A great article in the Christian Century recently about “Double Belonging” features my theological mentor, Paul Knitter. Paul is one of several people interviewed in the article who see themselves as more than just Christian. Each story gets to a basic Truth that I’ve begun to recognize more clearly this past year of Open Hearts Gathering’s existence--that none of us are of just one religion. When we get together as a group, we come from many different Christian backgrounds, influenced by a number of other religious sources. Over this first year of our existence, we have brought together with us other people who practice forms of Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Wicca, Bahai, and Gnostic ways. Christianity isn’t the only religion that we practice and preach. We believe in and live within all kinds of different religious traditions.
So, whether I pray the Jewish Shema in the morning, walk through some Tai Chi moves after breakfast, or practice Zazen for a few minutes in the afternoon, I do all these things through a Christian lens, and beyond it. We all belong doubly, triply, quadruply, because all these religions permeate the one religion we think we belong to. It's time to recognize our inherent interreligiousness. Thanks, Paul, for pointing it out to us so publicly!
Rev. Dennis Teall-Fleming is a Licensed Minister and Pastor of Open Hearts Gathering, a new Disciples church plant in Gastonia, NC.