The Thirty Minute Blogger

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Friday, May 22, 2015

Taking Back My Faith from the Angry and Fearful

Beginning in the last quarter of the twentieth century, people of faith (okay, Christians like me to narrow the focus a bit) of moderate to progressive leaning (except for the extremely progressive) have been reluctant to speak up in the face of very angry voices coming from the extreme ends of the faith, both very conservative and very liberal. As a result, Christianity has been painted as an extreme faith filled with angry voices fearfully reacting to the world around them. They have lashed out against those who believe differently than they do. They have attempted to get everyone to bow to their belief system, at least to the extent that propositions and/or theories are not raised in their presence that would challenge even some tiny corner of what they believe. The rest of us have recoiled from the onslaught, shaking our hands and heads, quietly saying they don't speak for us, but doing very little about it. As a result, the faith of love, hope, and truth that I believe in has not been represented. The faith that bridges gaps between others rather than erecting firewalls, the faith that believes God loves everyone and wishes to know them all (to love them all ... let's be specific here ... and see the parable of the Prodigal Son for details about what that means), and the faith that firmly believes we have to work hard to help others and protect the world we were given as stewards, needs representation. The faith that has no problem with scientific advance, by the way, needs representation. More to the point, this faith needs action.

The silence of the vast majority has also led to a reactionary, angry, fearful atheism spawned right out of the most right wing elements of the faith. This has led to another nattering class slinging epiphets and stooping to the most childish taunts. All the adherents of both these faiths (yes, both are faith systems) are now far too willing to stoop to rank bigotry and that must stop. Fair warning, I will call out bigots on all sides of this fracas when I hear or see them. It has to stop.

There are many wonderful examples of faithful people helping others. For the past few years, I have been providing my alternate point of view via this blog and several church blogs. I'll be stepping up my campaign in a wide variety of ways in the years ahead. I hope like minded people of faith will join me. We have too much to do and too many skewed perspectives to correct to remain silent any longer. If you want to see what my denonmination does regularly to help others, look up the history of American Baptist Churches, USA ... and the Northern Baptists (our predecessor organization). We have a long history of standing up for the civil and human rights of others. It is a history I support and look to extend into the future.

God bless you all. 

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