Fighting fire or fighting firemen?

“Jennifer” replied to one of my posts on regarding concerns we have over the direction Pope Francis appears to be taking us. I had expressed some reservations about his Jesuit worldview and she agreed that she had similar concerns.

Specifically, she wondered how those who believe in the True Presence of Christ in the Eucharist and those who deny it can operate under one roof. This cuts to the very purpose of the blog site. It’s one thing to want Christians to work together to achieve positive change in this increasingly anti-Christian world, but how exactly do we overcome our differences? What kind of “roof” can we operate under?

I have two approaches to that. First, to list the things that we all share in common and that cause us to identify as Christians. And second, to identify the specific evils in the world that we need to address together.

The first is what C. S. Lewis called “Mere Christianity.” What does that mean? Here’s my (perhaps incomplete) list:

  • That Jesus Christ was truly the Son of God.
  • That Jesus Christ lived and walked on the earth
  • That Jesus Christ performed miracles
  • That Jesus’ death on the cross is the sole means by which we obtain salvation
  • That Jesus intended His church to survive eternally

Catholic believe these things to be literally true. Evangelicals believe these things to be literally true. And although there are other immense theological differences between us, we can still choose to set these aside and choose to cooperate as Christians in love and brotherhood.

Here are some of the evils in the world we must work together to overcome:

  • The evil of abortion
  • The evil of inhibiting the free exercise of our religion by limiting our speech
  • The evil of compelling us to operate against our religious principles
  • The evil of a hostile LGBT minority that seeks to demonize any deviation from their political agenda by any means at their disposal
  • The evil of religious genocide
  • The evil imposition of Sharia law by force

This may not be an exhaustive list, but I think it lays out both the common ground for our cooperation as well as goals towards which can agree to work.

If out of this comes a greater tolerance of one another’s beliefs, then it is all to the good. But that is not necessary to begin to accomplish the tasks at hand.

I liken our problem to two people in the midst of a burning building, arguing about whose firefighting techniques are the best instead of just putting out the fire any way they can.

Why can’t we just put out the fire?

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