Friday, November 30, 2007

Quote for the Day

St. Irenaeus, a second-century church leader, said, "The glory of God is a person fully alive." Contradicting his vision, Christians are often seen as legalistic, uptight, literalistic, negative, repressed, less likely to celebrate life in God than wag fingers of disapproval at those whose lifestyle or doctrine seems alien to them. Hesitant to transgress, such Christian believers live out of restricted lives following traditional rules rather than moving into fresh, original, Holy Spirit-stirred thinking and living.

Religious fundamentalism of any variety tends to produce fear. Fear flows from the "fortress mentality," a protective, defensive "us-versus-them" attitude. Paranoia may result. Because of the stringent attempt to preserve orthodoxy, because of the fear that any belief that hasn't been spelled out and codified may in some way jeopardize the central tenets of our faith, any attempt to question the standard interpretation of a creedal statement is likely to be characterized as heterodox, a detour into liberalism.

Luci Shaw, in The Crime of Living Cautiously.

And thanks, Luci. I needed that right at the moment.

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