Yes, I know. We Muslims only seem to hear from hard-line fundamentalist evangelical types who have passion for destroying other religions (especially Islam). Yet out there in the real world there are numerous intelligent and well-educated Christians who have a very different view of faith than their benighted co-religionists. Here is an email I received today from one such person. He is an ordained minister in the Church of Scotland residing in London. He has studied Christianity at the finest universities. His name is Rev James Fields. I like his discussion of haematology and idolatry. (The email is republished with his permission).
The idea of worshipping Jesus has always appalled me…and in nearly 30 years of Ministry I have never used the words worship and Jesus in the same sentence. I am by no means alone, though as a liberal Christian I know that my views challenge a more orthodox christian view.
The hymnody of the evangelical church leaves me feeling totally alienated…most of it unsingable (for me) with its odd theological blend of haematology (blood spattered and full of sacrificial allusions) and idolatry (the worship of another human being).
That is not to say I cannot attribute worth to his teachings, or the broad example of his life….as much of it as I am able to know or intuit. He inspires, and the act of remembrance at Communion brings his life to mind in a manner that consoles.
In my tradition we gather to worship God, but these days more accurately the learn about and ponder the will of God…and much of our pondering and learning takes its bearings from the life of the Nazarene.
Please do not make the mistake of imagining all Christians believe and worship in the same way.
One of the great puzzles of the day is how on earth Evangelical Christians can even remotely support the ranting of Donald Trump who claims to be born again. He also claims to be Scottish, so on both counts I’m mystified and concerned!
ps my Christian heritage is Scottish Presbyterian and I trained and studied at new College in Edinburgh and at Union Seminary in New York and I am proud that both institutions continue to put an academic emphasis upon their work…and also stand up for human rights and dignity, founded on a strong sense of biblical justice and faith, as well as the profoundest respect for other religious traditions.