We have talked a lot about my being a “Christian,” and what that means to me. Which is probably a whole lot different than what it means to each and every other Christian or non-Christian you meet. C.S. Lewis’s Mere Christianity is about as good as it gets in setting forth the basics, yet even though he tries to get at my faith’s core I find myself disagreeing with him on several critical points. I guess to a large extent my writing the Hubbell Pew is my way of exploring my faith and what I believe. Luis said that when Bishop Sprong was asked why Christianity versus another faith he said, “for him it was where the light burnt brightest.”
So what’s the point you may ask. I know you find comfort in Sufi teaching and are attracted to the teachings of the East. Well our politics seem to be getting mixed up in our religion, more and more. That bothers me. Muslims who kill ambassadors are no more in keeping with their faith than were German Christians who tormented Jews. We need a way to identify thugs in a way that doesn’t lump them in with people who practice and live their faith.
I enjoy exploring Sufism with you because in many ways Sufis, Hindus, and Buddhists follow the teachings of Christ in a way that puts to shame Christians. I find myself asking like Bonhoeffer – Was it possible, just as Christ had been sent to the Gentiles “to provoke his own people (Jews) to jealousy,” Christ was operating among non-Christians in a way to force us to action. In some ways there is more Christianity to their “heathenism” than in our organized western Christian religions.
All faiths provide a window to God and an opportunity for God to speak to us. What is important is that remove the shades and let his light shine brightly into the room called our soul.