Thursday, July 19, 2012

Theology & Friendship

"A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity" (Proverbs 17.17 NIV). How does one maintain cordial relationship while deep theological differences exist between friends? When two "friends" teach and preach conflicting theological systems, can they "really" continue to be friends? This was apparent during our recent denominational biennial gathering this past month. Underneath all of the positioning and "fronting" it became obvious that one group was going to "win." Despite all the tension and uneasiness of the conversations over "ordination of women" - the feminist language of freedom ironically came off quite oppressive to those who were culturally steeped in traditions of hierarchy and honor. But aside from the shame-based honorable acts and the guilt-based hopes of justice, nobody won this round. Even though the vote came down to a 60/40 split between the "yeas" & "nays" - we all walked away broken and defeated. Those who felt the exhilaration of victory walked past those who carried the despair of defeat. Hopefully after the smoke clears, some brave soul will walk the battlefield to care for the wounded and bury the dead with honor. Nothing is going to be the same, "the horse has left the barn" and the barn has burnt to the ground. God have mercy on us all.

No comments: