Whose God is it, Anyway? by Esther Nelson

Brilliant, yet common sense insights into how religion can breed intolerance and persecution when it’s practitioners feel that their way and only theirs is the correct path to God. Love the extract from “The Color Purple” – says it all, really. And didn’t someone renowned for his inclusivity and tolerance once say “Behold the lillies of the field…..”

esther-nelsonI do not attend church (or any “house of worship”) regularly anymore.  However, one hot, humid, Sunday morning this past August, I wended my way to St. Mark’s Episcopal to hear my friend, Dale, preach.  He does “pulpit supply” there (his home church) occasionally.  Dale earned an MFA (Master of Fine Arts) in creative writing after finishing his seminary studies.  He’s written a one-man play titled “Jesus Phreak” and has performed it in churches and universities nationwide.  Dale and I have been friends for a decade or so.  He identifies as a Christian, but he’s not like any Christian I’ve ever known.

Church is familiar to me.  I was born to Protestant, missionary parents who “served the Lord” in Buenos Aires, Argentina, after graduating from Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, Illinois.  My parents had a “special burden” for Jews and worked to bring them to “the knowledge of Jesus Christ.” …

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