When We Are Divided by Jesus' Name?
There was a time, a few years ago, when my meeting was quite divided by Christocentric messages, and the reaction to them. We met, we spoke and less tension resulted. However, of late, this tension is back. Many Friends leave meeting angered by the notion that they are being proselytized to when Jesus or Christ is mentioned in meeting.
At times I refer to Jesus' ministry, and yet, I do not say that Jesus is the single path to God, or IS uniquely God born on earth, any more than each of us have the potential to be fully present to God within ourselves and others... but, I feel, as one who is drawn to Jesus' ministry, I must again pose the question, as I did in the past, what do we do, together, when the name of Jesus divides us.
Well, perhaps we who speak of Jesus might ask about what it means to not worship another God before Me. By creating a unique role of one man in salvation, are we perhaps inviting outrage? Historically, it is a fact, should we study the documents of the time, that Jesus was in fact a man. Could it be that we endanger the peace of meetings when we make an idol of him, an abstraction for God? I think most of us don't do that. But is that not the danger of paganism, my God is bigger than your God? On Amanda's blog, ( Best Stuff and Plain in my links ) Jeff Hipp proposes that we have to be careful of not alienating many Friends in Africa and other places. Yes, absolutely, but Quaker unity is not about numbers, it is about openness to the process of moving towards God. If we are driving others out of the peace and unity of God in the name of Jesus, what have we done, if not made greatly complex the process of coming to unity, and then, often we create divisions in our faith and what difference is there in our community of active love, than any other who war with whatever means for the ego of our abstractions...
I don't know. This is pure query... I really don't know. Let's labor together.