[Edit: I took out the first paragraph – it was the start to a totally different blog entry, and lets be honest, there’s enough below.]
Intensives are by name alone, intense. So imagine the thrill, exhilaration and utter joy when I walked into Presbyterian Creeds class. I mean, hello! i won’t get into a lot of specifics – maybe your comments can educate the readers as to all the fun things we did. I have lovely woman who is our professor. She is really gentle-hearted, caring, loving, and passionate about her evangelical charismatic Reformed (hey, I got my capital R in!) tradition.
I had hoped that my overwhelming proclivity of question-asking would not affect me, but when I discovered quickly that our conversations would revolve daily around homosexual ordination, which rarely is actually correlating as a primary class topic, I find myself drawn more and more to distractions. The double-standards often presented in class, such as stewardship and marriage are about to drive me bonkers – and I have 3 more days left.
I want to not run away from the PC(USA) – I want to adopt the same ideology that my home, conservative, church has: Staying to Make a Difference. But I wonder if some groups want to make a difference or if they want people to switch to their perspective. I find it rather ironic that so often in the midst of a denomination that supposed does not have irreconcilable differences, we are more afraid of the other side because of one specific issue – and issue that we cannot even agree upon the root issue.
It really can’t matter, though. Why? What are you saying? I’m saying that it can’t matter because, well, I think that we’re beyond fixing this. Do I deny that God can mediate, reform, transform and heal our denomination (or people)? Not at all. But I think how we are defining each of these terms is coming to a crossroad. As a friend mentioned today in a “conversation,” our church may be beyond reconcilable differences. I don’t want to see a separation, but I also do not like be condescended – and I’m certain that the other side feels the same. We all want to be heard – but we’ve taken the issue of homosexual ordination to our understanding of the salvation. I don’t know if it really and truly is a secondary issue anymore.
I know that I am a visionary – sometimes my dreams for the future get out of control. And sometimes, I have very little hope in reconciliation. Honestly, watching what’s going on in our denomination, and reading blogs about people believing that we just need to pray for “those liberals” and “those conservatives” demoralizes me because we’ve limited people to titles, not people, just like we have homosexual persons. Just like Christianity. I hate labels, and our denomination is labeling one another beyond a healthy boundary. It breaks me. It brings me to my knees.
So my hope? My hope is our knees are willing to pray with as little bias as possible – waiting expectantly upon God to speak to us, our denomination, our country, and our world is not for our personal gain, but for trusting in the hope of Christ’s transformation, whatever that may be. I may have all of this wrong on ordination, women in ministry, palestinian v. israel conflict, war in Iraq, presidential nomination, blah blah blah.. But I hope I can hear both sides and trust that in the end, my job as a Christian woman in ministry is to point to Jesus, and Jesus call to transformation and hope. That’s my job – not pointing fingers and calling others names. Nope. I have to stop that.
……You and Me……:::…..matthew barber…..