Tuesday, 25 January 2011

[You'll come back...]

So this last week (apparently) we were supposed to be all about Christian Unity. I’ve read lots of interesting discussions about this recently – both on Facebook and blogs (including Matt’s, Richard’s and David’s) – all of whom have very interesting points to make. And I must say that it’s challenged me.

I’ve never really thought about it before. I mean, I know I like Methodism, but I’ve never really thought of why that is, other than the fact that I’ve grown up with it, so I’m used to it. I’ve been to FURY (Fellowship of United Reformed Youth) as well as MYC/MYA (Methodist Youth Conference/Assembly respectively – the former before the latter) and, as lovely and welcoming as FURY were (and are, I hasten to add!) MYC/A still feels like home.

I’ve come to the conclusion that my idea of Christian Unity may be very different from other people’s. I was sure that I’d read in one of the aforementioned blogs about Christianity being like a family, but when I just had a quick look (I started writing this at least a week ago) I couldn’t find it. Anyway, a family is just what I see Christianity as being.

I don’t think that this is a new idea, or an unusual metaphor. In fact, I think we might use it so often we forget about the meaning. I’m the last one that needs to be reminded about the differences I have with other Christians. Whether these are things I’m not sure of myself, things I know I have a very set view on (which I know others disagree with) I recognise that we all think different things. But that’s fine. And yes, I will pray that we all come closer together as a family, because I do not think that this means that we all need to be the same.

For example, say my Uncle Bob thinks that I do not have the right or the means to talk to God directly, and have to go to a priest. If that’s what Uncle Bob thinks, that’s great, good for him. I, on the other hand, think that I can talk to God whenever I want, and don’t need a priest to act as a bridge between us. My cousin Fred, however, might think that I can only make a decision about what I believe once I’m 21. I think that while this has good and bad points, an individual should be allowed to make their own decision about when they are ready to publically declare their faith. I’m sure you get the idea – just because we don’t agree on everything doesn’t make us love each other any less or make us any less of a family. In fact, it makes us stronger and closer, as no matter who comes to join us at the dinner table, there will be someone else there that can relate to the guest. (The dinner table wasn’t meant as a theological reference, by the way, although I see the parallels. It just happens to be where most new people are introduced to my particular family).

All in all, what I’m trying to say is be who you are, be what you want, so long as you show love and respect to everyone else. That means not pushing your views onto other people, as this will only cause argument. By all means discuss your views, so long as at the end of the day you can just agree to disagree. This works (to a large extent) in a normal family, so why not in the Church? I realise that to some this may be an idyllic scenario, but I really don’t see why it can’t work. I may just be unbelievably naive, or we, as a Church, are just incredibly stupid.

Think about it.

In other news, exams are nearly over now (2/3rds done, 2 to go) and I have a busy few weekends lined up. This blogging every week thing is not going to go well.

I’d just like to leave you with the lyrics to a brilliant song I’ve recently discovered. It’s called “The Call” by Regina Spektor. I must admit that Matt’s been on at me for a while to listen to her, but I’ve just not got round to it, or forgotten. Still, youtube it if you have a couple of minutes to spare. Think about the lyrics while you’re listening – they’re quite moving. You might recognise it from the Narnia series – great films.

It started out as a feeling, which then grew into a hope, which then turned into a quiet thought, which then turned into a quiet word, and then that word grew louder and louder, 'til it was a battle cry.
I'll come back when you call me - no need to say goodbye. Just because everything's changing doesn't mean it's never been this way before; all you can do is try to know who your friends [and family?] are as you head off to the war. Pick a star on the dark horizon and follow the light. You'll come back when it's over - no need to say good bye.
You'll come back when it's over - no need to say good bye.
Now we're back to the beginning. It's just a feeling and no one knows yet, but just because they can't feel it too doesn't mean that you have to forget. Let your memories grow stronger and stronger, 'til they're before your eyes.
You'll come back when they call you - no need to say good bye.
You'll come back when they call you - no need to say good bye

How true is this for us, if “they” are your family? Either your brothers and sisters through blood, your chosen brothers and sisters, or your brothers and sisters in Christ? Will you come back when they call you?

1 comment:

Rob said...

Have a read of City Changing Prayer by Debra and Frank Green - it's about a prayer movement in Manchester in the early 90s that succeeded in bringing together very different parts of the church through a common ground approach. I think you'll like it :)