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Posts Tagged ‘conservative’

As many of you know, Trey Pearson of the Christian music group, Everyday Sunday came “out of the closet” yesterday. Once you get into social media, there is a firestorm of commentators from every side of the conversation spitting out Bible verses to support their personal feelings and beliefs. The sad part is, for the most part, they are taking verses out of context and painting conflicting and sometimes hateful pictures.

So, with this in mind, I thought I would dig out this study we did a little while back at digs into the topic in an honest and complete manner. Enjoy!

“This is not your normal sermon on homosexuality….

`Few topics divide the world and the church like homosexuality. For that matter, few things divide the church like the same topic.

The issues within the GLBT community effect our politics, views, and most of all… personal lives. Many have been hurt, driven to anger or just fall away over past hurts and experiences and the divide deepens.

At The Shepherd’s Fellowship, we believe in 100% love and 100% truth. Can this also apply to the conversation of homosexuality? Be part of our study and see what you find as we dig into a hot button but critical study.”

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I am growing weary. Actually, I think many people are. We are growing weary of loud voices taking extreme positions that drown out any healthy dialogue on important conversations. There are huge issues in our country including racism, homosexuality, religious beliefs, and more that impact real people in very personal ways that are being treated like stones to throw at others with damaging intent.

I can not go on-line without seeing people offended, angry, and militant about issues that could easily be a conversation instead of a shouting match. I watch people who have the same beliefs I do and people with beliefs different than I do treat each other in the most vicious of ways. I see people choosing to be offended instead of responding with a sense of humor or grace at the smallest infractions. I marvel that many ignore starvation, killing, poverty and war to focus crusades against conservatives or liberals.

We could blame the media. They certainly have done their fair share to raise what they think will get people watching more than reporting the news anymore. Many times when you read comments after a “news story” on-line, it is full of people amazed at how sensitive and/ or mean people have become. At the same time, there is still a fair share of commenters that jump on the band wagon and start trashing others.

I believe it is a “rubber band” effect. For a long time, there are many that did not have a voice. Now that they do, (in some areas) it’s yelling instead of conversation. For a long time, others were the only voices. Now that they are not, (in some areas) the talk has become defensive trying to protect their ground.

How I pray for more common sense, common decency, and common respect.

Tolerance is a word thrown around a lot now a days. I don’t see a lot of it in the loud voices on either side. Even some will brag about how tolerant they are while at the same time trashing on conservatives because their views are different than their own.

You do not have to agree with my beliefs for me to be your friend. However, we are losing the art of that.

Since I have been ranting on…. I’ll give you an hypothetical example that will probably get some mad at me.

Let’s say, I went to a caterer wanting them to do an event to celebrate my son’s baptism. I did not know the owner was muslim until he says, “I appreciate you thinking of us but as a muslim, I just don’t feel comfortable. I’m not the best fit.” Once I heard this, I would understand, thank him for his time, and go to another caterer. He didn’t act in a negative way towards me nor did I to him. We left with mutual respect.

It would never cross my mind to sue him, start a campaign against him, trash him on the news and yelp, and the like. I can respect his views and would never think about forcing him to serve my beliefs.

I also would not take the approach that the best way to show my anger that this man would not do business with me because our beliefs were different by championing others to pull their business from him because his belief was different than me. At the core, it’s the same action.

We can have different beliefs. (We can think the other is wrong on an issue without disrespecting one another on it.)

We can have the same tolerance and love for one another as we discuss our differences, experiences, and emotions.

We can not trash on one another and then pretend we are the victim because not one is listening anymore.

Again, random thoughts that have turning in my head for a bit….. Time to let them out.

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I want to put out an invite to you if you have any interest on some of the topics I babble about. I want to invite you to check out the discussion boards of Revolution. I have no affiliation with the Revolution church. A matter of fact, I agree with some of their stands, not of their others, and have never been to any of their churches.

However, hardly any one on this discussion board has any affiliation with Revolution. It is just different people from different areas talking about all kinds of issues. When it comes to labels, we are a full house (Conservative, liberals, homosexual, straight, Christians, seekers, and the like). While we do have are occasional goof, overall, this is the one place I have found were you can talk through struggles and differences in love without the muck and mire of everywhere else. I have been part of this community for a year and a half now and have been blessed by my friends there.

If anyone from Rev is reading this, know this…I am in your debt. I am thankful for all the discussion, instruction, and love that I have found there as one of the token conservatives. Many of you have become vital friends and mentors to me and I pray I have blessed you in some meager way. Thank you my friends……

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The Jedi Error is a concept to me for the last couple years, ever since my visit to Emergent’s Summer Institute. While it originally was a sermon, I also turned it into a blog. You can read more about it there but the basic principle is taking one of the positive elements of Emergent, having conversations, and calling to the ultra conservatives that they could learn from this. Often, the ultra conservative church is not the best at letting people struggle, doubt, and ask questions without judgement. I believe the Word of God and the leading of the Holy Spirit (not one or the other) are strong enough to handle our struggles so we don’t need to be scared to enter into the muck together. Struggle through any situation in the light of the Word and you will be a more loving and stronger person for it.

OK, that said, I have an update on this topic that saddens me. As I continue to talk with people within the Emergent community, read writings of leading voices in the Emergent community, and study more of the latest books and events of Emergent, I must say it appears that Emergent is losing the art of the one main thing I loved about them. The conversation circle appears to be smaller and smaller to only include people that agree with them and becoming more hostile to those who do not.

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OK, this is where I will get myself in trouble. Yes, I get some spirited talk when I talk about my concerns within Emergent but I take real, local hits whenever I dive into the “Too Conservative” topic. I take a risk that some in my home town will see me as watering down their understanding of the Word. Not that I haven’t been talked about or talked at before but it’s always a different twist when it’s local instead of abroad.

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