Whittled Away

I have not watched any of the primary debates, but I always catch the highlights. So this morning I heard a Democrat crowd booing interruptions of Democrat candidates. The Republican debates were the same four years ago. This is partly due to a format designed not to debate ideas, but to attack persons (is this a format built by TV or is it the nature of our nation?). So, they, then the Republicans, now the Democrats, whittle themselves away declaring candidates to be RINOs (Republican In Name Only) or DINOs.

No one stops to consider that rinos and dinos are actually pretty cool names. Nor do they notice the absurdity of attacking fellow party members, when the goal is to beat the other party. If the candidates would realize the truth — they would vote for any of the 20 over the other party — then they could move from an attack, back to a debate. From whittling down, back to sharping ideas.

Unfortunately, this isn’t just a part of our politics. It seems to be built into who we are as people. The church constantly seeks uniformity by expanding the Gospel requirements beyond knowing Jesus. It adds theology or rules, even dress code or political affiliations. But with all the additions the church misses its purpose. It was never to whittle toward purity – purity has already been accomplished. The commission was always to do the difficult job of expanding. Making space for others – their thoughts and dress and politics. Celebrating diversity, because Jesus brings salvation to each of us.

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