Friday, November 14, 2008

Idolatry, Bigotry, Humanity

"The church has fallen in love with the state, and this love affair is killing the church's imagination," Chris Haw wrote. "Too often the patriotic values of pride and strength triumph over the spiritual virtues of humility, gentleness and sacrificial love."

It is extremely difficult to be a Christian in the midst of the mass amounts of political controversy right now.
As a firm believer in Jesus for President (an alternate approach to politics involving trusting God to be who He says He is, and recognizing the ways we are called to be His hands and feet in this world...also an EXCELLENT book by Shane Claiborne that you should read as soon as possible), it has been hard to find a place to stand in the last year or so.

On one side, I'm a white, american, christian, and I should obviously have sided with whoever the republican candidate is, and adapted my beliefs to his. And while I didn't particularly dislike John McCain, I found myself feeling uncomfortable about his stance on so many issues that I find important.

And then, there was this guy...
whom we thoroughly enjoyed seeing speak at our high school:
and evenmoreso enjoyed impersonating...well at least Omar did...

But the truth is, even though all is said and done with, I still have alot of questions. And I feel like alot of people see the answers as black and white when that may not be the case. And as much as i'd like to side with most of my friends, or rebel and take the other side, I cant do either, because although this election has primarily been- these issues arent black and white.
Where does Jesus stand on question 8?
Does he abhor marriage between two people of the same sex?
Or is this just like slavery...or dancing....where "the church" has taken a group stance and ultimately fought to rob people of the freedom that comes from knowing Christ?
Did God create us in his own image- even homosexuals?
or is sexuality something that has come into play as an effect from the sin of the world?
And if it is wrong in God's eyes to allow homosexuals to get married- then how to we approach it?
Is shouting and spitting and picketing and fighting the best way to make that opinion known? How would the situation look differently if it were covered in reverent prayer and approached with love?
What about planks in our own eyes, and loving our neighbors as ourselves?
How much allegiance do we pledge to America, and if so, how far are we required to go to pursue "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" for all people, because according to our constitution "all men are created equal?"

and thats just ONE issue.

Its. just. not. black. or. white.

There are many things in the world and in the bible that are, but politics are not, because there are clearly obvious reasons why people passionately believe the things that they do, and why others passionately do not. I don't think Obama is THE hope for America, but I do believe there IS hope for America. That we can start looking beyond on ourselves, our desires, our money and time and things. I am excited to grow, to learn, to seek answers, and in the mean time- may God bless America...and Iraq, France, Canada, Mexico, and the rest of the world too!

"The banner of love is the only flag we salute. We pledge allegiance to a different commander in chief, a different gospel than America's. Just as America has her liturgy—singing the national anthem or placing our hands over our hearts or 21-gun salutes—we as a church need new rituals and a liturgy to give people a sense of belonging and devotion, of an identity that runs deeper than nation."- Shane Claiborne

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Two steps forward, two steps back

I feel like I have grown up so much in the last six years, and yet I am exactly the same. My heart still beats a million miles a second at the thought of adventure, my soul still seeks love (only now i've learned to redirect it), my mind is still fifteen steps ahead of my body, and my spirit still finds solace in creation. My environment has never been constant, even though i'm coming to a point where I understand "nesting" and the desire for a person to have a home they call their own. My husband has been my greatest teacher, and for that I am absolutely grateful. My whole world is up in the air, forcing faith to dictate my steps. Love it.

On a side note, here is my existence for the last six years in the form of internet blogging:
(From December 27, 2003 until November 11, 2008)
(From October 6, 2002 until September 2, 2008)

For everything you have missed you have gained something else, and for everything you gain you lose something else.