This just hit me today -
I now realize and remember what it was that first blew gaping holes in the concept of separation as held by the majority of fundamentalists I grew up with:
What do I mean? Well, when I arrived at college, I started to meet Christians from different backgrounds then me, some who would never be accepted in fundamentalist circles. While my first instinct was recoil, I soon began to realize that there was just something about them that made it impossible for me to discount their authentic expression of faith.
They were like Jesus.
You can argue with theological positions, but it is hard to argue with fruit of the Spirit.
I was reminded of this because the doctor who delivered our baby yesterday (Preslie Taylor, who is inexpressibly beautiful...) is a faithful Roman Catholic. My wife and I have known her for a few years, and she has participated in the birth of all three of our daughters. We have had numerous conversations outside the medical context, often about Christ and faith. There is no doubt in my mind that she has a saving faith in Jesus, and it is evident to all who know her. She radiates with love, graciousness, and servanthood. She has become more a friend than a doctor, and we are so blessed by her.
But in the back of my mind when I first found out she was Catholic was - "Is she really a believer...?" I mean, she talks about Jesus, but she is Catholic???
Well, while there is no doubt we would disagree about many theological issues, she clearly says to people that she believes in Jesus Christ for her salvation. For her, it is all about Christ.
So, I ask... Do we have the right to second-guess someone's faith? If they claim to be trusting in what Christ did on the cross for their salvation, realizing it is all about Him... Who are we to argue?
Particularly when they evidence the fruit of Spirit as abundantly as those old starburst commercials (if you remember them... if not then just imagine fruit flyin everywhere.... :) ).