- Pathfinder

Reply To: What are 3 tangible ways that you can personally improve your relationships with Christians from other traditions?

Jordan Karausky

In the past few years I have had to do this, and in the light of my recent experiences and the lectures, a few things come to mind. First, really sitting down and learning some of the differences and similarities in a way which can be stated. This is often overlooked because some people have interacted superficially with other Christian traditions, but the differences are sometimes still unclear. Having clear lines of disagreement is good, so long as we are all committed to respect one another. Second, avoiding cliché characterizations of other traditions. Things like accusing catholics of being idolators or accusing protestants of being “a church of one” can be wounding or exasperating. Avoiding the clichés can really help to disarm tensions. And last but not least, know the weak spots in your own traditions. My catholic friends are very clear that they are uncomfortable with the protestant church’s lack of clear leadership. My orthodox friends are very clear that protestant’s inability to trace apostolic succession makes them uncomfortable. Acknowledging the difficulties my tradition must carry is both humbling and disarming when interacting with persons outside of my tradition.