Sometimes ya just get tired…

…of the continuing rhetorical battle between different camps in the church.

One group objects to male language about God.
Another thinks that attempts to be sensitive to language is simple political correctness and not at all a means for inviting the former group into conversation.

Both sides are convinced of their “rightness,” and in the strength of their belief, there often isn’t much room for grace.

At what point can each side recognize what’s at stake for the other,
and while they may hold their own views of how to talk about God
be willing to embrace the other’s in the recognition that
NONE of our words fully embraces the nature of the one we worship?

“Political correctness,” cuts both ways, when you think about it.

The right often throws out the term against the left,
but in fact the right has their own form of political correctness
in suggesting that the left’s words are without value and/or purpose.
The conversation is all about politics – on both sides – and ultimately becomes an argument about rightness and wrongness.

And in the interim,
people continue to flee from those crazy church people
who major on the minors and fail to address the concerns of the real world.

God forgive us.

One thought on “Sometimes ya just get tired…

  1. Amen and Amen! And there are some days I think about fleeing myself! In “Christianity after Religion” Diana Butler Bass talks about beliefs were not originally the centerpiece of Christianity–it was all about “how you lived your life”. Originally, it was about belonging to a community which then shaped behavior which then resulted in belief. People were held accountable for “how they lived their lives”, not what they believed–which was Wesley’s focus. When the different churches started splitting off, the order was reversed because each was trying to prove theirs was the best way. Bass gives a wonderful analogy of wanting to learn how to knit: you look for the ones who do it well; what they believe about knitting is unimportant. And as you sit with a knitting group, you develop your own unique technique (behavior) and beliefs as to why you should be knitting. It is quite a concept–one that turns my thinking upside down. But then my thinking was already rattled because the new pastor was the one person out of my long-time congregation, who stepped up, took a risk and without really knowing me, committed to walk with me through a dark and difficult time; but yet, when it comes to “doing church”, and our backgrounds, we are complete opposites: we butt heads; I call him my Samaritan. What was ultimately life-saving for me, though, is not his “beliefs” but his actions–how he lives his life. I have learned more about Jesus and being a disciple through our friendship than I ever did in a lifetime of “going to church” and being a good member.

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