“Nobody is more dangerous than he who imagines himself pure in heart; for his purity, by definition, is unassailable.” James Baldwin
It all began nearly thirty years ago.
New to the forward thinking of the Episcopalians, I found myself in disagreement with one particular point in a sermon given by the Bishop of the LA Diocese. So, following my inquisitive proclivities I approached Bishop Fred Borsch afterwards during “coffee hour.” It was then I most respectfully questioned the biblical accuracy of his position.
Bishop Borsch thoughtfully considered my question before he responded, “You know, Charlie,” (I had introduced myself to him), “together we believe in the truths of the Scripture and that the words in the text are certainly not “wrong.” Although together you and I believe that Scripture is not wrong, we as errant human beings might be wrong in our interpretations.”
That brief encounter with the Bishop changed my thinking forever. I Could Be Wrong! No matter how sure I may be of any given “truth” I could be proven wrong when confronted with new information. That was when I chose to begin holding my “beliefs” in a bit of suspension, always prepared to be open to new ideas.
James Baldwin was right on target when he assailed the notion of self-righteousness by calling those with such beliefs as dangerous. Certainly, those with unassailable beliefs can be unapproachable. Ergo, “never talk about religion or politics” in a friendly gathering.
In times like we face today, I can think of no better words to live by than “I could be wrong.” My personal beliefs are always assailable and I wish to be open to other ideas.
Now, for me, I still hold certain beliefs very close to my heart and I have a hard time imagining someone changing my mind. But… you never know… I could be wrong.
When In Doubt
Count Yourself as Blessed
Photo courtesy of Deagreez at istockphoto