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Monday, February 20, 2006

Of Pride and Prejudice..... NOT the Movie;)

Have you ever had the thought... "I'll never be one of THOSE_____people?" I have to admit, I have. On more than one occasion. There can be a lot of pride in that statement. "ONE of those".......It puts ME--- and my preferences OVER someone elses. Sometimes, I've made the statement about quasi-silly things---- like todays- picture...... Ummmmm YES- that's my Spinning Wheel.
Yes, my Spinning (as in Sleeping Beauty, Rumplestiltskin, Little House on The Prairie...) type spinning wheel. I'm still a little shocked. I guess- now that I'm pretty comfortable with knitting- I just wanted to "step it up"... take it to the next level... experience a new challenge. Yes- spin my own yarn.
If you had suggested it may be possible- a year ago- that I'd be trying to spin--- I'd have LAUGHED in your face. Probably, not very nicely. And, I certanly would have thrown in a sarcastic comment or two- about my "high-heels " not being conducive to peddaling a spinning wheel.... or something to that effect. Yet- at the moment a spinning wheel sits in my dining room. And- yes, It's mine. ;)
I wish I could say this is my first little "come-uppence" when it comes to "Pride and Prejudice"... but- it's not. I remember thinking--- and TALKING about how I'd NEVER "Homeschool" my kids--- cause you know----- "those women" wear NO MAKE-UP, (:0) don't cut their hair- wear tennis shoes with long skirts...and only speak "King James".... then we decided our kids NEEDED to be homeschooled.......... (so we did, for 3 years-!!!)
Lets just say--- Not EVERYONE who homeschools meets my prejudiced "criteria"... though- I did meet some women I really came to areally appreciate- who DID! (well- and some kooks- but NOT as many as I thought!)
I can also remember- being absolutely convinced- that anyone who sent their child to public school- was NUTS, and neglectful of both their education, and their safety.....until- we realized that there were opportunities that my child would best have access to- in public high school!
Then, there is the whole...... "what kind of church do you go to " issue...... as a young Christian, if you didn't go to a church like MINE...(contemporary worship music- "teaching" style messages) I was pretty convinced you were missing out- and definitely in the wrong. A member of our church staff addressed the question of "Why are there so many Kinds of churches.." on his blog recently-( and the question- has challenged- and caused me to think- ever since.
Until, I became involved in MOPS International.... I thought your music, your teaching- your liturgical "style" had to be like mine- in order for you to be " a Christian"... otherwise, you were relegated to the "one of THOSE______" categories. I was pretty full- of "Pride (in my way) and Prejudice- (against yours)".
I'm really working hard- to maintain the "Big Picture" when it comes to Christianity. Please don't misunderstand, I believe there are "negotiables" and "non-negotiables". Jesus- gets to determine what those are- not me. He focuses on HIM being the only way to salvation. So, I try to do the same. I think we spend too much time- in our own "Pride and Prejudices" when it comes to the "negotiables"..... like worship music, syle of preaching/teaching, traditions, liturgical style....resources for and of ministry--- etc. (PUHLEEZE!)
I guess I see it this way: There is only ONE way to get to heaven- that's through Jesus.( based on His statement of this truth - not mine- see John 14- )
Then, I see a lot of flexibility- when it comes to our unique EXPRESSION of that faith. It's my opinion, that there are many different expressions of faith- that are equal in their value- to their unique congregations. I also believe- that this isn't an accident. See- My home church, meets my unique needs- and (I like to think) that I fill a unique "need" in that local body.... not just in spite of my unique qualities, but- because of them. Like pieces- of a puzzle- It's a good fit- for both.
But- honestly- do I think it would be for EVERYONE? Nope. Nor, do I think It has to be. I'm probably sensitive to this because I have family members who I know- probably would be distracted,(by "Youthful sounding music" or uncomfortable in a less that traditional (in STYLE) church. Yet- they have a need- to find God- and know the truth about Him, in a place where they feel a good "fit". I also find a precedence in scripture- Jesus spoke differently- to different people- based on who they were- to fishermen- he used "fishing" analogies to clarify the truth, to shepherds- he spoke of sheep.
Did his message change? Nope. Did His method? Yep.
There is a lot of talk in Christian circles- especially about approaches to "Doing Church"- some of which is helpful- some I think is just divisive. I think I draw the determining line here: When we think (about the negotiables) that it's "Our Way" or else- you're one of "Those people...."... Proud- or Prejudiced. I think it's divisive. Instead- I desire to appreciate the uniqueness in Christianity, as other "strokes- for other folks"...
Truth is- I think God gets "the Big Picture".... we each (each-type of Christ centered- church) have a passion (and a calling) for a certain "part" of God's puzzle, but throughout the whole- of Christianity- God ministers to the "Big Picture"---- one that takes into account- all the different people- that will need to be "fitted" into the puzzle- meeting them where they are- and creating a beautiful, and complete, mosaic of Faith.
There are 80+ year old people, who need Jesus- (and - honestly aren't part of the post-modern culture!) and they may not be open to the "rock n roll" church.... but, are their souls less important to God? Nope. Not one bit. There needs (desperately) to be a place for them- in Christianity. And- it's true- my teens would have a hard time- worshipping to music they found distracting- or distasteful. Are they less important? NOPE.
Baby Boomers- Gen Xers- whatever else we find as a label--- we live in a world that is INTERGENERATIONAL. Cross- Cultural. Unique. It's doubtful any ONE TYPE of church will be able to accommodate the differences in the "puzzle pieces".... yet- together- we can.
As a leader- in MOPS- I have been amazed at the different ways that God ministers- yet- the message is still the same. Christ- Christ Crucified, Christ resurrected, Our sin covered in Christ's sinless perfection, and sacrifice. Christ glorified in our lives.
When I see that spinning wheel in my living room, ( or the pile of old homeschool books in my basement- or the newsletter from my Son's public High school- or an ad from a "DIFFERENT" CHRIST centered church.....) I hope it reminds me of those things----Of my own " Pride and Prejudices".... and I hope it challenges me to know, and stand-up for the "non-negotiables".... and not waste time and effort on "The THOSE PEOPLE" statements- whether they are spoken, or just stored in my heart.....
'Cause- let's face it---- ya just never know- when your needs, or your desires may change--- and turn YOU into a "homeschooling, knitting, spinning , rock concert attending mother of Teens and Preschoolers"----- you know ;) .... "One of THOSE"! Or- you may be seen as one- just as you are. Right now, by someone else. (Maybe ME! ;) )

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