Book Tour memories
I'm taking some time to recuperate from a wild and wonderful book tour over the last seven weeks - with stops in New York, DC, Boston ... San Francisco, Berkeley, LA, and San Diego, and lots of cities in between. Lots of notes are coming in, like this one ... In this deep south city, during the Q & R time, a young man felt it was his important duty to tell me I was a heretic, to warn me of divine wrath if I didn't repent, etc., etc. He was very sincere and quite respectful, and obviously in some pain as he tried to faithfully deliver his message. Someone else who was present wrote ...
I would like to thank you again for your presentation in [our fair city] the other night. My wife and I really enjoyed it. Since both of us grew up in very fundamentalist Southern Baptist churches, a lot of what you said resonated with us. Even though she moved on to where she could encounter and experience God more intimately within Buddhism, she was giving an "Amen" every now and then!
As I stated in our brief time together, when people talk about finding a middle road, of trying to relate to those of other faiths, it's usually from the stand point of the Other being "out there." But in our case, the Other is found in our most intimate settings! Being a Celtic Christian priest married to a Buddhist sure makes people stop and rethink! We have found that there is a lot of unity between our ways of living that most people (especially in our state) wouldn't see. We like to see ourselves as living this "New Kind of Christianity."
I hope that your experience with [the young man who rebuked you] had some redeeming elements He stated that he told you "to your face" to repent. It's that way of seeing that turned my wife away from the church. I'm so sorry that you have to go through that type of thing. But, when stuff like that happens, I think of Jesus. He encountered a lot of the same things in his public ministry. I think you're in good company!
I got a lot out our evening together. It was very edifying.... Again, thank your for the wonderful evening. May God continue to bless you, your family, and your ministry.