Today while shoe shopping, a young clerk commented on my Last Supper belt buckle and Mary Magdalene tattoo. Intrigued, he asked "why do you have that stuff, are you just really interested in Catholicism?" I explained that no, I am a Lutheran vicar. He said "I'm studying for the ministry too" "Oh really" I said "Where?" (There are 2 seminaries in town) To which he replied "Victory Outreach Center, they have college accredited classes and I go every week."
My standard reaction set in, which I am in no position to defend, namely that I immediately thought, OK, not really the same thing buddy. I have an BA in Religion and have finished 3 years of post-graduate work in Theology....and GREEK, did I mention GREEK???
That is part "a" of my standard reaction.
Part "b" is that when I meet Christians from places like "Victory Outreach", or any other church that places itself outside of the church catholic (small c), what I hear them saying is that "The Gospel is: there is an in-group (the saved....meaning us) and there is an out-group (the lost)"
The problem is that what I believe is that "The Gospel is: because of Christ there no longer is an out-group", so this makes it super hard to do the Christian *wink*wink*, which is why I always threaten to start wearing a shirt that says "I'm not that kind of Christian"
I don't really want to be this way, because it basically just lacks generosity.