So as we wandered around Borders contemplating how none of the sections had quite the book we were looking for we came across this – a perfect metaphor!
I have regularly mentioned the Catholic/Protestant bickering that seems still to be tearing at the body of Christ. A recent article from ekklesia seems to have taken a rather eclectic approach to name game.
Catholic” and “Roman Catholic” are not the only complexities these days. More urgent, most urgent, is the task of dealing in a fair way with the many, many brands of Christians who get lumped together as “Evangelicals,” especially in political discourse, where they get miscast simply as “the Christian right.”
…”Mainline Protestants” didn’t and don’t like their name, which is usually used pejoratively by non-Protestants, most of whom never liked and few ever use the accidentally applied term “Protestant” itself.
I think this sums the attitude some Christians have towards their brothers and sisters. The times I have heard those who chose to label themselves people accuse the ‘others’ of indoctrination without examining where their own opinion was learned. We seem to be in a situation where ever decreasing battle lines are being drawn. ‘He’s an evangelical? But is he a good evangelical?‘ Well it depends on which evangelical you want me to be like? Do you want me to be a right wing fire and brimstone spitting good evangelical? Sorry, I’ll get my coat.
It is time we moved from a situation where people feel inclined to appologise when asked by another christian about their roots. We shouldn’t be in a situation here people feel thy have to say ‘I’m an Anglican (sorry)’ or ‘I’m a Catholic, I’ll get me coat’. So what happens when people start pointing out that by referring to themselves as “Christian, I follow Christ but I worship at X” use this to increase their sense of superiority? Who can say?
Here’s something you can do – probably without leaving the house! A few months ago I met guy called John who takes amazing shots using a pinhole camera. I learned how to make a camera obscurer at primary school so I understood the principle. I did a little research into the topic and realised that half of the fun of pinhole photography is the Blue Peter aspect of making the camera. I discovered that I could make a home made pinhole camera without even leaving the house as I had a film sitting on the shelf.