It's great to be back together after the Christmas break and this morning we jumped straight back into the deep end, exploring The Danger of 'Isms'!
Our world is full of isms that attract us as our need for certainty overshadows our quest for truth. Whether it's capitalism, socialism, veganism, feminism or environmentalism, what begins as a noble passion can descend into fundamentalism.
"We love isms because they help us define, but once we define, we confine."
Jesus is quoted as saying to his followers: "Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees." His use of this metaphor of yeast implies that just a small amount of the fundamentalism and idealism of these religious groups could spread through the entire lives of his disciples, robbing them of their new-found freedom.
So, what is an ism?
It's a distinctive doctrine, cause or theory.
An oppressive or especially discriminatory attitude or belief.
An abnormal state or condition resulting from excess of a specified thing, from religion to politics to addiction.
An adherence to a system.
"Christianity is not an 'ism', it's an 'ity'! It's the state of BEING something, not the state of BELIEVING something."
The problem with 'isms' is that when bound by them, we'd rather have certainty than honesty and we'd rather have compliance to a belief system than genuine faith.
The Spanish Inquisition was a dark stain in human history, in which the people of Spain were forced to comply with the fundamentalism of the Catholic Church and faced the ridiculous choice that 'isms' often present: "Convert or Die!"
'Isms' are everywhere and still insist that we convert or die! So, what's your ism?!
Here's a few to consider:
Catholicism, Anglicanism, Calvinism, Armenianism, Evangelicalism, Methodism, Pentecostalism, Mormonism, Judaism, Hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism, Taoism, Atheism, Agnosticism, Hedonism, Fundamentalism, Vegetarianism, Veganism, Conservatism, Socialism, Liberalism, Communism, Marxism, Capitalism, Thatcherism, Corbynism, Unionism, Globalism, Activism, Ageism, Feminism, Environmentalism, Sexism, Racism, Stoicism, Platonism, Dualism, Fatalism, Individualism, Materialism, Realism, Conformism, Objectionism, Vandalism, Barbarianism, Colloquialism, Plagiarism, Impressionism, Alcoholism.
"Every 'ism' creates a schism."
We are currently witnessing the emergence of a new 'ism' as Science is being turned into Scientism.
Science has always been about questioning and experimenting but when it becomes an 'ism' it makes unbelievers and heretics out of those who have different opinions.
"There is not and was never intended to be a Christ tribe. Just a one-ness that is capable of overcoming all things in love, flowing out of a sense of being."
We must fiercely avoid letting 'isms' define us, even and especially not Q-munism!
Instead we will continue to be a Christ-centred Q-munity.
This can only be our real-ity in sincer-ity and truth if we jettison our 'isms' in favour of our 'ity'.
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