succinct 'shut up' to the blogger which pleased me no end but did make me wonder if we'd have fireworks. Heck no! The group is so insulated that they just heh-heh-ed and moved on.
What if a 'liberal' commented? The entire group would have risen up to blast the liberal.
Excuse me, but doesn't it make more sense to listen and ponder differing views? Is orthodoxy only one type of voice?
Passion for purity I understand. Passion for engagement with others I admire. Passion for sameness I do not like.
What's your thinking on this?