I think one of the biggest pet peeves of mine as a Christian and of other Christians is when we try to want the best of both worlds.
We want all the goodness and promise that comes with being a Christian, yet we want to fiercely hold on to our way of living, thinking, and doing.
We want to secure our place in God’s promise, and be free to indulge in whatever our hearts desire — straddling both sides of the line — world, if you will.
But, I don’t believe that’s how our faith works. Simply by being Christian, our lives are no longer ours to live. Simply by confessing that Christ is Lord, we are saying that our lives belong to Christ and it is not ours. Therefore, we cannot simply do whatever we desire. Our bodies, our lives, our jobs, our salaries — all of it belongs to God.
As Christ said, we can’t have to 2 masters. Our hearts only have room for either God or our idol(s). Never both. So, we are doing a disservice to God and our calling when we try to live the best of both worlds.
Along those lines — something bothers me about the stance that the UMC has taken on a very controversial and hot topic issue of this generation and culture. Maybe THE issue that is defining religious institutions these days. And, I think more than a few predict that a possible split can occur because of this issue. Of course, I’m talking about the issue of homosexuality.
I know that I’m making a very gray issue and making it too simply black and white and that things are more complex and goes deeper than what I’m going to share with you.
And I’m not here to tell you, necessarily, what my beliefs are and what not.
I just feel like we’re trying to have the best of both worlds in our stance towards the gay community.
We believe in open arms, open doors, open hearts or whatever that order is.
We tell the community we are open to you. You are welcomed in our churches! We embrace you! We will walk with you! We will love you! You have always been part of our community!
… But. You can’t be ordained. You can’t be married in our churches. And the pastor who said that s/he’ll walk with you, love you, be in community with you, welcome you with open arms, serve communion to you, can’t marry you without facing charges from the Mothership.
Being excluded sucks.
But being excluded under the premise of being included — sucks even more.
To say you’re part of our family — up to a certain point… how embracing of that person/community are we really? How are they a part of our community — a real integral part — if they don’t have the rights that any other person in that community would have?
A part of me thinks that it would be better off to be completely against the gay community — like many churches are. At least people would know where we stand versus welcoming the gay community with one hand and holding them back with the other.