I have done some thinking these last few days about the faith that I love – and I have done a lot of reading and blogging in that time. I have come to the most absurd conclusions ever (on this blog anyways) – and I am not sure why this is.
I have become way too liberal in my thinking – in some senses of that word – and I have to turn around and be more grounded (or level-headed). I found I was fighting against the ‘churched-folk’ or the ‘evangelical right wingers’ (on the basis of a few good things) but I noticed I was shutting those people out – and treating them in a way that wasn’t fair – I was being hypocritical (in some sense) and I should of been more open. I found out they ‘aren’t the enemy’ although some may be ‘close-minded’, they are people that need to be enlightened as much as any of us have been.
I noticed that a lot of times we want to ‘bash their evangelical heads against the rocks’ (and there is a time and place for this imagery) but we need to start seeing them as we were – as mis-guided and foolish in our actions – having the knowledge of a ‘said God’ but not knowing the power of the ‘said God’. And not all people of the faith are this way, some are, but not all are in this ‘limited thinking’ mold. I guess I learned (like Stan & Kyle) that I need to be more open to all people – things are not quite as they seem – I lived in that lie for some time – but now I know it’s a self-invented perception.
This faith is under a lot of scrutiny from a lot of weird places – I learned this from interaction with muslims, atheists, evangelicals, free-thinkers, scientists, liberal Christians, etc. I don’t mind challenging the ideals of the faith that ‘don’t work’ – or even the structure of the church – I enjoy knowing that we need change – this has become quite obvious. But if you have a hard time saying ‘we’ when talking about the church – you just crossed a line that you never knew you did (and that’s your right as a human being). If it is true you entered the ‘other side’ of this dialogue – then any criticism laid is a really a criticism wasted (since ‘you’ are not in the ‘we’ anymore – you actually ‘gave up’ on the ‘we’).
I have found all this liberal jargon is quite fun and a great way to vent some of the current frustrations we have about the faith – I actually have little problem with that (hell I do it too). But if you can only play the ‘blame game’ and not find alternative answers to these problems that you and others are experiencing – what good can that be? Are there answers? Yes or no?
I come from a neighborhood in some serious trouble (see last post) and I have realized this faith offers more hope than any single program, tv show, song, or complaint – some of these people in the ‘hood’ just want some stability and a paradigm to live by – and frankly – I have to say, this faith is the best solution to the problem (or at least an all around way to start dealing with it). In this faith we have hope, structure, ideas of dedication, compassion, love, stability, care for the poor, etc. In this faith is a great paradigm for the new believer – and for those who have been broken in half – by the world around them.
I have had a lot of people tell me how useless the bible, the church, the faith, Jesus, prayer, and worship all are – but have you ever been without hope? Do you remember the feeling of ‘being lost’? Well remember that and then throw in heavy problems in crime, addictions, education, family stability, and lack of faith in authority – and you might catch a glimpse of why this faith has a great ability to reach ‘the actual poor’. Maybe we all just got too ‘rich’ for our ownselves.
But there is problems in the structure of church – I know that and I want them changed (or at the least challenged). There are problems in interpretation of scripture – I know that also and I want that changed (or at least challenged). The focus of the church misses the ‘real poor in society’ – I know this and I want this changed – immediately. There are problems of narrow-minded-ness and of unity – I know this and I want this changed. I am not sure where I fit in, left or right or centre-minded, but I do know that I want to see change in the church and more unity amongst the majority of us – and I think we need to not forget the faith – or those still in the faith that just might need us to walk beside them.