I have been wrestling for the past few years with a deep concern regarding the divisiveness in and among people who call themselves Christian, including me, when Christ was so adamant that we are to be one. Part of that fracture spills over from the church into our political system, or part of the political system’s fractures spill over into the church. I really do not know which, probably a little of both. I do know we need to strive for wholeness and for oneness in both the church and state. I believe the closer we get to wholeness and oneness the closer we will get to justice. I have challenged the church to deal with the issues that divide us through what I called Covenantal Conversations in my recently released book, Houses Divided. This website is a way of holding me accountable to such conversations.
Covenantal Conversation is driven by a deep desire to love God and to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. It is designed to help us work toward wholeness, oneness, and justice. Covenantal conversations grounded in love are characterized by:
• Profound listening not only to the words but also with attention to the emotions and the cultures that contribute to the words. We might find that we are saying the same things, telling the same stories, in different ways. Or we might see the world differently if we look through another set of eyes as might the other, if we give them a glimpse into our souls.
• Openness to being refined by God’s cleansing power as we strive toward a closer and deeper relationship with God. If nothing else, I have found when I have struggled with an issue and still find myself disagreeing with others, the conversation has resulted in my plumbing deeper into relationship with God and a redirecting of my actions and reactions toward positive, productive change. For example, rather than banging our heads against brick walls regarding abortion legislation, why are we not doing everything possible to reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies that occur? There are enough diverse actions toward that end to keep people on all sides of the issue busy for a very long time with what I believe has a greater chance of reducing abortions than all the legislation combined from both sides.
• Expanding our perspective to consider the long-range impact of issues. We are called to weigh each issue that confronts us regarding how it impacts the furtherance of the Kingdom of God today and tomorrow.
I believe, if we faithfully practice Covenantal Conversations we will also gain two by-products:
• Expanded understanding of both our faith and our form of government.
• Actually living our faith, not just our culture and not our fears.
If you share this same desire to become one in Christ with all God’s children, you are invited to join the conversation.