Thursday, May 07, 2009
Don't anybody think I'm comfortable
"I think ER has searched out and found a church that best echoes his own personal ideas of what he thinks God's Word should mean, even when it's obvious it doesn't. His church appears to be a "feel good, regardless of what the Word says" type of church."
Not even close. Dude, sometimes I glance around there on the fourth pew from the front on the left side (as seen from the pulpit), and I realize I'm sitting among six or seven gay guys, and it gives this ol' natural-born redneck the heebie-jeebies. Sometimes, I get tired of being preached to about how we're to love ALL, including our enemies, because this ol' natural born redneck actually likes to hook it up sometimes, especially with people who suck. Sometimes, I want to throw a hymnal when I'm admonished, yet again, to actually work for peace, not just pray for peace, because, you know, this ol' natural born redneck has a lot to do in life, and making phones calls, or attending protests or going to meetings and trying to organize people is just so much trouble for so little return, and this ol' natural born redneck has better things to do. Sometimes, I wonder what the hell I'm thinking, planning to take seminary classes this fall, when I have so many irons in the fire already, and a wife whose health ain't the best. Sometimes, this ol' natural born redneck wants to go back where he was comfortable, on a pew with a bunch of other smug, self-righteous rednecks. But I'm not just a natural born redneck, man, I'm a born-from-above redneck, and I didn't go looking for ANY of this way of thinking that is so unnatural to me! It found me. God God's self led me here, and continues to lead me. Thank. God. Almighty.
God loves all, but when he's done he's done!
I'll visit Neil's blog when . . . no, actually, I can't think of a time I would do so. As far as your confession goes, ER, I would ask Mark a counter-question: When was the last time you squirmed in your pew during a sermon because the preacher managed to sum up your views while simultaneously calling them wrong? My wife does it to me every damn week. At the same time, sure we all go where we feel comfortable, but the best churches are where we are not allowed to stay comfortable.
"And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light."
It's all crap, ER. All of it. That kind of "reasoning" is just blah-blah-blah to me, meaningless jabberwocky.
As usual, someone -- the Anon -- is confusing differences over which set of facts and propositions one must believe, and which rules one must follow, with the overt, conscious deceit and sham of someone totally faking it for his own purposes or gain.
It's about power.
As soon as conservatives get that God's power is expressed most forcefully in the complete surrender of the Divine, suffering the ignominious death on the cross, and that we are to imitate this ("have this mind in you as it was in Christ Jesus"), I might actually start listening to them. Until then, blah-blah-blah.
I thought God had no beginning and no ending...is he ever "done"? Are you putting limits on God? You are. You are putting human limits on God. Talk about arrogant.
"God loves all, but when he's done he's done!"
Truly pitiable. Statements like that almost make me feel sorry for the phonies like Anonymous.
What's interesting is that for the first half of my life, I went to traditional churches that did not challenge me. At all.
I mean, sure, I was challenged NOT to be gay, not to smoke, not to drink, not to dance, not to curse, not to play cards... but those were all meaningless and not especially a challenge.
I didn't particularly WANT to "be gay" or smoke or drink or curse (although I did dig playing cards and we mostly ignored that "challenge...") so where was the challenge in that?
Now, I am challenged in nearly every aspect of my life to walk more nearly in the steps of Jesus, which is a true challenge.
Funny what some consider to be a "challenge."
On the other hand, what about hearing about actually giving up stuff so those who have nothing might just survive? What about being told to love when all you want to do is ignore others? the older I get, the more I wish more Christians had a reputation like Jesus - drunkards and whore-mongers, blasphemers and insane people.
There's a UM Church - Asbury UMC - on Mass Ave in Washington, DC, near the city's red-light district. I don't know if it still exists, but at one time, they kept their doors open all night, and had a desk manned by volunteers to give the women a safe place to come inside and have a cup of coffee, go the bathroom, get warm. They didn't tell the women they were going to hell; they didn't tell try to convert them, give them tracts or Bibles. They practiced a ministry of hospitality to a group of people who needed to feel like they really were human beings of worth.
That's Christian witness. And, I do so hope that it would make people uncomfortable (it wouldn't me, not in the least, but I know oh so many who would be discomforted by it).