the problem with WE

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.

2 thoughts on “the problem with WE

  1. Well, to me it would be a very boring world, and one where not much is done, if WE all believed the same thing and WE agreed on everything. I think that one of the best things about being a member of a church is that WE can disagree with each other in just about every aspect of daily living and faith, but WE can also come together in worship and WE can accomplish things together in mission. I would take this one step further and say that because WE do not agree with each other on everything, this permits new ideas to nurture and allows us to grow.

    PS: I note that you did not say WE love the Pittsburgh Steelers!

    1. Yes, the rest of my family’s Chicago connections run much deeper than their Pittsburgh connections. That is a case where even in that small group I cannot claim that WE love the Steelers. Just me.

      You bring up a great point about new ideas. It is that tension that allows creativity to grow.

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