Between Two Worlds
On Sundays I sing with my church worship team. Yup. This little introvert gets up, grabs a mike and sings for all she’s worth. What do we sing? Hymns, Maranatha music, and once in a while we throw in a “contemporary” song like, “Come, Now Is The Time To Worship.”
Our pastor, a great guy with one amazing testimony, then walks us verse-by-verse through the Bible (His is an expository approach to preaching). Our church is what you would call, traditional with a black leather motorcycle jacket wrapped around it. Many of our members are Harley enthusiasts, former biker gang members – with all that that implies, and the roar of a hog in the parking lot is a very common event.
Monday through Friday, I live vicariously through my computer in a different world. In my virtual reality, questions are being asked about what the bible says, how we’re really supposed to treat gays and lesbians, what really is a woman’s role in the church and in the Christian world, and general church-shaking questions like that.
The funny thing is, I already know what my wonderful pastor would say if I asked him those questions. Well, maybe it’s not so funny. You see, my traditional soul is troubled by these questions and I really don’t think the church, the body of Christ is getting it right. Not on the left and not on the right either.
For instance, I don’t think my Jesus would be caught dead with a picket sign in His hand at a gay and lesbian rally. Actually, I think that kind of behavior makes him eternally sad. But how do I reconcile my compassion for people who have been marginalized and ostracized in the past from society with certain verses in the Bible? What do I say to my friend Paul? A wonderful gay man who has been a great friend to my sons and has helped to set them on a better path than the one they were on. When I see and hear these horrendous reports of clashes between the two groups it makes me want to hide my faith in shame. This just isn’t how Christians are supposed to be.
Then there’s the whole submission thing. I’m an intelligent woman who was raised in a society that on one hand gives women great freedom but on the other hand still keeps many women in a form of sexual slavery, requiring that she be beautiful and alluring at all times and must never grow old. I do believe that two people can’t steer the same ship. I do submit to my husband’s authority whenever he feels the need to assert that authority in a Godly manner.
But there again, the left arm of the body of Christ tells me I shouldn’t have to do that while the right arm tells me I’m not submitting enough. What do I tell my daughter is the right way to go?
I feel caught between these two worlds and I don’t think I’m the only one. The problem seems to be that no one is willing to cross the floor and talk to the other side. You know, have a legitimate, civil conversation.
I read Matthew Paul Turner’s blog frequently and see the anger he shares concerning all things conservative. It seems one of his least favorite people in the world is Mark Driscoll of Mars Hill Church in Washington State. A pastor who you could definitely call a Fundamentalist. I’ve often wondered where all that anger came from and what would it take to change it into a conversation between the two.
I can see that the old guard is passing away and being replaced by a “new church” and I can’t help asking, isn’t the Bible still the Bible? Aren’t we still saved by the same Savior and isn’t one of his last commands on earth still that we love one another as He has loved us?
What do you think?