For weeks I have been stewing about the increasing divisiveness and growing polarization in our society. It seems that people are digging deeper and deeper trenches and not only demonizing the enemy, but anyone who consorts with them. I recently found myself discussing how this even creeps into the church and it seems that we fail to be the good Body of Christ, and instead fall into the trap Paul talks about, where the eye says to the ear I have no need for you. I believe we are stronger because of our differences.
So then last night someone I was talking to brought up this news report they had seen on Fred Phelp's church, famous currently for picketing at soldiers funerals, not to protest the war but because they believe the soldiers deaths are God's way of punishing the US for our "lax" stance on issues such as homosexuality. So where does Fred Phelps and his followers fit into the Body of Christ? There is a part of me that wants to say they are the eye the causes the rest of us to sin and so we need to pluck them out ... but that makes me no different from them, or from the "with us or against us" attitudes that are currently irritating me. It is true to my feelings though ... I feel that the concept of the Body of Christ, the notion of a loving God is hurt by a church that only talks about who God hates, which seems to basically everyone. How do we speak out against them, enter into dialouge with them, maintaining their validity as equal children before God, while still saying we have major differences that drive us apart? What can we do to help everyone realize we are One Body ... and we need to be more comfortable with our many many parts?