Beck Garrison writes, “When I arrived at Yale Divinity School back in 1988, I expected to engage in an intense period of discussion and self-reflection around issues like eschatology, evangelism, and ecclesiology with fellow Protestants of all stripes (with a few Catholics thrown in as sort of a guilty pleasure). After all, despite our theological differences, surely we all at least bought into this Nicene Creed biz, where it clearly states that Jesus was born, died, and then rose again from the dead?
“Silly me. Instead, way, way, way too much time was spent navel gazing over trivial topics like ‘Why can’t priests be promiscuous?’ ‘What priestly perks come with this parish?’ ‘Is YDS a Christian divinity school?’ (This Q comes courtesy of the fundy faithful). And my favorite: ‘Why don’t you use ^%$#@ inclusive language in worship?’ (Uh, Jesus was a ‘dude.’ Hello.) I just don’t see why the creator of all, who loves all creation unconditionally, would bring his son into the world to suffer, die, and then rise from the dead unless he knew such an act was needed to transform the world. There’s no way God would have given us the gift of eternal life just so we could stage Christian catfights that make us all look like biblical buffoons.
“Yes, we can point the finger at silver tongued televangelists and politicians behaving unbiblically. But the more I cover Christian carnage, I realize that this foolish quest to conform Christ’s teachings to the whims of one’s own socio-political agenda has started to stink up the local churches big time. I know Jesus was born in a barn, but do churches have to smell like one as well? In Jesus Died for This? I will pick up my pitchfork and muck out the spiritual stables for signs of the living Christ hidden under the mounds of Jesus junk and faith fertilizer.”
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