Could there be some day a Radix Fidem military chaplain?
Not likely, though not impossible. For now, it would require a fairly radical change in government. That is, the kind of process for seeking government recognition as a valid religious organization includes way too many barriers for us right now. That’s particularly true if we are talking about a stand-alone organization. Gaining recognition under someone else’s umbrella might be a lot easier, but I’m not aware of any existing organization that would welcome us. Our covenant puts us way outside the ballpark.
However, nothing keeps you as a covenant member of the family from seeking endorsement from any agency you choose. There’s nothing about our covenant that excludes other religious affiliations, so much as a general recognition that others have excluded us. I didn’t set out to start a separate religion, and our current organization — such as it is — barely provides an identity for folks who didn’t feel welcome somewhere else. Granted, the purpose of a covenant statement tends to draw boundaries that exclude certain things, but nobody is going to interrogate you to check your adherence.
The whole point of what we do here is to offer a home for your soul. It’s a covenant family household. How much organization do you need to feel at home? We try to provide that, however much it is, as long as it isn’t the wrong kind of organization. But we also welcome anyone who just wants to hang out and bounce ideas off our existing frame of reference. In other words, we aren’t trying to fulfill all of the common expectations of an organized religion, just the ones we find essential for our own sense of calling and mission together. And it turns out that’s nowhere near enough for gaining military approval for chaplaincy under the name “Radix Fidem.”
This brings us back to that phrase “meta-religion” — we are less of a religion, and more of a religious approach to defining religion. Personally, I was content on this blog to share my thoughts about what faith should produce in my human existence from within the context of my own life. From there, I made some effort to discuss with others some of what I discovered; it turns out that there were people who felt the same sense of conviction about such things. As this discussion went on, there were more folks who joined in the discussion and began asking for some kind of affiliation and organization. So here we are.
The net result is that we don’t fall into any of the familiar categories people use to talk about religion. If the context in which we all live were to change significantly, we would likely have to change how we present ourselves to the world. It may well be that some of you live in countries where our current organization is acceptable to the government; feel free to run with it. I’ll be glad to help you work that out and let you use the name. But I’m called by God to remain in the American context myself, and most of what I write will reflect that. It will shape the defaults, the range of things we are likely to do in terms of organization. Given the current US government, I cannot imagine how we could meet its demands without compromising on the essentials of what we are as an organization.
For example, we have no divinity school. Further, I know of no existing seminary that would tolerate much of what is essential to Radix Fidem. That’s not to say there is none, but all the ones I know about won’t make room for us. Each would require we espouse something ruled out by our covenant. We stand in a peculiar place. And I cannot imagine the resources it would take to construct a program of academic study that would gain endorsement from any of the existing accrediting agencies.
And honestly, I don’t think my books constitute a broad enough body of literature to serve as more than just a very early starting point. We are in dire need of more stuff written by other people just to take the first steps down that road. Keep in mind that we are recovering something that was mostly forgotten for 2000 years.