I love the fact that I can post things on here privately.
Where no one can see them but me.
I actually just utilized this feature last week.
But you didn’t know that, did you?
No, you didn’t.
Because it was marked as Private.
What started as an apology of sorts for the crystal clear bitterness of some recent posts became a fairly scathing love note to a former employer.
Pretty intense stuff.
But intense stuff that I have no right to tell them or anyone else anymore.
Because I don’t work there anymore.
But I think thats kind of stupid, too.
I love how we ignore needs in sister churches because its not “our church” anymore.
Or how we ignore others thoughts and opinions because they’re no longer “one of us.”
Maybe its a sliver of what optimism I’ve managed to hold on to…
But shouldn’t the Church [universal] be more important that the church [local]?
I mean, it would seem to me that the eternal message of Christ and his love and mercy and grace, along with the snapshots of how he lived his life, should be more influential than 150 years of history and tradition.
Perhaps it is just my juvenile, naive, immature nature that makes me question why someone leaving a church essentially blots them out of existance there.
As if just because I don’t attend the same church as you, I must not be right.
I can’t know anything, can I?
After resigning, in a deacons meeting, a man who I have admired for many years asked why would God build up a ministry, only to pull it out from under the church?
That question stuck with me.
And here is the best answer I could come up with…
Because that ministry became synonomous with an individual rather than a whole.
Because it wasn’t like there is a church and its youth group.
Because they were more like seperate entities.
Thats why as soon as I left there was no attempt made to keep having worship before Bible study on Wednesdays.
But some things I do know.
I do know there has been gossip…about me, and my words.
Many of those taken out of context from this very blog without asking me what I meant, or why I said certain things.
And I’m okay with that.
I can forgive that.
I will forgive that.
What I do have a problem understanding, however, is why I still feel so jaded toward the *Church.
Note the “Big C.”
That means this isn’t directed at a single church, but rather the Church universal.
I ran across this post by Anne Jackson that really got a conversation started (400 Comments as I write this) about the questions people would ask, or the things they would say in their churches that aren’t wouldn’t be well received.
Some are kind of funny.
But for the most part, they are horribly sad.
Its disappointing, and frightening to a degree, that such open conversation doesn’t appear to be welcome in the American church.
When did the church stop being a safe for believers and nonbelievers alike to question and search?
When did it become unacceptable for a minister to have questions, doubts, fears, and new ideas?
When did each church recieve a notice from God that their respective beliefs are 100% correct?
God is much bigger than our interpretations.
Not one of us, individuals or churches, holds a monopoly on the truth.
I believe certain things because of my convictions and how I interpret the scriptures.
You do the same thing.
Lets not be so ignorant, though, to believe that we have it all correct.
I promise we don’t.
Thats why it is so important to keep the conversation going, to keep asking questions, to keep it innovative.
Peace and love.