A funny word, schism is. The dictionary says that it is a split or division between strongly opposed sections or parties, caused by differences in opinion or belief. Some in the United Methodist denomination (I go to a UM church) want to split off because of issues like the marriage and ordination of gay church members. Some want to stay together being united as followers of Jesus Christ. The issue is complex and hotly debated. It points to how hard it is to find a way to agree to disagree that works for people of strong opinions.
I wish this were a new phenomenon among religious folks. Sadly, it is not. Each day we see evidence in the news about age old schisms between people who supposedly follow the same God. Sunni Muslims cannot live alongside of Shia Muslims. Christians of one church see heresy in other churches. And Jews are divided along differing lines of orthodoxy.
At this point I want to offer some sort of win-win cliché. I want to quote John Wesley about finding a way to love each other even though we differ in opinion. Or speak about not majoring on the minors. Sadly, I no longer embrace such rhetoric. The sad truth is that people do not find much value in unity. Many prefer schism over finding common ground.
I guess that is the real truth. Schism is a preference. For sure it is a distasteful one for many. A necessary evil for some. A capitulation of sorts to a so-called greater truth - whatever that means. Yet religious schism is a hard reality in our world of low road winners and losers. And for sure, there are no real winners when we choose to divide.
But perhaps there is a better way? I would be interested to hear your thoughts concerning religious schism.