Wednesday, June 27, 2007


The Cartoons are from Naked Pastor. (Some of his cartoons are offensive to me. Proceed at your own risk.)

I have been relatively silent in my little bloggy world. It is not that I am without things to say, thoughts to share, insights to provide, or frustrations to vent. It is that I have been holding it all in. Last night, I talked to a friend of mine on the phone for nearly forty minutes. I see this person regularly. I saw this person yesterday, and yet, I had not shared with them virtually anything going on with me. Almost all conversation as of late has been completely topical. I have been devoid of having emotional conversation. It sucks. But my propensity for reading on the internet has increased. I have been reading lots of blogs. I’ve become voracious in viewing comments, and then reading the blogs or works of the commenters. I have a few blogs I read many times throughout the day. And there’s been a vaguely centralized theme with a few of them, which I’ve chosen not to address.

‘Cause I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings or ruffle any feathers, y’all.

But browsing a blog today, I just decided that this particular feeling needs to be repressed long enough for me to write a blog. Thus today’s insightful piece into theology, church dynamics, and the like.

I started to write where I am emotionally, but then decided against that. Instead, let me provide a bullet list of facts about me.

1) I love Jesus.
2) I am a pastor’s kid. Still.
3) My father was a COG pastor, and is now Methodist.
4) I do not even pretend to understand or rationalize that move.
5) I’ve been burned by church folks.
6) A LOT.
7) I refuse to allow it to be my excuse.
8) I like to consider myself an advocate on winning people back into the “fold”.

That’s just the highlights, you know? And that last one, albeit true, was also to provide some humor and temporarily lighten the mood.

Church, religion, Christianity, Faith. None of that is easy. Face it. But when the alternative is allowing bitterness and sin to eat us and let us burn in Hell, I think that the struggle becomes lightened.

Do you want to go to Hell? Is it worth allowing a person/persons/building/denomination to drive you from enjoying eternity? If that’s the case, then the next time you don’t get every French fry you think should come in your size Medium fry box, then please discontinue service with McDonald’s. And on, and on, until you no longer eat French fries, or potatoes. Yes, to me, it’s that simplistic.

I don’t have the answers as to why things seem so much easier for some than they do for others. I have to believe that part of the reason my “plight in life” seems difficult is because (brace yourselves) I MAKE IT DIFFICULT. I’m mouthy, and backtalk, and say what I feel. When I’m frustrated, or really ANY other emotion, it’s clearly displayed on my face like a Trinitron at a basketball game. I’m quick to react, slow to let God handle the problems, and then whiny in the interim.

Most days, I am my own worst enemy.

And with that said, and having been burned by more church people that express, I still refuse to let that be the thing that separates me from enjoying the full life that God promised. Also, I made a very conscious choice to not let that be what distinguishes a life of my choices verses a life of integrity. I do not always embody integrity. Hello, I’m MOUTHY. But I’m trying, and I’ll be the first person to tell you I’m flawed. (I can’t wait for the day when I no longer say that, and it’s coming soon, so documents these moments now while they occur!)

Let me clarify and say that I do not believe that one particular denomination is superior. But I know that you have to believe and stand for something. I get BEYOND aggravated at people who seem so gung-ho about ministry and when things get the slightest bit rough, or when others don’t agree and follow their lead, they bow out. And not gracefully either. Sulking. Pouting. Angry at a denomination. Angry at a pastor. ‘Cause suddenly they realized he’s HUMAN? Come on!

I’ve had three men in ministry burn me bad. 1) My Dad. 2) The first man I ever loved. And 3) the second man I ever loved.

Turns out that I picked 2 and 3 because they reminded me of Number 1.

But that’s not God’s fault, you know? I have several friends who walk in an out of ministry, and the common denominator, much to their shagrin, is THEM. Not the church, or denom, or city, or hair color. It’s THEM. (Kinda like I have seven crappy roommates… but I was the common factor! It makes ME the crappy roommate!)

I’ve had church people talk trash about me, and my family. I’ve had more than one person attempt to destroy my family. We even had a physical confrontation with a pastor. But it doesn’t matter.

God is not the least bit phased by my drama. It doesn’t change Who God is. Or What God stands for. It doesn’t change one single scripture.

It’s time for us to change.


Warrior Priestess said...

I support you. I whine about the denom I recently joined but I appreciate how they protect Chaplains and Missionaries. I better understand the view from a Pastor's side of the fence because of you. So I'm glad you shared. Please keep doing so. If I didn't find something redeemable in the denom I would not get my endorsement as Chaplain from them.

Clay said...

i like this post. a lot.