A friend who commiserates with my impatience and frustration with politically correct God-talk which too often degenerates into namby-pamby babble sent a You-Tube link she knew I would appreciate. Canadian Bruxy Cavey, leader of The Meeting House ministry, brilliantly addresses in 2 minutes and 42 seconds the all too common question: “Don’t we all believe in the same God?” There are times and places where it is appropriate to ignore that question and move on to social banter about the relative benefits of Arizona in February over sub-zero Minnesota. But willful complicity with slopping thinking and post-modern relativism is inexcusable.
When the occasion is appropriate Cavey proposes a simple, honest and respectful formula: Ask lots of questions. Learn what you can. Affirm all that you are able to affirm. Build bridges on anything you hold in common. Respectfully share what you believe. Notice – and this is very important – the questions and dialogue are mutual, genuine and sincere. They are not a clever snare to catch the other in their error or ignorance so we can demonstrate our superiority. We all see such traps coming and are sick and tired of such foolishness and waste of everyone’s time.
Cavey’s core message really hit a responsive chord in me and has provoked fertile “dis-ease” for my Lenten reflection, perhaps yours as well. He states with transparent conviction that he believes in a God so loving and so relational that he comes to us in Christ most clearly, most explicitly. Then Cavey delivers the clincher: “I love a God who loves us so much he dies for his enemies rather than slays his enemies. Most gods would slay their enemies. This one dies for them, to forgive them, to embrace them.” WOW!
Intellectually I have mouthed that truth for decades. Getting it into my heart – and gut – is a lifelong challenge. At this time, this year, this Lent the challenge has much less to do with the ontological nature of God and everything to do with my belief, my conviction, my willingness to follow this Christ:
“But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. Whoever hits you on the cheek, offer him the other also; and whoever takes away your coat, do not withhold your shirt from him either.…” (Luke 6:27-29)
You may view Bruxy Cavey’s 2 minute 42 second video [here]
In conducting tours on spirituality themes at the MIA, I am continually struck by the shared stories and imagery of peoples separated by vast distances and times. The first time I heard the Yoruba story of the son of the creator god sent down to the priordial waters, I was just floored. Now, each revelation seems like a small, lovely gong sounding the rightness of our shared faith.