Friday, January 11, 2008

I've had it

(RANT ALERT!)

I have had it with the Body of Christ tearing itself limb-from-limb. I mean it. I'm sick to death of it.

The wholescale warfare against mainline Protestant denominations by the self-declared orthodox (little "o") and evangelical and conservative members (who apparently, wrongly think there are no orthodox or evangelical or conservative UMs or Presbyterians or Episcopalians or Disciples or ELCAs or UCCs) is uncalled-for. To them, we're not hardline enough on "gays." We're too hardline on social justice. We're not quick enough to excommunicate members. We're too "feminized." We're this, we're that, we're not thus and such . . . take your pick, pick your combo of pointed fingers. And in the final analysis, they consider us not really/fully/acceptably Christian at all. That's it. Never mind our faith, they claim we don't belong to Jesus Christ because we don't agree with them or do things their way.

SAYS WHO? Who condemns us? Not our Judge. We're trying our best to serve God and one another and the world as Jesus taught us. We've received assurance that we're forgiven sinners and we're charged to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling. Christ is in our midst, through the power of the Holy Spirit. Fellow mainliners, take heart. As my pastor quoted Romans 8:1 just this week at a funeral, "There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ." Whatever else we may or may not be, as imperfect but redeemed sinners, we ARE in Christ.

And I would observe to my sisters and brothers who insist on troubling us with their finger pointing, that it is impossible to simultaneously spread the gospel of Jesus Christ AND tear apart the body of Christ with their attacks on us mainline brothers and sisters. Like it or not, we ARE in Christ. Our goal IS to spread the gospel; won't you join us in that endeavor instead of denying our faith because we're not as conservative/orthodox/evangelical (in your definition) as you claim to be?

4 comments:

P.S. an after-thought said...

Thanks for the reminder of Rom. 8:1. My favorite verse is Rom 5:8. That is sort of the same concept from the flip side.

And....isn't there a LOT about not judging in the NT?

Anonymous said...

Wow, don't know what started THIS, but I agree with you. Here's my issue with "judging" obviously, lest ye be judged, but moreso:
What if you judge someone? You've frozen them in time and eternity to that one elemental singular view. And, you know what I've found after 30 years in ministry? People change. They grow. They faulter. They regrow and evolve. They become more like Christ. But if we judge them, we've pronounced a lifetime sentence on them. WRONG. I agree with all you have said. And, I also think you are one of the best communicators I have read in blog-dom!
Paisley

P.S. an after-thought said...

I like anon's comment. I hadn't thought that through in the way he/she did, but I've seen, living in a small town, how I later need to have a relationship with certain people who annoyed me. Good thing that in a small town, you bump into people in different contexts, so you get to know them as real people, from a 360 viewpoint.

Anyway, I'm a "judger" by nature, but I sure hope that people don't judge me as quickly as I judge them.

Of course, being a Lutheran, I'm probably a bit more open minded on faith issues than some people in some other groups.

My former pastor came across as "liberal" to some people because he had seen much of the world, and therefore, he wasn't closed minded. Yet he had a really deep faith. His faith was deep enough to embrace differences and questions.

Crimson Rambler said...

BLESS YOUR HEART and thank you for this. It troubles me too -- and also in part because I'm a hair-trigger judger myself.