So I've been thinking about my last post, and wanted to add some qualifications or feelings on the other side of my argument. Cause that's just how I play: I always get myself tangled up by seeing both sides of an argument waaay waaay too clearly.
I think I see the other side of this issue when I disagree about matters of faith with people who believe more things than I do. It's hard to argue with someone who believes more things. It's hard to say: believe less! Be less restrictive in how you interpret Scripture! It's easy to feel that you're lacking--or that other people think you're lacking--when you believe in less things. But the two things aren't necessarily the same.
I'll give you a concrete example. In college, I had a conversation with a friend who was of the Missouri Synod branch of the Lutheran church. I don't know a ton about that faith, but they are of the "more restrictive" camp in the Lutheran church. Their beliefs about communion are more like the Catholic line, that the bread and wine literally become Christ's body and blood during communion.
My friend, Todd, got rather heated with me (in a friendly way) when we discussed Communion. It's just not a literal thing in my faith, and hearing how convinced he was of it, I felt like there was something lacking on my end. Was I a heretic for not believing in transubstantiation? After all, clearly he believed more literally than I did, which would be a good thing. Right?
I'm a person who, despite her predilection for both sides of an argument, likes to believe clearly in things. If I'm going to go for the environmental movement, then I'm going to go whole hog. If I'm going to believe in Christ, I'm not going to pussyfoot around it. So it's always galling to be judged.
And believing that you have the Right Way in faith leads, well, to judgement. Which I know doesn't sit well with anyone.
I wish faith were easier to talk about openly. Without judgement. It's kind of like talking about politics, or parenting styles: unless I agree absolutely, I often end up feeling like a chump, or a judgmental hack. But if you absolutely agree, it's just not that interesting to discuss.