My friend Miguel asked this question on Facebook today, “Can Christians respect beliefs that are diametrically opposed to their own”. Well, I wasn’t certain if he meant diametrically opposed to Christian beliefs or diametrically opposed to doctrinal/tradition differences within Christianity.
Nonetheless, if it was in reference to beliefs within Christianity, I could help but reflect on a Facebook discussion that occurred earlier that morning. The discussion related to a post I saw associating baptism and communion with magical rites, which basically spit on the idea sacraments.
I agree wholeheartedly with my friend Laurie’s comment in that discussion
I am growing weary of this movement of people whose goal seems to be to dismantle Christianity and the body of Christ and recreate in their own image and to suit their own desires….and all supposedly in the name of Christ. It is one thing to try to address falsehood and error, but this is something altogether different, I think. It feels like mockery.
Yeah, if feels like mockery to me, too. And it typically is because something new has been discovered about Christianity that no one else has figured out until now.
Now new doesn’t automatically mean bad or untrue. But when 2,000 years of Christian tradition is ignored for novel concepts with the accompanying attitude of having it all figured out, I can’t help but not see that as disrespecting the church that Christ said he would build. Now clearly there has been some doctrinal splintering. But even in the disagreements, we should be able to acknowledge some validity in historical development and elements of timeless tradition that are rooted in Jesus’ own commands (including his apostles’ teaching). This transcends doctrinal/denominational perspectives and is not just related to sacraments but any component related to Christ’s church.
So back to Miguel’s question, I hate to say this but when Christians dismiss and disrespect 2,000 of church history, some dissing may be required.