By Pagan, I don’t mean, as I once did when I used the word, someone who is not a Christian and who misbehaves a lot. Though Holli grew up as a Christian, she nowadays identifies her faith as Paganism, and as far as I know, she doesn’t misbehave any more than the rest of us. I like Holli, who is very good writer, and am proud to call her a friend.
For most of my adult life, I have been an Ecumenical sort of person. Ecumenism is a semi-technical word describing conversation and interaction among those within the household of the Christian faith. So Baptists, Quakers, Catholics, Greek Orthodox, Pentecostals, Methodists and Presbyterians are all Trinitarian Christian denominations. When we worship together, that is called Ecumenical worship.
Interfaith conversations have always stretched me. Hindus believe in many gods. Unitarians believe, well, I’m not sure yet what they believe. Jews and Muslims believe in One God, and say that Christians believe in Three Gods. Mormons believe a lot of what Christians believe, then add on to their faith system an even Newer Testament, the Book of Mormon. There are a lot of different faith systems in our world. They can be overwhelming and confusing.
My purpose, in this blog, is not to explain other faith systems. In fact, you could read Holli’s blog tomorrow and not have a clue she is a Pagan. She chose to write about the Hmong people in North Carolina.
But I wanted to say, up front and without apology, that my life the past forty years has become more and more inclusive about other people and their faith. I no longer feel the need to be a guardian of orthodoxy. I know what I believe, but I have learned to listen to other people. Everybody I know, including me, is wrong is some of what they believe and what they do. Lifelong growth is my goal. Learning from people with different life experiences is vital.
Holli Emore can teach me a lot. So, thanks to Holli for her friendship and for adding to the variety and color of our lives. Aren’t you glad we don’t all look alike and think alike?