There is an underlying philosophy in American culture these days of the almighty individual opinion. Not a bad thing mind you. But it’s so prevalent now. I feel like the end of every news article reads a little something like this:
“Local school board members decide to [insert controviersial subject]. Let us know what YOU think below.”
“President Trump has decided to [insert anything]. What are YOUR thoughts on this.”
And I always wonder, other than stirring the pot, does the news organization actually ever go through the comments? They never reply. They are only looking for fodder for that particular segment when it airs. I digress…
I was listening to a sermon where some people were asked some questions and each answer began with, “Well…to me….” Christian beliefs, as well as any other belief for that matter, are being presented in a way where they are ‘personal.’ And they are. There is nothing wrong with people acknowledging and examining what they believe and knowing why they believe it. I encourage this.
But, a part of it just doesn’t sit completely well with me. I understand the sentiment that, especially in the Christian faith, we all hold beliefs and morals as things we ascribe to our own personal life. But it’s also a bit of a cultural thing. Up until about 1800, privacy was a novelty and not much of a thought for people who lived then. These days, privacy is paramount. I can only imagine the conversation in 1516:
Person A: Do you think baptism is necessary for salvation?
Person B: Well, the Vatican thinks that…
Person A: Yeah, but what about YOU?
Person B: But we ALL believe that…
There is some good in collective belief. It adds some validity and identity. There were SO MANY differing views in early days of Christianity that some type of unity was needed. (Thank you Nicene Creed.) When Jesus ascended, it was basically changed everything. People were probably lost. There was no new testament to guide them.
After the resurrection, was there a collective, “Well…now what?”
And it only got more complicated from there. Individualism is good, but we should also balance it what the collective thoughts and beliefs are as well. (And here we are back to that ever running theme in my blogs…balance.)
Question yourself. It’s ok, go on. Why do I think this and how might it be different from what scholars/community/polititians/friends/relatives believe?
Here’s the biggie: Am I wrong? (Am I willing to change my mind?)
We have to be open to the possibility of being wrong sometimes. I pray that we don’t let pride be a wall that separates us from something that leads to truth and kindness. Let me know below what you think! 😀