Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Tolerant Extremism

When you go through the list, the number of different churches that claim only they can get you to heaven, or that they are the unique only church, is quite high.

The Catholics have always had fairly exclusive claims. But even they seem prepared to believe that some of their more separated brothers and sisters are still saved, if baptized and rightly believing.

Whereas this bunch, for example, reckon that Benedict is a dangerous liberal for wishing a rabbi well. Actually, I think they used the words "raging apostate". To be fair, they've a downer on Protestants as well.

Then this group from Canada  seem to think every version of Christianity except their own is false. And they don't have a fellowship within a sensible distance of Husborne Crawley, which is a bit frightening for those of us who want to be saved. But at least they don't believe that you need to read the King James version...

.... whereas this King James Only group do. I think. They may well be a spoof, as I'm pretty sure I've seen spoofs just like this in the past. Or maybe that was Drayton Parslow's old blog.

So I've just picked three church groups that all believe the others are destined to a smoky eternity. I could have found dozens, or even hundreds, like it. But if I'm the sort of earnest person who wants to know they're saved, which could I choose? They all seem equally (im)plausible in their explanations as to why they're the only ones. They all argue their case from Scripture, or so they claim. But I'd have a two out of three chance of a severe case of infernal warming even if these were the only church groups going.

So I'm going to reflect on what they all seem to be missing in their invocation of textual technicalities, which is the love of God, expressed through the life, death and unexpected life again of Jesus Christ. I'm going to believe that God, being basically English at heart, is a believer in fair play and giving everyone a decent chance. I'm going to throw myself on the mercy of that loving God. And I'm not going to care what denomination I, or anyone I love, is a member of. And then I'm going to wish all denominations well, even the ones that denounce me for being a false prophet, wolf in druid's clothing, NRSV-reader or other abomination destined for perdition. Because I know Jesus loves me more than they do. And he couldn't understand a word of the King James Bible.


  1. Oh boy! Those sites are scary!

    1. Oh yeah. Must have been a real shock to the people of Capernaum when Jesus started speaking Jacobean English.


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