Tuesday, July 18, 2006

My Karma Ran Over My Dogma

The hair on the back of my neck stands up when I sense the tunneling eye of stereotyping bearing down on me. We visited a local PCA church this past Sunday (not to be confused with the other PCA), and I had hoped that the Reformed dogmatism would be only mildly present. Still not sure. I'm closer to them than they realize, but I fear they may not take the time to discover this.

Imagine a continuum. <--------------------:--------------------> OK, forget imagining, just look at the stinkin' diagram. Those on the left would be of one ideological persuasion, and those on the right would be of its opposite. Those persons occupying the far right or left would see the two sides of the line as fundamentally incompatible. Similarly, to those in the extreme positions, anyone who stands near the center is perceived as "wishy-washy, " or a "fence-sitter." Now, we must allow the possibility that they are right. There are some issues that are black and white. Sometimes the best location on the line is on the furthest point East (or West).

Now, step closer to the Real World. When it comes to torturing babies for fun, I would have to be as far on the "that's-necessarily-evil" side as I can scoot. In the Reformed vs. Arminian debate, I think the center is a warm, cozy place. But one man's moderated wisdom is another man's wishy-washy maneuvering. (Am I wishy-washy?!) I respect both sides, and enjoy those who are close enough to me to carry on polite conversation. When they get too far away, however, yelling ensues and sometimes you can't hear each other at all across the distance.

I fear two tragedies in the company of Reformedogmatists: first, that they will reject me for being hopelessly lost on the God-forsaken end of the continuum (a stereotype due to my affiliations), and second, that they will fail to even discover how close to them I really am.

(Oh my God! He's sounding like Brian McLaren! Quick, nurse, administer 100cc's of Calvin's Institutes! We're losing him! Code blue! Code Blue!)


Blogger The Bearded said...

I've had similar thoughts in the past. Is it just me, or do Calvinists seem a little more likely to ensue with the yelling and desperate attempts to save the Saved? A bit of a blanket-statement, but I can't say I've ever heard a Arminian (or Weslyan, for that matter) strongly go after the likes of someone from the Calvinist camp.

5:00 PM  

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