Wednesday, November 29, 2006
A friend called the other day and asked if I still hate my church. This was a heavy question, especially since the friend who was asking was a member of the same church. Do I hate it? No. But I do find myself at odds with many of the teachings, primarily the emphasis on how to be blessed and how to have faith for healing, success, prosperity or (fill in the blank). It’s not that these things are wrong but they just aren’t priorities for me. My friend then asked the natural question: So what are you?
Hmm … good question. On some days I’d say I’m a 4-point Calvinist – simply because that sounds refined. I can recite 3 of the points and I know I disagree with one of those. But I do like the emphasis on total depravity. Seems like many churches have become so chummy with God that they’ve forgotten who He is. I’ve visited churches that were so relaxed folks noisily crumpled their muffins’ Saran Wrap as they attempted to devour breakfast during the church’s worship time. I’ve also been in churches that teach God has placed all authority on us so that it’s up to us and our faith to cause things to happen. I guess I’m just trying to find a balance between the authority of the believer and the authority of God – but I haven’t located middle ground yet.
I’d also say I’m a Baptist, mainly because I like their evangelistic emphasis. I have a missional heart and have felt a call to missions since I was a teenager. I think sharing our faith through relationships is one of our greatest responsibilities as believers – and one of the most neglected.
Perhaps I’m also a wee bit non-denominational in that I don’t feel an allegiance to one group of people. Call me a rebel, a lone ranger or perhaps a mutt. I am not awed by leaders, particularly religious ones, and I rarely follow the party line.
Not sure if that answered her question or if there is a way to describe me. I think this is why I hate labels – they never seem to stick.