Posts Tagged ‘conservative’

Acts 6:8-9
Now Stephen, a man full of God’s grace and power, did great wonders and miraculous signs among the people. 9Opposition arose, however, from members of the Synagogue of the Freedmen (as it was called)—Jews of Cyrene and Alexandria as well as the provinces of Cilicia and Asia.

It isn’t mentioned anywhere else that I could find, this “synagogue of freedom.” So, it must of been a local phrase coined at the time. And yet, it clearly represented the establishment… the norm. These were the ones who so feared the changes brought on by the believers in Jesus that they created a separate identity that held a powerful buzz word: freedom. How ironic. Because it was really the teachings of Jesus that promised freedom not the laws perpetuated and elaborated by the temple priests, teachers of the law, and their “synagogue of freedom.”

Today, there are similar organizations that are predominately concerned with “protecting” the people from change in their personal view of true doctrine. They are generally conservative in all areas of life both religious, social, and political. There is no room for anyone who does not conform to their views.

But Jesus had room for everyone. Jesus was confident enough in the power of the Kingdom, through the Holy Spirit, to transform lives from within. He did not look at the outer shell of a person, but the heart. He was less concerned with the actions of a person’s past and more concerned with their potential. He believed in the power of love and hope and grace.

Jesus was an idealist.

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I’ve been putting off writing again. I know it’s because of the topic. Pastor Craig’s posts are all about “learning how to love one another” in the Church … and I assume he means church with a capital “C” … not just our little version of church at Mt. Zion.

And I really cannot fault him for anything he is saying. I even agree. But I am nagged by a different perspective. I am nagged by a stumbling block I see in this loving process that is undoubtedly of my own making. Bottom line? I think so much of our “loving” is superficial.

I’m not saying there isn’t caring… there is. People are kind and thoughtful and concerned. And there is even “love” for the needy or those who come to the church in emotional turmoil or illness or personal chaos.

But I’m not so sure the “church” as I experience it would love me if they knew the “real” me. There is a lot of lip service to acceptance, but I don’t really believe it. I still edit myself as soon as I discern the crowd or individual with whom I’m interacting.

One of the most blatant areas of disconnect is when politics crosses over into the body of believers. There still remains a pervasive idea that a “real” Christian (i.e. conservative) would have to be a republican or some such nonsense. Or, should I mention other hot potatoes like abortion, sexuality, or “worldly” entertainments. There are some people who would be appalled if they knew what books are sitting on my night stand. They would no longer trust my faith but more likely, consider me “off the path.” They would discredit me to others. And so, to keep the peace, I don’t discuss what I read. I don’t discuss the movies I go to see, I don’t talk politics, I don’t talk about my past or some of the people I count as friends who may not fit the “norm.”

And so I ask, if I can’t talk about anything or everything that I am interested in … if I can’t really be “me” … what kind of “marriage” is this? What kind of family is this? Just a macrocosm version of all the other dysfunctional families we have in this country.

So, I am full of sorrow this week. I pray the Lord will give me a “contentment” ….

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