My friend Mark from New York asked me more than once, “Why do you Christians want Christianity to win all the time? You don’t seem to know how to live in a world where you aren’t in charge.” This made me think about the history of Christianity and its aspirations to be in charge. Looking back nostalgically to the times when Christianity was an empire, we tirelessly monitor our power, our growth, our numbers, our financial success, our political strength. Maybe the time has come for Christianity to lose.
To lose one’s life is to gain it. It would not be the first time that God has broken out of religion, which carries his message, and made something new. If God felt it good for his followers to break out of the confines of a religion two millennia ago, why should we expect God not to do such a thing in our time? Maybe Christianity should be thinned out and broken up, spent like Christ, who gave himself for this world.
If we seek first the kingdom of God, then maybe even our beloved religion, saved from ourselves, will be added to us.
(Samir Selmanovic, “The Sweet Problem of Inclusiveness: Finding Our God in the Other,” in Jones and Pagitt, eds., An Emergent Manifesto of Hope, pp.198-199. (For more, see www.samirselmanovic.com )