god.in.a.box

ok. i am going to start by simply apologizing to anyone whose feelings may have been hurt or stepped on in the last few days as i have commented on some things that pretty much pissed me off. i have come off as harsh at times.  my intent was to speak my mind and make a point, not to offend or anger.  forgive me.

that said, with mari’s comment on that last post, i have come to a conclusion. he spoke of “debating generalities” and i am realizing that that is what i have been doing.  while i am frustrated with some (if not many) of the assumptions that come out of the more conservative “right wing” camp, i do not hold disregard or disdain for the people that hold views that are different than mine.  differing ideas and differing ways of believing the same thing are part of the glue that holds the american nation together.  still, i do believe that there are individuals within the “right wing” camp that are unwilling to look past the noses on their faces.  i am running into that at my church right now, and i think within some the blogs i read and comment on, and that really bothers me.

there are more non christians in my close circle of friends here in mi than christians right now.  and i don’t think it is because of a rift in my relationship with God, or a backslide in my faith or a shutting out of the christian friends i have.  i think it is because i tend to be more liberal than many of my christian friends, period. 

i resent the fact that when i mention to christian friends that there are issues within my church and what my pastor is dealing with that bother me, i am reminded to “serve” and “pray”.  i resent the fact that when i speak out about a generality like the “religious right” after getting slammed for having an opinion, i am considered to need to “heal my relationship with God”. 

when i bring up these same issues with the church to my non religious liberal friends, i don’t get shoved into a box with the “faithless-who-would-know-better-if-they-just-knew-God.” they are not so into doing the “right thing for God” that they fail to see the hurt and pain that is keeping americans from truely worshipping an amazing God!  they are not so busy worrying about what they will look like to their church and their peers if they go to the bar on a saturday nite or dye their hair pink.  they are more concerned about the suffering in darfur and the death toll in iraq and the innocent souls that need a jesus that brings a message of love and hope and peace and grace and joy than they are concerned about blaming the “religious left” for westernizing the middle east until they hate americans. 

i think this guy is closer to the truth i am aligning with: “I no longer believe we are called to live a “religious” life. But rather, as followers of Jesus, I believe we are compelled to live a life that reflects the passions that were evident in His life, even if those passions don’t always align with the passions of organized religion. And what I’ve learned so far has convinced me that this journey has and will continue to change the way I think about my faith, and ultimately, how I live in response to the life of Jesus. Although I don’t know how God’s presence in my life will finally look at the end of this journey, I do know one thing: He’s not going to fit in my box anymore.”

God hasn’t fit in a box for me for a long time.  i think that is why i am struggling in my church.  i also think it is why i am so carefully examining God’s roll in my life.  i don’t believe that He is going to smash me over the head if i don’t do the “right thing” anymore, and i am working really hard to discover what it means to live a life like that guy was talking about:  a life that exemplifies Christ by being wholly and completely the person He made me to be without boxing Him in.  because you can’t please everyone, and i would rather please Christ with my imperfections than strive to be without blemish in the eyes of the world. 

so.  this is the last time i am going to apologize.  i promise to read carefully, pray carefully, and research my opinion carefully before i comment hastily. but i do not promise to stop commenting, and i do not promise to stop holding passionate opinions.  to do so would be to ignore the person God is asking me to become. 

and that is one thing i WILL NOT do.

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~ by Erin on 22 January, 2007.

3 Responses to “god.in.a.box”

  1. “and i do not promise to stop holding passionate opinions. to do so would be to ignore the person God is asking me to become. and that is one thing i WILL NOT do.”

    you go girl. praying that things will work out. for me on some of those issues, too.

    have just been catching up on your blog entries for the past week or so. and i only saw the first two ever before that! i’m sorry i’ve been missing it! i’m hoping that since the holidays and the school changes for me have simmered down (more accurately, that i have simmered down from them) that i will keep up with everyone more 🙂 love you!

  2. glad to see you dolly! thanks for the word of support! i need to read yours… sorry i haven’t kept up on that. expect a visit this week! :}

  3. “because you can’t please everyone, and i would rather please Christ with my imperfections than strive to be without blemish in the eyes of the world.”

    Amen. Reminescent of Petite’s referece to our Audience of One. and delightfully so.

    “and i do not promise to stop holding passionate opinions.”

    “Unity doesn’t mean uniformity,” in Ravi’s words. One thing that I can say for this passionate, diversity of thought that is recognized vaguely in general terms is that it points to the power and preciousness of what unites us even still. the important stuff. the mere Christianity. Another thing I can say is that is wears me out. 🙂

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