I just got back from running (I think I have been inspired by the sisters marathon.) For the first time I actually enjoyed it. There was a certain freedom that came, save for the sweat that occasionally pooled in my eyes and made me cry. My breathing was constant and deliberate and simply focused. While I ran, (I walked some) I thought about my response to the Boyd sermon. I finally feel ready.
I want to begin by asking what is the one thing that you want to hear Christ say to you, besides "Well done..." Really, what do I want to hear from Christ? I want words that are balm of Giliad to my soul. I want to never doubt. I want to realize that all the hypocricy in the church that makes me want to leave is not him, it was never him, it was just imperfect humans doing what we thought was right. What I really want to hear from Christ is that he loves me, that I can never push him away no matter how hard I run. While I cognitively understand that I will be standing before a all loving God, but how often I distance him. Meaning, I claim Christianity, often Republican, always American as a label. I have forgotten what it means to be a daughter of the Prince of Peace.
During my time in India they asked us not to call ourselves Christians because of the negative ramifications of the word. Many of the people we met thought of America as a Christian institution, and they associated America with Britney Spears and Madonna. Our hearts melted when we saw someone who had never heard the true gospel of Christ and those lies that they bought into were dispelled with the true gospel. Often I get so tied up in debating theological nuances (often important ones!) that I forget where my anchor is tied. Scott Anderson actually brought up most of the points I was going to, so I will exbound on what he has written in the comments section of the first Boyd posting.
I do agree with much of what Greg was speaking of. Listening to the first part of this sermon series on the podcast during his prayer he seemed to know something was stirring he kept asking for intersessors. Lets take a moment and speak of the last presidential election, I am going to give my views and I realize that this was such a hot button topic that people still don't speak of who they voted for unless they enjoyed the tar and feathering. My name is Karla Rae D'Agosta and I voted for George W. Bush. Do I regret it, no. I have NO clue what it is to be that man. I do not believe that he is happy about the war, I believe he is a humble, prayerful man who has a job that I do not envy. He is a sinful man who needs prayer as we all do.
What do you do, really!? All we fed is this line, if you are a Christian you vote for Republican. Republican party+against abortion and gay marriage=Christian vote. The same way it is almost always said that the Democrat party is for the inner city and tax breaks. Which implies that the Democrats are for the slaughtering of innocent lives and all for the alternative lifestyle marriages and Republicans hate the poor and view them as a wast of funds. Absolutely insane. Our founding fathers began with a good idea (constitution) and they realized that it relied on strong morals to make this country work. I cannot be sure, I need to research this more, but the majority of them were not believers correct? Why does it suprise us when the actions of our country don't line up with the bible! America is under this false idea that we are God's chosen ones on the earth, I believe because we have mercifully been without any major (I am talking Tsunami and Rowandan and Sudan levels here) battles on American soil. This thinking is killing us, and Boyd is right to point out where our citizenship resides and the cross is big enough and God is supreme enough to welcome us all. Alas, I digress.
I, as a believer in Jesus Christ consider myself a citizen of Heaven first, and a resident of America. I pray for my nation and those we are at war against. I love the unborn and pray feverishly for the mothers and the children. I pray that people are released from the bonds of homosexuality and find freedom as all of us under bondage need freedom and a propitiation for our sin. As believers, our religious views will slam up against our political views, Not every pastor we meet preaches the bible and so to think that our president /party will encompass our specific beliefs is silly. Let this sermon series, let our Lord inspire us, rather than to fight to take up a path of peace. Follow our Lord and not look for cues from our culture.
And...I am done. For now. Wait, come on Greg...homosexuality is not ideal! What! Don't back down now, 1,000 members just left, you preached from the bible, stand up. Thats all, its just that one sentance REALLY rubbed me the wrong way.