I have two sets which I try to blend.
One group consists of those who know me in church, in ministry, at coffee where we talk deeply upon spiritual matters.
The other groups consists of those who know me in my book club, through old times of employment, through a trip to Europe, at coffee where we talk politics.
One group talks of rigid rules, boundaries as parents. The others do so in a lessened form.
One group met at church last night for the beginning of supplemental, spiritual development courses (I'm in one on parenting teens).
The other met yesterday for drinks and a trip to see "Brokeback Mountain."
I was in the middle of both. Drinks. Gay cowboys. Church. I even brought one of my church friends to the other gathering, and she and I sped off to our church courses afterwards. It was an interesting blend and caused me to think today of that old Francis Schaeffer concept of 'integration' or "all truth is God's truth wherever it may be found."
So often in my upbringing, I was taught to separate from those who viewed things differently than me. Now, I know that I simply can't do that. I'm too interested in other's viewpoints and how God interacts sans formula in people's lives or how people invite or discard Personal transcendence. Or, just how life works without specific definitions which I've adopted or been trained to see.
I guess that I should worry about being influenced negatively. However, I'm not and feel comfortable in my two groups which I hope to bridge even more, if the established thoughts on both sides allow it. It's interesting, though, how we dichotomize as a way of establishing footing.