Christians are good at drawing lines and creating boundaries, proclaiming one group in and another group out...
It is easy to look at the lives of our neighbours and fellow believers and to find fault...
It is easy to pass comment, to judge; and yet all of these things diminish us.
I am privileged to be training for ministry on an ecumenical course, it is largely Anglican and I am one of the few Methodists, there is also a lone URC student, but interestingly it is not the denominational barriers that cause difficulties but the theological ones. As a community we struggle at times to understand one another's standpoints and interpretations of Scripture or Tradition which seem obvious to us. It is essential that we hold one another in grace- that wonderful gift of God, it is essential that we are willing to hear, to be stretched and changed by one another. It is essential that we view one another as God's instruments, and as those who have responded to her call.
So how do we interact in the blogosphere? Do we merely interact with those who are like minded? Do we steer well clear of blogs that we disagree with, or do we attempt to use this medium to interact in a positive way with one another?
Groups like the synchroblog team are making a start along this road, we do come from different traditions and backgrounds, and we attempt to hear and understand one another, but we struggle at times. What saddens me about some of the interaction between Christians in the blogosphere is that the dialogue lacks grace, we become keen to prove our point to be seen to be right. I wonder how this type of rhetoric is perceived by folk browsing by?
The challenge then, to hear one another, to seek to be inclusive rather than exclusive and if need be to agree to disagree- to seek to show grace and love- for Jesus commanded us in this:
John 13:34-35 "Let me give you a new command: Love one another. In the same way I loved you, you love one another. This is how everyone will recognise that you are my disciples—when they see the love you have for each other."
and Paul remind us that:
Romans 12:3 Living then, as every one of you does, in pure grace, it's important that you not misinterpret yourselves as people who are bringing this goodness to God. No, God brings it all to you. The only accurate way to understand ourselves is by what God is and by what he does for us, not by what we are and what we do for him.