One of life’s little incongruities:
I was sitting eating my lunch this afternoon in a commercial food hall in North Sydney. During the course of my meal, a group of five businessmen at the table on my left started talking rather animatedly. One of the men let out a volley of, “I can’t believe Jesus was such a good guy because…” I didn’t catch all of the conversation due to the noise; however I noted that they were back to discussing business five minutes later. Hmmm. Zipping in and out of secular and spiritual issues with hardly batting an eyelid. Interesting, I thought.
About fifteen minutes after that, an inter-religious discussion started up between two business women at the table on my right. One woman was curiously probing her female colleague about her Muslim faith and showing great signs of interest. The enquirer didn’t appear to be a Christian. It struck me that, here I was, in one of the most secular settings you can imagine, surrounded on both sides by alternative religious discussions. This was after I had spent last night composing a letter to a young (totally unchurched) teenager who’d been conversing with me and other youth leaders about her ghost experiences the previous week.
And my local minister considers alternate spirituality / new religious movements to be a side issue – the implication being it shouldn’t concern most Christians, and leaders don’t need to speak about it too often.