Two Religions

(via Jim’s shared items feed)

It has long seemed to me that there are really just two religions in the world, and they show up in each tradition: one runs on risk/ welcome/ abandon/ grace/ transformation/ forgiveness/ creativity/ multiple-possibilities; and the other, on security/ control/ rules/ order/ stability/ only-one-possibility. – Two Religions

This does seem to be a theme that shows up a lot. But I would argue that it is possible to fuse the two strains of thinking. It is hard. It is very difficult to be at once about rules and grace; transformation and order do not easily co-exist, but it is possible to have both. The Orthodox are obviously all about order and stability. There are also, if you can handle them, a lot of rules. But I’ve only seen “control” and “only-one-possibility” from one very bad priest. He was young and a convert, though, so it is easy (for me) to forgive him. Instead, I’ve seen an abundance of grace and forgiveness within the Church. And not just at the parish level. It seems to be throughout the fathers. I won’t go so far as to say that welcome, creativity, or multiple-possibilities is widespread in the Church, but then, I don’t see a lot of emphasis on security and control.

2 thoughts on “Two Religions”

  1. Hi and thanks for the inbound link! Your post makes my point very well: both religions are present in all traditions, including the EO tradition. Sadly, save for a little while, I met a lot of the bad one. That’s cool: the good one shows up too – I know that.

    1. Oh, I agree that those traits show up. I just don’t see it as two discreet baskets of traits. And some — control for example — show up more in unhealthy organizations.

      Thanks for stopping by!

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