Here we go again. This is a response from again my Methodist neighbor regarding a friend of his who is not a Christian who’s name is Ron. I have made bold in red where we disagree…any thoughts are appreciated. Thanks guys!!!
Don’t let yourself fall into the trap of “glittering generalities,” especially the false assumption of the Press that “Christianity = fundamentalism.” Some holy-rollers on a quest for Power take advantage of this misconception. It is a small minority of Christians who are rigid narrow-minded fundamentalists. They are by no means mainstream, despite their political involvement, which is exaggerated.
And never assume that all believers of a certain stripe agree with their most radical brothers.
I would stick my neck out so far as to say MOST Christians are not in full agreement about all the details. However, they all agree on the core beliefs.
Even the more rigid dogmatic traditions of the Roman Catholic, Jewish and Eastern Orthodox churches have their internal disagreements.
There is a worldwide movement toward Christian Unity, comprised of people who have seen the Truth AND have open minds.
Rigid, narrow-minded thinking causes division. Flexible, open-minded thinking encourages unity.
You are absolutely right about the Golden Rule. It comes straight out of the Bible that you view as a source for “antiquated and nasty remedies.” And although Jesus said it in Matthew, He was making reference to its use by the ancient Hebrews in the Old testament. The Golden Rule pre-dates written language, and every major faith tradition has its version of it. Karma, anyone?
Taoist tradition matches Christian teaching rather well. Even the duality of Taoism sounds a lot like the parables of Christ, and the couplets of Isaiah. No contradictions there.
As for “arrogance” about the One True God, this is actually an area of agreement among major religions. Christians, Jews and Muslims all worship the same God. As far as “our way is the right way” thinking goes, that is pretty much true of any organized group. Who wants to join a group that says, “It really doesn’t matter what you believe in?” Okay, maybe Unitarian Universalists, and perhaps Ba’hai, but no major mainstream group.
Note to Ron: That was a joke. Unitarian Universalists are actually mainstream Christians, sort of. A lot of people who think like you end up in that group.
There are actually mainstream Christian denominations that promote tolerance of those whose beliefs are different. In fact, my church promotes “Open Hearts, Open Minds, and Open Doors.”
Both President Bush and Hillary Clinton belong to my church. We have no “litmus test.”