the limits of our tolerance
August 8, 2007
First story: We’ve been having some conversations about the reformed creeds the past two weeks in our classes on Systematic Theology. I can’t really say that we have reached a point where we are all completely comfortable with how to approach this, but at least we have been having some conversations.
Second story: About two years ago I decided to stop following the conversations in the Dutch Reformed Church about all the questions surrounding theological education, and about all the accusations against those who had supposedly left the good faith or something like that. That part of my life was most probably the worst ever, and I simply couldn’t handle the way people do things in the church anymore. Within the last few days, I’ve been forced to get back into the conversation, thanx to the “Nuwe Strominge” DVD, and the group of 35 calling themselves the Evangelical Initiative (“Evangeliese Inisiatief”). Most probably I’ll have the same feeling as two years ago this time around.
All this brings me to the question. What is the limits of our tolerance? At what point do we start cutting people of from the community of faith? Is it at all possible to cut people of because of their perceptions of God? And if it is, what would that mean? How about the creeds? Which creeds?
Someone said at some point today that the creeds are like a camp, a very big camp, in which we work. This camp makes a lot of room! But I wonder, do we cut people of when they wonder if they won’t maybe also find God by searching outside the fence?
Some would say the Bible. Which parts are the most important? Which way of interpreting? Is it at all possible to reach a point when we stop the conversation?
Should we put limits to our tolerance? Is tolerance at all the correct word?
I would love to hear some thoughts!!!