Sometimes I fear infection from small cancers, the creeping kind. I read the tolerant Christians espouse tolerance. Cynically, they mock the abortion picketers, the Baptist preachers, and the Christian Coalition. But once the layers are peeled back none of that seems very peaceful or loving--two key virtues of the tolerant Christian I am told. I admit that I identify with this point of view all too often.
I read the orthodox espouse orthodoxy. Rigidly, they read mandates where there are none, create doctrinal constructs around singular verses, and equate Godliness with personal perfection (and perhaps political ideologies). I confess; I find myself here too.
It's these covert cares of the world that confound me, these camouflaged thorns that look so much like good religious thought or action. We may mean well when we tell our hippie friend that Jesus doesn't look like a Christian Coalition member, or when we claim that he certainly wouldn't be associated with a post-modern "emergent" movement, or when we inform those around us that they have spoken "curses" over themselves. But are meaning well and doing good the same thing?
Pride is a chameleon and kissing cousins with anger, I think.