Friday, February 16, 2007

Liberal? Conservative? or?

I have been thinking lately of how I don't really want to be fully associated with either "side" of the church or of politics. I definitely have leanings to the "left", but there are other places where I am at least more moderate if not "right" leaning. So my new approach is to consider myself an "inclusivist". There are definitely areas where I am more bull-headed than others, and yet, I think the voice of the "other" calls us into accountability. Maybe I'm not making clear sense. Let me try and explain.

When I was in seminary it became very clear to me that every theological movement is a reaction against some other theological stance. God is all powerful.....what about free will?? Grace cleanses us forever....aren't we totally depraved? Works are necessary....but isn't that only because they are the fruit of our inner relationship and change? In other words, each theology calls us into accountability with the other. Hence, both are important. I would argue that similarly something happens with politics/economics etc--the dialectical nature of things should draw us into accountability, and shouldn't push us off the deep end in either direction. I'm an inclusivist in so far as I want everyone to feel loved, be known, and be a part.

Granted, I would wrestle with the notion of the Klan walking into my church and being "honored" or "respected" for their stance. I can respect that they have a stance, but don't have to respect it. And yet, my hope is that in honest, caring community, we can all grow closer to the ideals of understanding, mercy, and justice. Now, if you are opposed to those ideals in and of themselves, I don't know what to do with you because I am not sure what "accountability" offers. I think I am rambling....maybe I should stop before I get too far behind...

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