Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Warren and Boyd Blow My Mind

A couple of weeks ago, after Dearie and I finished up David Letterman, we happened upon The Charlie Rose Show. As guests, were Rick Warren and Gregory Boyd. Now, I read The Purpose Driven Life and Dearie has read The Purpose Driven Church. The man is no idiot. He has alot to say. I ended up not liking the book, though because Warren made God sound like a whiny teenage girl. God wants me to constantly tell him/her how great s/he is. And God tested our friendship to make sure I really liked him/her. etc. etc. It just made God sound so...pathetic. I'm pretty sure God is confident in his omnipotence and God knows my heart and my weakness.

I had never heard of Gregory Boyd until coincidentally a few minutes before we came upon the show, Dearie was telling me about his church in St. Paul. (We love St. Paul and miss Minnesota terribly) from the New York Times article (there is a link on his website) " Before the last presidential election, he preached six sermons called “The Cross and the Sword” in which he said the church should steer clear of politics, give up moralizing on sexual issues, stop claiming the United States as a “Christian nation” and stop glorifying American military campaigns. 'When the church wins the culture wars, it inevitably loses,' Mr. Boyd preached. 'When it conquers the world, it becomes the world. When you put your trust in the sword, you lose the cross.'" Boyd is a very influential conservative Christian minister. And this sermon series lost him 1,000 of his 5,000 members.

As we watched the show, my mind was completely blown. And in a good way. I felt such joy and warmth welling up in me. Here were two of the most influential Evangelical church leaders. Warren talking about ecumenism and finding common ground and that as Christians we have more in common than we do dividing us. And Boyd saying "When were we ever a 'Christian' Nation?" When we were slaughtering Native Americans as we colonized their land, when we were capturing and dragging thousands of African peoples here to be slaves? All I could say over and over as I listened to him talk was "Holy Crap!" I've just ordered his book based on the sermon series.

So, does this mean that I am moving farther from the left and more toward the center? Does this mean that they are moving away from the right and into the center? Yes, and no. No, because hopefully God will continue to reveal him/herself to us in vastly different ways so that we can see how none of us has a handle on who God is. So we can begin to understand that God surpasses our measily human understanding, is bigger than any box we try to put him/her in. I still disagree theogically with many of the Fundamentalist beliefs, and many of their social stances. But Yes, we are hopefully moving to the center, if the center finally becomes God and not our idealologies and earthly agendas. Yes, if we are ready to learn from each other. Yes, if we finally get the religion out of the government.