Am I Too Jaded?

Sometimes I'm a real jerk. I preach and rant on the "evils of fundamentalism" and forget to check my own gauges...

hmmm... I'm due for a tune up.

My friend James North (Fuller Seminary shout out, yo) says you can be "ex-fundamentalist," but as soon as you become "anti-fundamentalist," that antagonistic posture pits you hopelessly back in a position of fundamentalism. You become what you hate. Two sides of the same coin.

So last Friday I was driving on Highway 22 where it pours out of the Cascade Mountains into the Willamette Valley. On the side of the road I see this white-haired middle aged man dragging a cross behind him. He was on a long stretch of the highway without any towns or buildings for miles.

Yes I'm a Christian, but here's my first thought: "Great. Another asshole, beligerently making a spectacle out of his Christian faith."

I feel embarrassed to admit how reactionary - how intolerant - I can be. Today I found an article in the local newspaper with a picture of the "Cross Walker," describe his journey: the man has literally walked from the east coast to the west coast, dragging that cross!

He's an ex-cocain addict, and the newspaper article links to his website (linked here). God has done a lot in this man's life, and for whatever reasons, he's chosen to proclaim his faith in a cross-contintent trek. On one hand, it may be a good example of modern evangelical spectacle. On the other hand, it's an interesting parallel to some of the spiritual pilgrimages, treks and trials many of our ancient Christian ancestors practiced.

Whatever the reasons for this journey, the most important message the Cross Walker offered me was a look inside myself - to find that I must be gentler, more loving, and more tolerant of brothers and sisters on a different spiritual path than my own. Name-calling and knee-jerking is the kind of rubbish I am praying the Lord will help weed out of this stubborn heart.


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read more about my thoughts on Christianity in the real world at www.essenceproject.blogspot.com...

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