I’m not new to Christianity. I was born and raised Seventh-Day Adventist. We have been accused of being a cult from time to time. I think it’s because SDAs are weird in that they go to church on Saturday instead of Sunday. They are vegetarian by nature. No drinking, no smoking, no jewelry, etc., etc. (Yes, I switch from we to they when it’s not so nice…)
What I am new to is the internet world and the mass quantities of information it carries for those who want to know more. I am new to choosing to seek out God wherever I can find Him. I am new to reading mommy blogs and Christian women blogs.
I stepped out of the SDA circle for several years. First, I stopped going to church. Then I drifted from personal Bible study. But God chased after me and led me back. My path back was via a Sunday non-denominational church. They were warm and friendly and non-judgmental. They were everything about Christ that I didn’t know. They were about grace and love, not law and regulations.
Then after the birth of my son, I drifted once again. Lost touch with my small group. Got wrapped up in the exhaustion of being a Work At Home Mom.
But God keeps calling. So I read. I study. I learn. I pray. I seek. I contemplate.
Recently, the non-denom church I attended came under attack by a mommy blogger I read. [Edited to add that I guess I already ranted on this here.] It turns out that they are being grouped under this new umbrella called “Contemplative Spirituality”. I was referred to a website that is a “watchgroup” for this sort of thing. They even grouped Beth Moore into this category.
I’m confused. The intensity with which I am seeing people “cast stones” scares me. Where is the love in all of this? Where is the Christlike unity? It is SO much easier for us to look at someone else and say “What you’re doing is WRONG.” We are ALL the body of Christ. We shouldn’t be dividing ourselves further and further into factions and sub-factions. We should be embracing each other and building each other up.
It would be so much easier for me to just leave. I don’t like arguments and disagreements. I absolutely HATE these kinds of heated discussions that seem more about destroying and criticizing rather than about teaching or helping. Growing up I had (and still have) family members that just THRIVED on the thrill of the argument and I would leave the room every single time. If you come at me in an attack, I will go away. I have a particularly strong fight or flight instinct and I will leave, but if cornered, will fight to the death. (Or more accurately, to the tears…!)
So, what is my point this evening? What I want to know is how can people condemn a church that was a tool in God’s hand that guided me back to Him? And how can people rage and condemn a practice of prayer that requires the person praying to stop and listen?
I don’t want to condemn them either. What I want to know is are they right or are they wrong? Or can they be both? What is God’s will for me in relation to these factions that are growing just among my beloved mommy bloggers? Stop reading because they hurt me to hear such anger and condemnation? Or continue to immerse myself in the debate so I may become educated and come to my own understanding in the matter.
Accept Christians who are weak in faith, and don’t argue with them about what they think is right or wrong… Who are you to condemn God’s servants? They are responsible to the Lord, so let him tell them whether they are right or wrong. The Lord’s power will help them do as they should… In the same way, some think one day is more holy than another day, while others think every day is alike. Each person should have a personal conviction about this matter… So why do you condemn another Christian? Why do you look down on another Christian? Remember, each of us will stand personally before the judgment seat of God… Yes, each of us will have to give a personal account to God. So don’t condemn each other anymore. Decide to live in such a way that you will not put an obstacle in another Christian’s path… For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of what we eat or drink, but of living a life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. If you serve Christ with this attitude, you will please God. And other people will approve of you, too. So then, let us aim for harmony in the church and try to build each other up. [Excerpts from Romans 14]
Ultimately, I must apply this to myself. I don’t want to condemn the condemners. I want to build up. So, to do that, do I stay or do I go? I believe I will stay, but will speak only when God directs. I know he wants me to be more involved. I’m a very quiet person. I don’t often speak or share my beliefs. I don’t want to be passive any more.
Unseal my lips, O Lord, that I may praise you…