Where is the fringe and what is the frontier?

Change comes when we stand with one foot in the known and one in the unknown.  All in the known, a change looses any sense of urgency.  All in the unknown and we are a rudderless ship.  The spiritual life takes parts of the known and the unknown.

The times we find ourselves in are endlessly fascinating I think because it feels so much part of both, complete with the joyful anticipation and anxious dread such moments bring.  ”The Fringe”, spiritually, is movement away from the deep hierarchies of organized, institutional faith into flatter structures.  I don’t believe it to be a collapse narrative as one author phrased it.  But it is transformation narrative.

Denominational debates obsessed with theological correctness will look increasingly suffocating and out of touch.  Expect less and less involvement, tolerance and support from parishioners for partisanship within the church walls. Religions of movement – hopefully of which the New Church will be one – however will grow, all part of a meta narrative in which “What do you believe?” becomes increasingly displaced by “How do we serve?”  That very question places us out on the frontier, on that thin, anxious and playful edge between the known and the unknown.  A place to light a fire for others to follow.

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2 Responses to “Where is the fringe and what is the frontier?”

  1. Gordon says:

    Dear Chuck -
    Service is a wonderful response to the gift of life. But (and I know that you expected this), service “in the name of” is not service — it is obligation. The good news is that “obligation” fullfils the needs of the less fortunate, and, at the same time, fullfils the “self-congratulatory” needs of the service provider. Both miss the point. The point is, and always has been, “That you love one another; as I have loved you, love one another.” The most extraordinary statement in the history of mankind! That kind of Love transcends Humanity! That kind of Love comforts and shields — not just Humans — each and everything in the Universe.

  2. Chuck says:

    Spot on Gordon. Was struck today by how of we value our beliefs over love we are in deep trouble.

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