Social/Theological musings

I ran across an interesting article today. In it a Unitarian pastor was interviewed. The title caught my eye because it says, “Local Church Welcomes Atheists, Agnostics, Firm Believers.” there is something cool about this and also something possibly disturbing. I feel like the church should welcome and expect people of all beliefs, especially with the intent to share the good news of Jesus to those who don’t know and are interested. I’ve grown up with friends of all different faiths and found it sad that many of them felt too judged to come to church, especially when they were truly curious. Shouldn’t Church be the place people are most comfortable asking questions about deep and meaningful topics? Yet this particular church goes so far as to accept all as they are… The pastor says they are free to “believe in no god, one God, or many gods.” What? I’m so confused… I don’t even know if I could label that “spiritual,” let alone Christian. I wonder, how healthy is this?

In the article, the pastor says, “The church and the world ought to be on the same page.” I feel like I agree with him, but not in the way he is saying it. I mean, I think the church should be relevant and aware of what is going on around it. It should be light in the darkness. After all, we have the Incarnational example of God. But how similar to the world should we be? Should we really be on the “same page?”

I wish the gap between the pulpit and the people was less expansive, and I think we need to do a better job as bridge-makers. But in this church, where is the bridge going to? Can a vine detached from its root bear good fruit? Or maybe the argument can be made that this church helps people get to a spiritually “closer stage.” That is, This church doesn’t proclaim the full gospel but it brings people closer to it. Does God weep over this church or can we learn from it? Any thoughts, anyone?

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2 thoughts on “Social/Theological musings

  1. I found as a searching christian, someone who grew up in a Wisconsin Lutheran Church, I had questions about the faith I had been raised in. I found I was an outcast as I asked questions about my faith and how to apply it and live that life. I found my personal experiences and problems I faced were making me labeled for some reason and not accepted by other women in the church. I certainly did not feel that it was ok to ask pertinent questions because they made people feel uncomfortable with thier own faith, perhaps, Not sure. I still search for a church where I can be real and be myself and be accepted. At this point I dont want to have anything to do with organized religion because of the hypocricy of others. Sad, very sad.

  2. Hi Ann,

    Thanks for sharing those thoughts. It makes me so upset to think that churches are afraid of questions. After all, neither God, religion, nor life is simple. They may seem simple, but they are not. How then could we not ask questions? Maybe thats the problem. When we begin to ask questions, we begin to realize how difficult life really is, and those to whom we seek answers are forced to deal with that reality as well. In my experience, reality is both odd and not what we would expect. In this sense, questions are a necessary part of our survival. I also believe God’s glory is shown so powerfully through our own misunderstandings, confusions and frustrations. This is where God is seen as “wHoly other,” and questions show us our need for a Savior.

    C.S. Lewis said in Mere Christianity, “If you are thinking of becoming a Christian, I warn you, you are embarking on something which is going to take the whole of you, brains and all.” Romans 12:2 reminds us we are to be “transformed by the renewing of our minds.” For many of us, questions are a part of that process. Unfortunately no church or “religion” is perfect. Yet I think its important to strive for an atmosphere where questioning is not only accepted, but encouraged.

    M.P.

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