Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Another Reason To Coexist....

"The only alternative to coexistence is codestruction."
--Jawaharlal Nehru

I am always amazed when Christians get their panties in knot when other Christians seek to be peacemakers and bridge builders to people from whom we differ. Isolating ourselves from all those with whom we differ breeds arrogance, misconceptions, insensitivity, the tendency to villify, animosity, and frankly, ignorance. Coexistence is the foreground to effective communication between conflicting views and communication is necessary for true conversion. For a refresher on my views on coexistence, see "Blessed Are The Peacemakers For They Shall be Called...Liberal Hippies?"

Even though I should see these things coming, it still shocks me.

Read Brian McLaren's response to Focus on The Family's criticism of Christians finding common ground with Muslims to better reach out to them.

Shouldn't we find points of common ground with those of different faiths and work from there?


10 comments:

DeeAnn said...

Tia~
Thanks for letting me know that you tagged me, but that's really the last thing I want to do right now. All you need to know is that I'm 33 days away from giving birth to our fifth child. I'm busy and tired. I do, however feel better emotionally and spiritually than I ever have in my life, but this housing market bubble/crash has really effected us and we could loose everything in a matter of days or things could be back to normal in a day or two. Blogging has been the last thing on my mind. You could pray for us. We both just want to be in God's will and if everything is taken away, we are fine with it, but in the meantime it's hard to go through uncertainty. I guess it does realate to some books that I have just read. "In My Father's House" and "The Hiding Place" both by Corrie ten Boom. Those will allow God to teach you to be thankful in all things and to trust in Him always. Right now I am reading "The Home: Society's Peacemaker" by Paul Anderson, yes the guy from Toccoa. It's a very good parenting book and I was surprised at how articulate the World's Strongest Man was.

Tia Lynn said...

Oh Deann! I am so sorry. I had no idea things were so bad, and right at the end of your pregnancy! I most definitely will be praying, don't give a silly survey a second though. Love you! Let me know if you need anything, like a babysitter or whatever!

matty hillard said...

You're so naive, that you would "coexist" with the devil himself, whom muslims are actually serving, wake up.

Tia Lynn said...

matty, I thought you were boycotting my blog?

tilly hester said...

How on earth does Focus on The Family expect Christians to reach, minister, and love muslims if we cannot peacefully and respectfully communicate with them?

musicmommy3 said...

You know, if I recall...Jesus was quick to critisize (sp-I know) the Christians who were hypocrites and spoke much kinder (although firmly) to the non- believers who needed Him.

I don't think you have to water down ANYTHING to speak respectfully to a human being. I don't believe in changing the gospel so someone will feel good about it BUT I don't think spearing the unbelievers with cruel words will result in anything other than alienation.

That said I am not anti FOTF. I think they do/teach some great things. I have yet (save one) to find another believer that thinks, feels, the same way as I do on EVERY issue.

Tia Lynn said...

I hear ya ang, opinionated gals like us rarely find people with whom we agree on every single issue, I never have....

Did you get the impression from the article that the christians engaging with the muslims were watering down truth? I didn’t get that impression and would not agree if that’s what was happening. I think we can up hold truth, while also using discernment on how and when to share truth, and also demonstrating humility and sacrifice before/while delivering truth, so its clear that what we say is coming from a place of love, in the spirit of reconciliation and NOT from a place of judgment and pride. It definitely is bit of a tightrope walk.

Mike L. said...

You really don't have to water down truth in order to speak to people of other faiths. You just need to recognize the ways they are also speaking the SAME truth as you. Jesus' message is true AND the same truths have been spoken by many other tradidtions. Moses, Muhammad, Buddha, Ghandhi, and many more.

The real truth is that peace through justice trumps the futile attempts at peace through violence and cohersion. That message is true despite the imagery. Turning the other cheek can be described with many symbols like "love all sentient beings" or "resist violence and respond with self-sacrifice".

It isn't necessarily about agreeing to disagree. It is more about discovering our common agreement by lifting back the veil of our unique imagery and symbolism.

The spirit of Christ is compassion and that spirit is universal. It never has to be side stepped or watered down.

Tia Lynn said...

Mike, have you ever read any of Rob Bell's books? He talks a bit about affirming the truth in other cultures, as Paul did in some of his writings. I believe he discusses it in Velvet Elvis, perhaps you'd like it.

musicmommy3 said...

"Did you get the impression from the article that the christians engaging with the muslims were watering down truth?"

um, possibly but I would have to have seen/heard the whole thing in context to get a better picture. Anyway, what I was thinking about was more along the lines of what you said about coming from a place of love and not a place of pride and judgement. I feel that as a Christian community we have been way too judgemental towards non believers and toward other believers as well. I'm not talking about calling sin something other than what it is but if you are going to point out sins in others' lives you need to come with gentleness and respect and of course with love.
I heard something awesome on the radio a few days ago. I'm not even sure who was speaking but the Christian was talking about how he no longer attacks (verbally as in a debate) those with different worldviews/religions than his. He doesn't go all out to win them over to Christ. He simply pokes small pinholes in their worldviews with the truths of God/His Word and let's the Holy Spirit do the rest. I thought it was a great strategy. :)