Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Why Other Christians Need To Listen To UU Christians

I have been thinking about this post for some time, but then yesterday the new Christian Century came, www.christiancentury.org, and there was an article that I am sure will be posted on the website there soon about what mainline Protestant Christians can learn from Mormons. Inspired me to get to this post. Actually, UUs can learn from the article and from Mormons too (especially about high expectations and youth and young adult culture, and family emphasis) and some of it I have blogged on in the past. Here are some beginning thoughts about what others can learn from us.

Most of this blog has been composed with the idea that liberals need to engage in and learn from evangelicals, especially those emerging organic Christian communities turning their backs on the mega-church. Now I'd like to reverse it. In my encounters with them, there is 1. ignorance about UUism and UU Christianity; like the main error of all inter-religious dialogue it is often based on old information; 2. certainly ignorance about our rich and diverse UU Christianity too; 3. no understanding that the folks who have been coming and still are coming into the communities of UUism are the very ones they too have been professing to seek to reach, the dechurched, the disaffected, the spiritual but not religious types, the deeds but not creeds type; the ones so desperate for connection and spirituality that they will try on all manner of spiritual hats, neopagan, wiccan, scientific, et al; except for some crucial socio-demographic skewing you will find a reflection of contemporary American spirituality; 4. so, whom best to listen to to understand what it means to be in relationship with the spectrum, to hear their baggage or stories from church or from secularism, and their objections to all things Christian even while they know there is something special, but not too special, about Jesus. 5. I don't mean that what they will learn from UU Christians is all wonderful; they might learn some helpful lessons about balancing apologetic and unapologetic theology, for example, where Christians have gone from one pendulum swing to the other in being forthright or hidden about the scandal of particularity of the Christian story. 6: they might learn about the growing power of ritual and liturgy that is providing a doorway to faith, and especially about the power of living in and embracing diversity along sexual orientation lines.

I will try to revisit this again later. Of course, for anyone seeking to experience UU Christianity, the best way is to be with us. Go to www.uuchristian.org/revival for a great way to do so. Feel free to add your thoughts on what others can learn, and deepen their faith, from being around UU Christians.