there’s you and then there’s me

[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…..


8 responses to “there’s you and then there’s me

  1. AMEN! Our job is to point to Jesus, not to ourselves or to ‘hot topics’ but to Jesus…great reminder 🙂

  2. Well said, Libby!!!

  3. Every now and again I wish the community of the church would come back from specific issues and remember what it means to be a follower of Christ.

    And that they would read the blogs of those who are up an coming into roles of leadership. It might scare them.

  4. susanhenschen

    I really, really appreciate the voicing of your thoughts around these issues. I’m new to your blog and wonder if I know you from somewhere as I am a life-long PC(USA) gal myself. I’ve struggled with these same questions. I am not telling you what to do, but I get by on the thought that God is bigger than everything and if God is Love (which I believe is what God is), then how can hate ever work? I realize that’s high level and perhaps watered down, but it keeps me sane and focused.

  5. themadlibs

    Susan – I have no idea if we know each other! 🙂 How’d you land over here? 🙂

    As for you, I absolutely agree – and would hope that I’m never convey that hate is the goal, or that God is not Love. That’s exactly where my frustration is. I read these thoughts of “won’t “they” ever get it ad nauseum from each side, and wish I knew how to stand in the middle and say “is there a get it here, or do you get that you aren’t even loving one another right now? And how do we love your neighbors who are outside of the denomination/tradition/faith if you can’t even lose your sisters and brothers on the other side of the table.”

    Thanks for popping over and leaving a thought! 🙂

  6. Wow. Big thoughts and a big AMEN! I believe that all denominations get so wrapped up in arguing about issues like homosexual ordination and marriage that they miss the point: sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ and bringing people into the Kingdom of God. We must learn to love one another in spite of and within denominational differences and we must learn to treat each other with respect and love. Yes, we have to draw the line somewhere when it comes to what we believe at our core; however, that does not give us the right to judge or to point fingers at folks who do not believe as we do. I think the pointing of fingers and the yelling and arguing amongst ourselves is why only 4% of current college students declare themselves Christians. But don’t get me started…this is a BIG issue…way to tackle it, Libs!

  7. themadlibs

    Well, I think the reality is that the Church is always going find something to bicker over – call it our immaturity, brokenness, insecurity, lack of trust in God’s ultimate authority, or what have you – but I’m pretty gosh darn sure that it’s going to happen.

    But, when we forget to love even ourselves, then – then we have a problem. I hate to say it, but I think I’m calling Houston about this one right now…

  8. Pingback: Design Ministry » Summer at Fuller …

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