FYI: The laptop fund stands at $231. The odd figure is because PayPal sometimes takes a bite out of donations. Still, that’s the easiest way to handle money changing hands.
ecumenism: a belief and practice of unity with other religions
For us, it hardly matters whether the discussion refers to formal union; by common definition there is nothing formal about our religion. We have to get past that part first.
Radix Fidem as a covenant presumes a family structure. As with any other kind of extended family household, there are no membership lists. There is no formal in-or-out boundary line. If you associate and invest time and energy in fellowship, you will be loved and remembered. If you have other things to do, you’ll be a stranger. If you never get involved in the first place, no one will know your name. Your “membership” is a living thing and it requires nurture to stay alive.
So while your name may show up in a list of contacts somewhere in someone’s computerized records, there is no census or membership roll.
I do claim to be the current figurehead of Radix Fidem as a religion distinct from others; I am the elder, the head of household. But you have to subscribe to the covenant and get my attention in some fashion or I won’t know you are there. Simply subscribing to the blog doesn’t really get my attention. Among those who are on my list of contacts are lots of folks who have never said they accept the covenant, so they aren’t considered family. Only folks who want to embrace the blessings and burdens of membership are included. It’s not like you have to qualify for it, passing through milestones and a ritual of entrance.
In that sense, I suppose ecumenism is built into Radix Fidem. Nobody says you have to belong to us exclusively; you can belong to anything else that brings you peace. You can attend a regular organized church somewhere. I don’t attend one because, so far, nobody wants me around without demanding unacceptable changes. That doesn’t prevent some group somewhere adopting me someday. Meanwhile, you don’t have to discuss with me your connections to other religions. All I need to see is your loyalty to the family.
The issue is more like an alliance with folks who are no threat to us. They aren’t family, but there’s no reason to be hostile. Obviously we aren’t going to change our teachings or activities to suit them, but I can’t imagine being hostile since I teach that there is no objective truth in the first place. In other words, the issue is functional cooperation, not shared belief. Theirs is valid for them, as far as we are concerned. We aren’t promoting ideas in that sense.
That doesn’t prevent us from seeing problems with their ideas and beliefs, but that’s the reason we don’t join their religions in the first place. If Radix Fidem doesn’t reflect your own sense of what’s right in God’s eyes, you shouldn’t be involved with us. We agree to this covenant because we can’t find a better way to commune with the God who calls us.
But we leave room in our thinking for God calling other folks in other ways to other beliefs. In that sense, there’s no reason to balk at ecumenical cooperation for what it’s worth. But we aren’t signing onto anyone’s political agenda, either, so ecumenism as a disguise for a politics is a dead end. But simple friendship and peaceful cooperation in other ways are just dandy with me.