Since reading Brian McLaren’s A New Kind of Christianity, I can’t stop thinking about Ubuntu.

The geeky me really wants to say that McLaren thinks we should all use Linux, because in Chapter 20 he advocates Ubuntu.

But I have to admit that he’s not talking about computers. He’s actually throwing ubuntu into the rainbow.

In this chapter, McLaren attempts to explain different kinds of Christianity through a color metaphor, moving from red to violet in stages, and calling the violet stage “ubuntu”

…from Africa, a word meaning one-another-ness, interconnectedness, joined-in-the-common-good-ness, and profound commitment to the well-being of all.

McLaren puts most of us who are asking the questions into the indigo category, where we seek honesty. However,

…those of us in the indigo zone commonly look down on red-, orange-, yellow-, green- and blue-zone people and groups, calling them primitive, backward, immature, conservative, fundamentalist, and so on…no wonder indigo people see others as obstructionists, and the others see them as terrorists or nihilists.

But if we are to be ubuntu/violet people, we have to lovingly accept the people who are in the other color levels.

Even if they won’t return that acceptance?

I’m sure Jesus would say “Even so. Seventy times seven times.”

That’s one thing that gets me. I’m not very tolerant of intolerance.

But really, is it too much to ask?  I considered this as I read and digested McLaren’s ideas. And I realized that for the most part (if not all the time), people I know personally whose beliefs differ from mine do not pressure me at all. They do not tell me that my beliefs are wrong, or that I am a heretic.  I may be aware that their church would say this, or that certain public figures they admire might say this, but the people I know? They don’t call me names.

So yes, I need to quit worrying about whether others are doing it wrong. There are still instances in which I think it’s important to stand against what a church is doing. I do think it’s just plain wrong for churches to advocate against civil same-sex marriage laws.  Religious institutions should not be allowed to perpetrate civil injustice.

But otherwise? Take a deep breath. Let it go. Love God and love your neighbor. Ubuntu.

Advertisements