Trying to find the balance between the “uber-religious-Bible-thumping-conservative” and “uber-worldy-Bible-ignorant-liberal” worldviews can be TOUGH.
First-off, it is a false dichotomy; but just like with American political parties, there is a pressure to align with one or the other.
So I do what I’ve always tried to do–read a variety of sources that are conservative, liberal, and all in between–to challenge my existing and developing worldview.
But some days, like today, I just want to hit my head against the wall.
God has gifted me with the spiritual gift of empathy and exhortation. This gift means that I understand where people are coming from, for the most part. So I can read one side and go “wow, I totally see where you are coming from. not sure if I agree, but I get it” then read the rebuttal and go “ditto.” Or, sometimes, I read something (from both sides of any issue), and can go “What kind of crock is this?” How is it not one or the other? How can it be both? How could it be neither? I grew up with the worldview that it was one or the other…and that’s a worldview that we all kind of get stuck with.
Some of my recent posts on teaching sex to teenagers raised some eyebrows from my conservative friends, who thought I was pushing a little heretical. Which made me laugh, because…uh… I’m still fairly conservative, just a little provocative in thinking. At least, in my opinion. I was even told by a friend I was bold for posting these, as she wouldn’t if she was looking for a position in a church like I am. But then this morning, I was told in a comment to an article on Facebook that I was teaching sexism to my girls. So what am I? Am I a liberal feminist? Or a conservative sexist? Surely I’m not both.
These are the woes of a young evangelical trying to own her faith. And do you think I’m the only one experiencing this? How about all people in their twenties are going through the same thing…yet we don’t have a place in our church to help them out. That’s another soapbox for another day.
Here’s the take-a-ways from this random rant:
- Own YOUR faith. Don’t just follow along with whatever you were taught as a child, or what your pastor teaches you, or what your parents tell you, or what popular media tells you. Don’t take things at face value.
- Read/watch/immerse yourself in varying materials, materials that challenge your existing worldview. Yes, you will want to hit your head against the wall like me. But you will be able to identify (1) what you believe (2) why you believe it (3) rebuttals to your view (4) why others believe what they believe. You won’t have to claim ignorance.
- Don’t feel pressured to be “one” or “the other.” Christ, Paul, and the early church made Pharisees and sinners alike cringe at times. You’re not going to fit into some pretty, packaged box.
- It is okay to feel confused when it comes to faith. Just look to Christ. Strive to live like Him, and all that other stuff will fall in line or fade away, depending on how important it truly was.
Check out this photo by Andy Mineo http://instagram.com/p/dmfkNJRtvI/ I saw it and went BINGOOO.
Love God, serve others, seek the Kingdom, be like Christ.