Tuesday, March 20, 2007
Synchroblog: guilty by associationAt the end of last year, a few people in the blogosphere, all Christians who'd had opportunity to read each others blogs - or some of them - decided to get together and post, on a theological, religious or spiritual topic once a month, calling ourselves "Synchrobloggers". We change the topic each month, and there's a wide spectrum of different traditions from around the world. We'd like to recruit more, but it's only just started. You can see my last post (with a link to the others also posting) here.
Because the traditions and theological backgrounds are so different, the views expressed are also very broad, and it's fair to say that it's unlikely that any one person will agree with everything that all the others say. For instance, I'm very liberal in my theological outlook, and that's reflected in my views on sexuality. Sally has a lot of time for alternative spiritualities, as well as a strongly feminist slant to her theology, and so on. It's less of a meeting of minds, and more a meeting of intent: that each of us should have the chance to express our views, read the views of others, and then comment and discuss. There have been some occasions when certain people's views have been rejected, and though it's difficult, that's OK, as well. We each walk our own path, following God's guidance as best we can.
However, we heard today that someone had to leave their job(*) - in Christian ministry - because they had linked to the synchroblogs. Not because they had endorsed any particularly unorthodox views. Not because they had refused to condemn any particularly contentious posts. But because they had linked to a collection of blogs, some of which expressed views that some members of their community couldn't stomach.
This saddens me. It reviles me. It angers me. I feel guilty, humble, and proud. All at the same time. I'm not sure I should feel proud, to be honest, but it's there. I need to unpack it.
I believe that we're doing God's work, here. We're struggling with our faith. Battling. Rejoicing. Of course we're getting it wrong. But we're open to questions. We're open. That's the main thing.
* (added 2218 GMT) - just a note: as you'll see from the comments, it wasn't a paid position, which does lessen the shock somewhat, and David is remarkably calm about it. A very Christian reaction.
We need grace to encourage and hear the "other"- here is to praying that we can and will remain open to conversation- and prayer for those who cannot hear any other view-point without feeling threatened.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Just to be clear, it was a volunteer position that I had so I'm not loosing any income. In fact it'll free up hours and hours and hours of my week ;-)
They asked me to step down because of a difference in vision and orthopraxi (sp?).
So the synchroblog links were evidence that we might be thinking through things a bit differently, but we know this was going to happen anyway...eventually.
I wrote a thank you on my personal blog www.davidwmfisher.blogspot.com that inspite of our differences, shows my respect for them over the past three years of ministering with them. We have of course shut down our old Revolution site, but have started a new one that I think already is showing us that God has put something exciting in our hearts.
It's sad that this happened, but I see the sovereignty of God moving in this so I have great hope for the new future!
Some people like boxes. I like the vast expanse of the universe!
Thanks for your encouragement and support.
(And it's orthopraxy...)
here's my recent ramblings I thought I'd share:
Don't weep for me dear child for I have broken free from the gravity of the giant hairball and am free to flit about upon my tiny wings while I learn to soar, never again constrained by the choke chain of religious madness, but now to transcend the bonds of bondage and gaze upon the stars without the damnable atmosphere blurring my view of their pureness and beauty. You have set me like stone thrown by a child to the wind, whilst at the same moment gravity leaves us, and the stone rockets to space with the journey of a thousand lifetimes set before it. So rejoice with me as we all gaze forward into the deep vastness of space, never again to look upon the tiny dirt from which the stone came!