My God, Your God, let’s call the whole thing off

Ok, recently there was an article in The Atlantic about the state of religion in America. Some salient quotes include

“They found that young non-Christians have profoundly negative views of Christians. For instance, among 16- to 29-year-old non-Christians, Christians were viewed as “anti-gay” (91 percent), judgmental (87 percent), hypocritical (85 percent), sheltered (78 percent) and—surprise—”too political” (75 percent). In 2010, respected academics David Campbell and Robert Putnam’s landmark book, American Grace, concluded that partisan politics was directly to blame for the rise of religiously unaffiliated Americans. “The growth of the nones,” Campbell argued, “is a direct reaction to the intermingling of religion and politics in the United States.”http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2014/02/the-changing-face-of-christian-politics/283859/?utm_content=bufferd0f38&utm_source=twitter.com
and the one that is about where I am “the sudden need to make clear that they were “not that kind of Christian.” Pastors increasingly found that a partisan politics was pushing people away from faith and causing tension among those in their churches. ”

Recently I posted something about Christianity on “The Facebook”. It was an article by someone who said they wanted to be Christian, because most of the world is Christian and it is high-handed to assume the world is wrong. (It sounded a little….um….condescending in tone)

Anyway, I posted it on FB because, it was interesting/good food for thought (despite the tone). I did that usual pull a quote from the article to highlight it thing.

Unfortunately, some people (who granted I hadn’t talked to in a while) thought I was the one who was being condescending…I got some comments basically amounting to “I know your religious, but I think this whole God thing is ridiculous–and this article shows why” subtext: I can’t believe how crazy you are.

It made me sad. I mean, granted that the quote looked like it was from me, but still, they THOUGHT I WAS THAT WAY TOO!

I’m religious, I love God, I have three children, I’m only 30….

Yet I am also an intelligent, fantasy-loving feminist, who believes in LGBTQ rights.

I think I can do all of it at once, and I dream of the day when I find other people who feel the same way I do.

So far, not so much….

Haven’t really found them…

I have found a lot of “you can’t be a real pastor because you are a. a woman b. don’t condemn people to hell”

and a lot of “Oh your religious, right, can’t take that seriously so….moving on”

To “Fantasy isn’t religious, your crazy”

don’t forget “church is boring”

and finally “Religious people are the cause of all wars, and if your religious it MUST be because your a bigot”

The thing is, my God isn’t really the same as most people’s God

and it makes people uncomfortable.

Here’s how I feel about religious beliefs

1. Every relationship with God is different, maybe yours doesn’t look like mine, but thats ok…

2. Atheism is ok. In reality I don’t “get it” so its hard for me to be more than “ok” with it, but I think “ok” is pretty good, and more importantly, pretty honest, and I try not to get worried about it, because its up to that person/God to work it out, not me.

3. If your peddling hate and call it Gospel, that is where I draw the line. It hurts me, I mean actually physically gives me a stomach ache, when people purvey hate and call it Christ’s way. How can anyone even think this is beyond me…Jesus Christ hung out with the NONRELIGIOUS and AMORAL people of the time, because Jesus loves everyone, if you can’t get that, I don’t think we can really converse about beliefs

4. I’m not sure I can believe in a God that would send Gandhi to hell……seriously, that is how it is for me

5. And finally, If/When I face God I would MUCH rather get in trouble for Leaving the door way too wide open than too closed. I’d rather be in trouble for letting the wrong people into God’s house than keeping the right ones out. 

So that’s my God, it might different than yours…but I don’t see how denigrating each other can help……

besides, think of all the good we could do if we could band together against those things that all humans agree are wrong….

And if it happens in church, that would be awesome, because that happens to be where I like to go….

General Service Announcement

General Service Announcement

“This is a general service Announcements reminding everybody that the best treatment for dementors is CHOCOLATE…in light of the sad events in Boston, in my professional and pastoral opinion I recommend CHOCOLATE for everybody” (Should you be someone who is unable to do chocolate, Cookies may be substituted). Chocolate may not fix our sadness, but it reminds us of the good that does exist in the world and encourages to act out of love not fear.

PS Check out today’s Lectionary Reading from the Bible–remember the opposite of love is not hate but fear, hate grows out of fear
“There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear; for fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not reached perfection in love. We love because he first loved us. The commandment we have from him is this: those who love God must love their brothers and sisters also.”
1st John

Hunger Games

Sometimes I feel like we can really relate to Hunger Games. Luckily things aren’t quite as bad as during the depression, but for me student debt is a real and heavy weigh in on my life as I tot up the bills and work towards providing for my family.

My friend Charlie says student debt is palpable (we graduated the same year) you can see it weighing people down when they enter a room.

So, here we are, hunger games–who are we sending out as our sacrifice? Who are we going to watch struggle for entertainment. You know what happens in hunger games, everyone is hungry for something. Even the rich city people are always eating, eating, eating (then they throw up to eat more). Why? Because they feel empty inside.

Jesus addresses emptiness, not by telling people to deal, not by pointing out people’s faults, and certainly not by giving them false platitudes.

Jesus sits with people, Jesus meets people, gets to know them, and (always) calls people by name. Maybe that’s what everyone is hungering for–even those of us who hear their name called out by crowds, those who are followed by the paparazzi and have their lives on public display (Duchess of Cambridge anyone) really just want someone to REALLY know them, to REALLY be present with them and to REALLY call them by name.

If the Hunger Games are about the games we end up playing because we are feeling emotionally, physically and spiritually hungry (um…like we do in politics maybe), then Jesus is not about Games. Jesus is about reality, Jesus is about being the real you, Jesus is about the truth of the world, and the Real-ity of Re(a)l-ationships! And if we are asking who is going to be the sacrifice, the answer was, is and will be Jesus Christ, and we don’t need “God in the white house” Imageto know that (did anyone else see that meme?). Because God is bigger than the white house, God is bigger than America and God is bigger than a world economic downturn. If you think we have control over where God is, frankly that is are humanity showing (oops)

If you don’t believe that, then there is no point in preaching the gospel in third world countries, because they are in no way on equal footing to our problems.
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Say it with me, Jesus is about Love and graciousness (not being judgmental, putting our morals on others or creating the world for Christ). God is HERE, love is HERE, let’s act like it. And please let’s think before we say something about how “other people were raised” or what “real morals” are–God loved, talked to and did not make anyone feel bad about their mistakes, he forgave and gave them a chance to change. If Almighty God can do that, then we should at least try to do the same–ImageRemember, no one convinced anyone of anything by yelling insults to them over the internet. People have been changed through true acts of lovingkindness (or hesed as its called in the Old Testament).