I found myself recently in a conversation with a lady at the Barnes and Noble in Tyler about Christianity. I'm not sure how it ended up there, since it began with her, out of the blue, asking me if I'd ever been to Europe. I suppose it wasn't totally "out of the blue," as we were standing in the travel section. Regardless, it landed on Christianity.
She told me she was a Christian, but also a Buddhist and a believer in New Age. She gave her own version of the "all paths lead to God" speech. I told her that ten years ago it would have freaked me out hearing someone say those things, but that I'm much more open these days. I said that I'm still not where she is, because I have problem reconciling her views with what I believe Jesus taught, but that I can understand and respect where she was coming from. Apparently she took my words that I'm "still not where she is" to mean, that someday I WILL be there. She then told me, in the sweetest manner possible, that it's ok, because I'm younger than her and she has actually STUDIED world religions.
Yesterday I received a response to THIS POST, from over a year ago. In an otherwise respectful reply, the gentleman made this comment... "I guess you must`ve listened to the wrong guy or read the wrong book and blindly or should I say ignorantly made a conclusion."
I just love how people have found creative ways of saying "You don't know what the hell you're talking about," while attempting to appear humble and gentle. It's as if their mom is whispering in one ear "Be nice," and their dad in the other "WIN,WIN, WIN."
I believe people become this way when they have lost, or have never cultivated, a sense of genuine curiosity. I am drawn to those who see people as endless supplies of stories and perspectives, not as subjects to sway to their respective camps of thought. This is the weakness of the evangelical youth culture I was reared in. I went to camps to learn how to be a "soul winner." I was taught how to help the lost become found. Never once was I told that the people I run across who believe different from me actually have something to speak into my life.
I'm still not there, but I'm trying...