“When you spend as much time together as we do, there’s bound to be friction. Besides, if Takuya weren’t so hot-headed and Koji were less calculating then we wouldn’t be complete. You know? It’s the combination of all of our differences that make us such a good team. We balance each other. Seriously, can you imagine what it would be like if we had two Takuyas? Yeah, see what I mean? And believe me, it would be the same if there were two Kojis in the group. You don’t have to imagine it, you know. In a way, we’re all balanced like this fire is. A fire is made up of parts, just like our group is. You need something that will burn but the fire also has to have oxygen from the air or it will go out. If the wood’s too tight, the fire smothers. Too lose, and the fire won’t even start. Balance.”
Christianity is pretty unbalanced these days. Some of it is from the tendency to surround ourselves with like-minded believers. Then issues get dealt with in an ‘us vs. them’ context – either one of us (good) or one of them (bad) because we’re right (good) and they are wrong (bad) and then all of us are in agreement (good) about those who disagree with us (bad) and ultimately because we’re all sisters and brothers in the same faith the only real solution is to stay divided so that their badness does not corrupt our goodness. Diverse beliefs tend not to be accepted and so those who hold them get really good at hiding them for the sake of being accepted.
With so many denominations – the idea is that if your beliefs are not well matched in one church, then it is best to try another church to see if it fits. Churches don’t change, but people can. Then people complain that too many Christians are church shopping as if they’re going to buy a car. After all, all rational people just buy the first car they see and stick with it, right? Nobody really goes on test drives anymore to be certain that a car isn’t too low or too high or too quiet or too noisy.
In so many of my churches I realized that whatever ‘like-minded’ people were like, I was never quite enough like them. I’d ask too many of the wrong questions and never got enough of the right answers. I’d end up on the outside of the various groups more often than I was on the inside. I’d always end up wanting to do things that I wasn’t supposed to and never wanted to do the things that were expected of me.
You would think that with the tens of thousands of Christian denominations one of them out there would be a perfect fit – but it’s not as if there’s one of each kind of denomination in every county in the states. You would think with hundreds of churches in any given county there would be one that would be just right – but if there is a church for unique people who aren’t like-minded I haven’t found it here.
Perhaps that’s something of the point. I might never be happy with any church on earth because they’re a dim reflection of the glorious church that will one day be a reality – the one whole church whose only leader is Jesus. But I plan on living for decades and I need something that’s a good fit for me in the mean-time … a church that has a place for people like me who think outside of the box without trying to reform me. A church that will let me ask any question and give me thoughtful answers. A church that isn’t just a little building, but people who affect their community in a real way. I’d like a church that is balanced and open to many perspectives and interpretations.