If there's one message we should get from the story of Jesus it's that he is a decentralizer. Against the intense pressures of the three major principalities and powers the religious establishment (the Pharisees), the government (Rome and the Sanhedrin) and education (the Synagogue and Teachers of the Law), Jesus taught about a grace uncontrollable and universal. Paul carried it further beyond the borders of Israel to include all peoples.
So why do many churches make us feel like we are being asked to sign the dotted line and commit ourselves to a local Christ, a provincial doctrine, a familiar faith? Why, when we are being challenged to commit ourselves to Jesus, whom we know is universal, cosmic and decentralizing, do we feel like we are being challenged to constrict ourselves and confine ourselves to a narrow, limiting and separatist point of view?
Is there a way we can be committed to the spirit of Jesus but still embrace the cosmos a cosmic commitment? Is there a way to avoid being generic but global? Is there a way to embrace the scandal of the particular but also participate in the reality of the reconciliation of all things in One?