Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Denominational echo chambers

Some media elites have trouble relating to middle America. The only people they know come from a humanist, left-leaning worldview. They wine and dine only with people in that crowd, they seek to curry favor with them for career and social advancement, and they bestow awards only to them. To these people, the heartland of America is an enigma, because frankly, they know nothing about the heartland of America.

I wonder if we have similar things happening in organized religion, where people in one faction are simply a mystery to the advocates of another. When we become cheerleaders for our own denominations and factions, we place ourselves in a similar echo chamber where our opinions sound so right and so self-evident because they are the only ones we hear.

This has to contribute to the provincialism we see among people who desire to follow the same God of Heaven through His Son Jesus Christ, but who have instead pledged allegiance to some earthly faction. That’s not to say that the teachings of all the present factions are fine and dandy. They clearly are not. If they were fine and dandy, they would not be factions at all.

But if we acknowledge no faction or denomination as having authority over our faith in the King of Kings, I think we can jar open the doors of this echo chamber a little. Maybe then we’ll actually hear each other when we speak rather than just hearing the overconfident echo of our own rarified voices.

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