Monday, October 24, 2011

How Big is Your Spiritual Umbrella?

I'm a member of the Christian Universalist Association (CUA) and just read their latest newsletter. In it, Donne Hayden reported on the board's discussion on how large the CUA umbrella should be. I am really encouraged by some of their conclusions.

Answer: As big as it can be to cover any person who claims to be Christian and a Universalist. In other words, any "conservative" or "liberal" believer who fits the above would be included. This is a wise decision on their part because it is diametrically opposed to what evangelical and fundamentalist churches love to do: Draw boxes around doctrines and dogma and declare who is a true Christian and who is not. Typically, the doctrines include the many that are problematic when examined closely. Namely, biblical inerrancy and its literal authoritative nature, hell, the return of Christ, the end times, the institutional church, the deity of Christ, the Trinity, and more. Even more moderate evangelical organizations have this tendency, such as World Vision, who recently won a lawsuit (and an appeal) brought against them by former employees they fired because one didn't subscribe to the deity of Christ and the other, the Trinity.

In my former life as an evangelical, I carried far too small an umbrella and adhered to a far too narrow statement of faith. Hayden cites Jonah as a biblical example of someone who had a small umbrella. But God's rebuke of him reveals God even includes His enemies in his cosmic umbrella, calling Ninevah to repent (not to a particular dogma, but of their violent ways) but even moreso, showing his care and concern for the most misguided people. How much more should we? I welcome your comments.

1 comment:

Sisterlisa said...

I recently joined the CUA as well and will be studying for my ordination through them. :)