I’m a protestant (which means I’m part of that “branch” of Christianity that isn’t the Roman Catholic church). It’s rather embarrassing to admit that I didn’t even understand that Catholics are Christians until a few years ago. I wrote about this at length in my post “Stuff I Don’t Believe Anymore.”
The word protestant comes from the root protest. That’s what Martin Luther did in 1517. He took issue with the policies, practices, and beliefs of the Catholic church. And when his points weren’t received, he started creating a new church.
I’m beginning to wonder if it’s deep in our protestant DNA to protest; to be protest ants.
Andrew Arndt raises this issue in his response to the “Donald Miller situation” (prominent Christian writer Donald Miller recently admitted publicly that he doesn’t really go to church anymore and it’s all good). Quoting Arndt:
We wring our hands, we fret and worry. How will Don stay orthodox in his faith? What will happen if others follow him? Can you just imagine the departures from fidelity and crazy heresies that will spin out of this? He’s sawing off the very branch he’s sitting on!
I would like to modestly submit that the reason we’re doing this is because deep down, there is a nagging voice in the back of our Protestant heads that says,
“Don is doing what we’ve all been doing since the Reformation… we’ve all sawed off the branch we’re sitting on, and we’re deathly afraid that really, we’re all falling.”
I’m generally thankful for Luther and the Reformation. Most of the time I’m glad he protested. But I wonder if we’ve been stuck in a perpetual state protest ever since.
Of the 2.18 billion Christians world-wide, there are 3 major denominations within Christianity: Catholic, protestant, and Orthodox…
1.2 billion are Catholic
800 million are protestant (and there are 30,000+ protestant denominations)
300 million are Orthodox
Look back for a moment at that middle number. 800 million protest ants. Perpetually dividing into new camps. 30,000 denominations (and that number grows every day).
Always another protest; something we are against and feel the need to separate ourselves from.
This week more protesting has been going on. World Vision announced they would be changing their hiring policy to include same-sex married couples. Obviously this is a tough issue with church denominations adamantly on either side of it. That’s right: there are Christians who hold strong convictions on both sides of this issue.
So the protest continues. Loudly. Passionately.
And the world watches. In this situation, the children World Vision cares for are in the balance.
I don’t know if the protesting will ever stop. I do know I’m tired of it. I long for Christian unity (I don’t mean we all agree on everything, but I do mean working together as we love and serve people for the Kingdom of God).
I’m tired of wars that don’t seem to be mine.
I want to be a constructive, building, productive ant rather than a protest ant.
Here are a few posts on the protests happening because of World Vision’s policy change:
When Evangelicals Turn Against Children To Spite Me (written by a gay Christian)
And here’s an excellent post on the issue of protest and Christianity today…
Tag, you’re it! What do you think? Are you weary of being a protest ant? Do you see the value in protesting?