Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Not welcome on the ranch.

Mainline/Evangelical Christianity is an interesting behemoth of a club.

One of the major shifts that I see taking place in people moving from a "modernist" to "post-modernist" mindset is one's concern with propositional and absolute truths. In this transition, it becomes less about who's right vs. who's wrong, and more about grace. To put it simply: it becomes about inclusion vs. exclusion.

Cults don't typically hold a generous orthodoxy, though. For a cult to be effective, absolute control must be maintained. One of the most efficient ways of accomplishing that is through doctrinal control. If a leader or leaders set up a group's belief set and don't allow any variations on it, then their mission is complete. If you question a leader or a belief, then you question the integrity of the entire group. More than likely, you would be kicked out of the cult and removed from the compound.

You would not be welcome on the ranch.

Sadly enough, this is all too common in Christian churches. Pastors and leaders encourage groupthink--a set of beliefs and ideas are decided upon and everyone is expected to think, believe and act just like everyone else. If you were to (God forbid) use your brain, logic and reasoning to come up with ideas that were outside of their predetermined beliefs, then you aren't welcome on the compound anymore.

(What an alarming similarity.)

Christians need to make a remarkable turn to grace--a return to unbounded love, giving hearts, and intelligent conversation. We should be working to reverse the atrocities committed by the Church. We should be working to reverse the mindsets of so many people who see Christians as close-minded, homophobic, hypocritical and judgmental. Instead, I hear stories about people being kicked off the ranch.

God gave us brains. Let us use them!

Think for yourselves. Question. Voice your doubts. Embrace opposing viewpoints.

Live freely.