Do you know anyone who is “revisionist and dangerous?” I am apparently married to such a person.
In her efforts to secure a speaker for an event, Rachel has been in communication with a particular individual who, over the weekend, declined the invitation. I have read one of this person’s books and advised Rachel to have a conversation about God language with the person.
In the world of the United Methodist Church, God language is not gendered. I have to admit that I will throw in a masculine pronoun every now and then, but only to avoid the awkwardness of using the word “God” seven times in one sentence. Both of us felt this issue held potential for contention should this person come to speak.
The issue of God-language raised, the author/speaker backed out. That is respectable. But to back out because people with such concerns are “revisionist and dangerous”? There’s not much respect there.
I have known people with a wide variety of theologies over the years. I know, and enjoy talking about issues with, a pretty eclectic group of folks now. (For that matter, I really appreciate the broad range of perspectives among readers of this blog) But I learned several years ago that labeling someone, or even some idea or position with words like “revisionist” or “dangerous” is itself perhaps dangerous.
This kind of thing happens regularly in politics. People accused President Bush of calling anyone who diagreed with his war policies a traitor. People are now Accusing President Obama of labeling all anti-abortion protestors as terrorists.
We owe it to people not to strap them with labels until after we’ve at least had a conversation with them. The act of having a legitimate conversation with another person will overcome many labels.