Wednesday, June 22, 2005

to hell in a handbasket

Because I am fascinated with Jesus and because my faith is of such importance to me, most of the blogs I peruse daily tend to be those of other believers. Many of these folks have great insight to share; they encourage me with their wisdom (click on some of their links to the right).

Unfortunately I’ve also come across a number of believers who, apparently, know exactly how everyone else should be living in accordance with God. I can see why unbelievers would be turned off by Christians who claim to love, yet sit in a judgment seat (that is not rightly theirs, I might add) pointing out everyone else’s “faults”.

According to blogs and sites I’ve skimmed, below are a few reasons (this is the short list) why I am in danger of the fires of hell. My soul is in peril because I…

- have used any kind of birth control at all (this includes the pill, abstinence, etc.)
- have worshipped God with instruments
- am comfortable with sending my child to public schools
- pursue personal interests outside of raising my child
- don’t attend church every time the doors are open
- think it’s fine for women to lead worship, teach classes, etc.
- believe it’s okay to drink alcohol in moderation

To any Christian who believes it is “wrong” to send your child to a public school or ingest any alcohol ever or use birth control, that’s fine. For YOU, that’s fine. But just because it works for you doesn’t mean it works for everyone. I welcome you to share your opinion as well. Just do so in a gentle and loving and kind-hearted spirit, as God commands us to.

For those believers who think they’ve got all the “right” answers for the rest of the world: Please. Climb down off your high horse and give other believers the benefit of the doubt. We’re all doing the best we know how. Praise God that His grace covers us all.

I’m starting to realize that, with people, you can’t ever win. Fortunately, God doesn’t require that we “win”. All He asks is that we love others.


Blogger jettybetty said...

You and I are thinking along the same lines. I read many of the same blogs that you do--for much of the same reason--they encourage me--help me grow in my Jesus walk.
However, I have gone blog-surfing a few too many times, and run into the blogs you mention here. I agree they have a right to do as God leads them, but God hasn't led me to believe the same things--and I am amazed at how they attack me should I leave a comment on their blogs. They do make comments back as to they have it figured and I am just WRONG! Where is their love? How are we going to impact the world for Jesus when they are busy attacking me? I can accept them, but they don't want to accept me unless I change and agree with them.
I don't have all the answers--I just love Jesus--and would love to share him with the world.
BTW, the article that you linked about moderates--has helped me along these lines of thinking greatly!

1:51 PM  
Blogger erinlo said...

VERY well said, Jana. Sometimes, I get so discouraged I'd rather not even be involved in a church. I want to worship in a place where I can worship as I feel God is calling me to without worrying about if others are being offended by it. I love the Lord!! And I want to live like He wants me to and sometimes...a lot of times lately....I'm going against the grain and I'm tired. My favorite saying as of late has been "I'm an ass, you're an ass." And it's SO true. NONE of us are right about everything so let's just admit it once and for all...we're ALL a bunch of asses.

2:20 PM  
Blogger Jana said...

Erin - You wouldn't be offended if I started calling you The Cussing Christian, would you? ;)

2:30 PM  
Blogger Chel said...

You said that so well (trust me... my path to hell is well-documented)! I wrote about this very thing on my blog last month (check the archives for May 10), and I talk with my friends about it, so I know it's something lots of us struggle with on a daily basis. Maybe if we'll all keep encouraging one another, we'll find ways to keep our focus on Christ.

2:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am hopefule that all these things are covered through Grace...

2:57 PM  
Blogger Tony Arnold said...

I need a new Bible! I looked and looked in mine and couldn't validate any of the damnations on your list Jana.

All I could come up with so far is:

-Don't judge.
- Love
- Don't trip others up.
- Love some more.
- Love Christ.
- Wine seems to be very permissable, but money I am not so sure about.
- Christ's death saved me--again, and again, and again.
- Don't throw stones at people until you have run out sins.
- Love a little more than before...

Just another ass,

5:29 PM  
Blogger JMG said...

Boy, according to your list, Jana, my ass is grass. I like Tony's list better even though it would probably be a lot easier just to follow your list. Heck, let's just go back to the OT way of doing things and sacrifice a cow or pay a fee every time we violate something on the list and then we won't have to worry about really loving and caring for each other. As long as we follow the list, we're OK, right?

6:18 AM  
Blogger Kate said...

I think "We're all a bunch of asses" should be the title of a sermon at every church this Sunday...maybe that'll help people to see it's time to get off their high horses. Or better yet on the sign outside the church beckoning people in: "If you're an ass, come join us. We're all a bunch of asses." =) Good post Jana.

7:02 AM  
Blogger Tony Arnold said...

Jesus rode humbly, but triumphantly, into Jerusalem on an ass. I think this is important because scripture specifically mentions on what He rode.

Now consider the Lord's prayer, "Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven."

We are to bring the Kingdom to this earth by letting Christ live through us. He rides us asses (we are but lowly donkeys compared to Christ) into the world. We are Jesus's transport into on anothers' lives; despite our weaknesses and problems. As Paul said, it is through our weakness that God's glory will be revealed.

We are asses, truly we are, but God still uses us.


7:22 AM  
Blogger blueyedtracy said...

I just read your comments on Barbara's post. Very good question. I think it's wonderful, amazing, etc. that some families are large, lots of children, you know. But, that doesn't mean that is the plan for every family. I should do my own post on all this, but it seems that the whole family size debate thing gets a little too close to legalism for me. Large family/lots of kids = godly; small family/one or two kids = not godly. No one is saying this outright, but that seems to be the tone. At least to me. Thanks for your thoughts. Interesting that she replied with "I'm not here to argue". Why does a legitimate question on something mean someone wants to argue? Ok, I'm done.

8:58 AM  
Blogger Little Light said...

Jana - it seems to me, from my brief foray into the person in question's blog, that extremism begets extremism. I agree with everything you said, but to go from radical feminist to "megamommy" is extreme and suspect in my opinion. I know someone who went from alcohol/drug/food addict to being part of some cult-like 12-step group where he had to count the number of grapes he ate. It sounds harsh, but I don't pay too much attention to what he (or she) has to say because no matter the opinion or the topic, it's extreme and over the top.

I also agree with Kate's comment. "We're all a bunch of asses" would make a great sermon.

10:19 AM  
Blogger Amanda said...

This all really hits home with me. Great post, Jana.

People can be so narrow-minded sometimes. I think it's more Christ-like to consider what you can handle (be it one or a million children) and do your best to handle it. It's another form of stewardship. You are not being a good steward if you have 5 or 6 children and you start neglecting yourself, your husband, and your children after child #3 or #2, or whatever. Some can and should do it, others realize their limits and stop, and I think that knowing your limits is truly commendable.

Yet another ass (man, there sure are a lot of us, aren't there?),

11:40 AM  
Blogger Jana said...

I love that so many of my fellow bloggers/readers/friends have such a wicked sense of humor.

12:15 PM  
Blogger Holly said...

Well stated! Peace to you.

8:02 PM  
Blogger CL said...

I am a little late, but I appreciate your words Jana. I am going to have to agree with Kate, and actually I am going to insist that we place the following message on our church sign out in front of our building
"WE ARE ALL A BUNCH OF ASSES" I like it! Thanks for an excellent post.

12:22 PM  

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