Friday, July 08, 2005

Thoughts on Ecumenical Chapel Services

In my CPE site, we have ecumenical chapel services every morning. Most of the CPE chaplains are Christian of some variety, but we do have two unitarians.

I am personally disillusioned with them because I think they sacrifice anything of theological substance upon the altar of inclusivity. I mean we are banned from using Christocentric language and heaven forbid you refer to God as Him. I don't know, but it seems to me that what we have created in this weird Orwellian blob where we worship not God but an abstraction.

I have said before on this blog that I think people should proudly be their own tradition or something unique is lost. Does anyone have any thoughts on this?


Anonymous said...

As something approaching a Unitarian, my first comment would be an echo of the classical injunction "know thyself." Know who you are, know what you believe and know what led you to that belief. Only by recognizing the steps leading to a certain mindset can we intelligently hold, or perhaps leave, that mindset. Bertrand Russell is far more to be praised for abandoning the faith than Joe Protestant is for going to church because "if God didn't want us to go to church the week would end on Saturday." Many Unitarians haven't got any concrete idea why they believe what they believe, and so they follow an abstraction, in this case "inclusivity" to an illogical extreme. I assume you hold your Christianity dearly and have a good idea what parts of your background have been formative for you - my comment, then, would be to keep on holding to your own faith and urging others to be honest in keeping theirs.

Kyle said...

It takes a considerable degree of immaturity to be threatened when someone else holds to a different teaching or tradition.

It's one thing to understand the language and narrative of the religious background of someone you want to help as a chaplain (which is kind and sensible), but the practice of intentionally nonspecific religion probably doesn't do anyone any good.