A commitment to Christ is a commitment to engage with other Christians and thus to be part of 'organised religion.' To be part of one organised religion is to suffer the slings and barbs of outrageous fortune as other organised religions visit their weird and woeful, if not wacky and worrisome behaviours on the world. No more virulent example of the dark side of religion is the work of IS. But there are other awkward moments for the presence of religion in human life ...
1. I realise I will never be a very good conservative religionist because I have quite liberal standards in respect of heresy. I cannot, for instance, think of heresy as something warranting execution.
2. In fact I may not be a very good conservative Christian because I do not agree that maintaining the highest of standards for marriage is reason to be exclusionary about who is permitted to receive the eucharist. Now, I may be misunderstanding the letter at this link, signed by many Catholic leaders as well as well know Protestant Rick Warren, but I suspect that its otherwise agreeable entreaty to the Pope and Bishops (gathering soon for the Synod of Bishops on marriage and family life) about upholding marriage standards is code for something else. In this instance, code for 'keep telling divorced persons unable to obtain an annulment that remarriage will deny them the eucharist.'
3. Naturally I subscribe to the view, as I am sure you do, that a measure of religion's value this side of eternity is its contribution to peace, wisdom, love and joy among human beings. A logical deduction to make is that a seminary training future ministers of a religion will be the epitome of peace, wisdom, love and joy. Modelling future behaviour is everything, surely. However this benign and naive view of enlightenment breaks down when we read about the latest news from the famous General Theological Seminary. They resigned. We did not! All is well. No, it isn't!
Chloe's pink slippers, the third part will appear soon.