All right, so we’re having an evening service at the Chapel tonight 🙂
This is wonderful and edifying, as far as it goes:
The first Christians were defiers of convention; they were innovators (and that’s why your Bible is a pile-o-pages surrounded by covers, and not a basket of scrolls). Some of them even had a keen appreciation for all the gifts and talents that the Love Supreme gave human beings. And that’s how these “pagan” things got into the church.
But I’ve been a universalist from childhood, so I want to go even farther than that. I’ve always believed that “There is truth in all religions,” as the saying went in my childhood. It follows, then, that God is not neglecting anybody.
It follows, then, that exclusionary commands and scriptures — “touch not the unclean thing,” and all that — need to be reclaimed themselves.
The “unclean thing” is not the carved statue from India or Africa, or the vévé drawn on the floor, but the idols we make of our own suspicion and self-righteousness.
O Love Supreme, may our beliefs, faith and/or religion not degenerate into spiky-fenced, bludgeon-wielding tribalism; remind us always that there are no Orcs of Righteousness. Instead, let us keep the eye of the Spirit open to recognize our brothers and sisters of the Golden Rule, wherever they worship (if they worship), by whatever name they know you.