WE. A dangerous word.
Granted, I can use it accurately in my immediate family. WE love the Chicago Bears. We love the Chicago Blackhawks. WE would have loved the Atlanta Thrashers, but I’m sorry, WE don’t love the Winnipeg Jets.
Beyond that, it’s a dangerous word.
There are a lot of people I have something in common with, but I don’t know anyone I have everything in common with. For instance, I went to Wake Forest, a university with a student body of about 3,200 while I was there, around 800 per class. Extrapolate that figure, and it’s reasonable to think there are 50,000 WFU alumni who are currently living. That’s 50,000 people I have something in common with. Is it reasonable to assume that those 50,000 people and I would agree on everything, every social, political, moral issue that comes before us? It’s not.
However, that assumption will be made when it comes to issues of faith. People will say, “WE as Presbyterians think…” or “WE as Christians believe…”
I have served in 6 different churches altogether, and I can tell you that in each one, people canceled each other’s votes in political elections. In each congregation, people disagreed on political issues, social issues, theological issues. I could never stand up and say WE are all conservative, WE are all liberal. I couldn’t stand up and say WE all believe Jesus is the Son of God, as I know in each congregation we had people who struggled with that idea. And what better place to try and sort that out than in the church? Frankly, I believe the church is at its best when people who disagree on issues can set aside those differences, worship together and do mission together.
My point is this. Be careful with that word, WE. You may not know the person next to you as well as you think.