Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Challenge #4

Here's my LO for Challenge #4. For credits, click on LO.

Journaling reads: Last year, I went through a lot of soul searching and struggle with my faith vs. the Christian church. I kept a journal and this is what I wrote. Being a Christian - It has taken me at least 15 years to realize that Christianity IS NOT about forcing people to hear the Gospel message and condemning them if they do not listen to it. It isn't all about "winning souls to heaven" or whatever you would like to call it. I think that deep down, I have known this all along, but now, it makes me sad to see many churches preaching only about how Jesus has come to the earth to save us and how the Lord would condemn all the bad or "evil" things in the world. It makes me very sad when I realize that if you really pay attention to the Bible and the story it tells us, Christ came to everyone; He met them where they were at and embraced them. Right now, I really feel like there are a lot of modern day Pharisees, you know, people who are judgmental and condemning, not willing to embrace sinners or even acknowledge them as God's children. Instead they want to throw stones at them, calling them out, and trying to "set them free" from their sins. And here is where the story of Jesus saying, "You who has no sin, cast the first stone." Of course, the Pharisees couldn't do it because they knew they were sinners too. God doesn't look at sins differently...they are all the same...and He loves us still. And then there are the modern day Sadduces who just want to blend in and not cause an uproar. They just agree with everything that is going on. They are apathetic to it all. I now see that to be a Christian means to love everyone. Accept them for who they are and where they are in their lives. All I know is now it is not important to me if someone is churched, unchurched, a believer, non-believer, muslim, jew, etc. All I care about is loving them for who they are and where they are at in their life. I think I'm very hurt by the church as an institution (not the body) because it seems to me the focus is more about numbers and money than anything else. I have a pastor friend who explained it to me like this: “The church at large has become a fake, plastic religiosity that functions more like a country club than a body. It has taken an ‘us vs. them’ mentality that is not illustrative of Christ's interaction with people and it has certainly not the safe place that it is supposed to be.”

Since writing this 1 year ago, my family has found our “home” at The Well. The photo is what our church home looks like. It's not a building. It's a place to come together as One in Christ. And this journaling is the explanation of it's name: "The Well" is a name inspired by Jesus' meeting with a woman as she fills her water jar at a well. This woman had a bad reputation, but Jesus broke down barriers of ethnicity, social status, and gender to gently but honestly address the woman about her life and offer her the freedom that only he can give. The woman went to the well that day to quench her physical thirst, but walked away with the answer to her spiritual thirst.

1 comment:

Shelby said...

i so love this lo and am totally inspired by your journaling. i'm doing the race too (our blog is scrappingmilesofsmiles.blogspot.com) and i want to scrap about something i've learned about my faith as well. i just haven't quite gotten to it yet. i think you did a great job and i totally agree with what you said! true christianity is about accepting people where they are at and loving them. let God be the judge and decide the rest, not me!