June 26, 2022

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Only one in Christ - our land

Only one in Christ – our land

This comment was first published in 2017.

Poet and theologian Padraig Twama runs Northern Ireland’s oldest peace-working organization. During Olafsvestdagen recently, he said that hatred and fear are sin, not difference. The struggles we have to live with, whether in societies or in life in general, the question is in what way. When two or three meet, there is a difference.

stressful love

Sometimes it is tiring to love the Church of Norway. There is so much wrong—and frustrations I don’t quite discover myself, I hear from friends who have their workplace among the concrete and needle of a country house of worship.

It has become a separate species, to complain about the state of the Church of Norway. Anyone who has many church connections on social media and is also a member of various theological groups on Facebook, knows very well what I mean.

no limits

Because there is no limit to what is wrong: there is very little availability. There is a lot of inclusion. He is very conservative. It is very liberal. We want a cult team. We want Bach. It is very tightly controlled from above. There is a lot of variety. There is a lot of bureaucracy. The bureaucracy is not professional enough. Priests have a very long and insignificant education. Priests do not know enough theology. The trade show hook must be on. Trade show hook must be closed. and so on.

Every time someone sends his arrows towards the Church of Norway I feel hit. I know the call to respond to or confront criticism or to justify the choices that are made. It is an irrational reaction, I have no guilt, no responsibility, no opportunity to change. But this happens because I love the church. For many of us, the connection to the Church of Norway is very deep. Ironically, it is precisely because we are so happy in the church that we get angry with it and with the people in it.

Every time someone sends his arrows towards the Church of Norway I feel hit

Åste Dokka

Patos and the universe

Those who file their complaints are happy to do so with great focus. They put in their healing moral indignation, academic titles, and clear words of scripture or contemporary common sense. And they are very right. Others are similarly very wrong. Ecclesiastical debates are rapidly taking on cosmic proportions, as the question of primarily taste becomes a question of immortality and the afterlife. Throw in universal human traits like righteousness, aggression, and pride, and you will continue to do so.

The church is many things. It is a roof over our heads, a floor under our feet, a room, and we can be in it, and many rooms. It is also the people who inhabit the architecture. I am amazed that we, who know so well in public life that people are different, and respect each other without problems, are unable to give each other space once we enter church. Most people live without problems surrounded by neighbors, colleagues, friends of their children and other people they did not choose. We record that we mean and do different things, but don’t feel the need to turn each other over to dinner at five or use a certain ballpoint pen. We live well with differences. Outside the church, they took care of you.

Most critics do it from the inside, from their room in the Church of Norway. They find a context in which to thrive, and seek the worship services they enjoy. In general, they are fine. Why should they think so hard about what they’re doing in the church next door? In one of the other service groups? Does everyone really have to think and do the same?

respect the room

He who values ​​his own room must also respect the rooms of others. My room only as long as I respect yours. It is respect for the integrity of others that creates space for one’s integrity. Without accepting diversity, the entire building collapses.

I think most happy people in the church have an unhappy love affair with her. It must be so as long as we are children of Adam. Not just a happy marriage. But can we try to differ in a slightly more simple way? Can we discuss without the goal we have to agree on?

Thank you and thanks for the disagreement

When the Holy Spirit was delivered on the first day of Pentecost, the apostles were given different languages. The church was founded on inequality and diversity. Diversity is not something that came next, but a phenomenon without which the Church would not exist. They quarreled in the primitive church. Thanks and praise for that. A popular church that must accommodate a great breadth of religiosity, must be ecumenical in itself, and recognize difference and conflict as legitimate.

We are one in Christ. It must continue.

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