“If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.” Galatians 5:15
The title line for this devotion comes from a book called “Changing the Conversation: A Third Way for Congregations” by Anthony B. Robinson. The book takes us on a journey – a search for a way to see the world that is not divided into camps like “blue” and “red”; black and white; liberal and conservative.
In spite of how the Christian church has succumbed to the temptation to be “liberal” or “conservative”, is it possible that Jesus offers humankind a third way? Rather than think about membership in a particular church – like joining one or another political party – what if we thought about discipleship? Does this enable us to think beyond what Robinson calls “tired polarities”?
Polarities, whether they are politically motivated or religiously fueled, are wearying at best. At worst, they destroy us.
The biggest criticism of the search for a “third way” is the fear of compromise. What if we lose sight of the truth in our determination to be more loving? Isn’t there a real danger that our “truth” will become entirely subjective – it feels right, so it is right?
Sometimes it seems as if what Paul wrote to the Galatians is being played out on the national stage of our political system. And religious people get pulled into the fray. People of faith are seen – metaphorically speaking by way of blogs, tweets, status updates and web sites, and literally on our TV screens and in our churches – fighting each other – “biting and devouring each other”.
Lord, teach us to be lovers, listeners, learners. May Jesus be our guide as we engage in conversation and formulate our convictions. Rooted in faith, engaged in the world, let us walk in the way of Jesus today.
Have a blessed Tuesday.