In the past few years, some have wondered if I’m pro-choice, pro-gay marriage, pro-democrat, anti-baptist, pro-liberalism…..
Let me see if I can help clear up a few things. Although for some, this might just muddy the water even more so.
Pro-Life: I am pro-life. However, lately, I find myself having more in common with someone who may disagree with me on the government’s role in this matter but is actively working on fighting the injustices found at many of the root causes of why women seek an abortion. Even more so than with someone who claims the title pro-life but in word only. (And I hold to the idea that being pro-life should mean so much more than just being anti-abortion.)
Marriage: My stance on what God desires marriage to be and flourish most within is between a believing man and a believing woman. Again, I can also share much in common with someone who disagrees with me on the biblical boundaries of marriage but understands the complexity and nuances surrounding sexual attraction and gender identity. Those issues often include but are not limited to the fact that attraction and gender identity are different issues altogether, for most orientation is not a choice, and how the church has long treated LGBTQ individuals as if their sinfulness and struggles are somehow worse than others. I believe my stance on what a marriage portrays is a Kingdom issue and best lived out in the local church. That being said, you probably won’t find me harping against things like government rights of the LGBT community, especially when it involves safety and healthcare. Because for far too long, the LGBTQ community has found themselves on society’s margins and in dark and lonely places, places I feel Jesus would have made certain to bring His light and presence to.
Politics: I’m really not affiliated with any political party (though I grew up Republican in name only, if I cared at all.) And I think you’d find many believers (and non-believers for that matter) in the same camp. To hold to and belong to one group of people too strongly without being aware of shifts, changes, fringes, and refocuses in them AND in yourself can be unwise and can lead to unbiblical thinking and acting. I do care about politics now… because politics represent people. But even in that, I hope to always be beating the drum that represents a coming kingdom and what it looks like to find it and bring it here on earth.
Denominational Background: I grew up Baptist, was educated in Baptist schools, and always attended Baptist associated churches. But, I’m finding that while I still have so much in common with Baptist core convictions, I also have a lot not in common with them (and I understand there is so much freedom even within the denomination). I’m now at a point where I’m okay to be a part of a church that isn’t Baptist but holds to an Orthodox Christian beliefs, while having a less “western” approach to “doing church” (think home Churches in Europe and the underground Church in Asia) and is intentional in reaching the marginalized in their city.
Labels: I think the word Liberal/Conservative can be tricky and inflammatory. I believe Jesus was far more liberal than many religious leaders wanted him to be and far more conservative than many would ever imagine. I am an Evangelical who no longer feels like she fits in due to what our society (especially in this political climate) has made that word out to be. And perhaps, the same could probably be said for Progressives as well.
I hope that helps a little. It’s hard to put each of those things into a paragraph when I could easily write endlessly on them all! But I thought this would be a good clarifier for some readers. Trust me when I say that I would LOVE to claim a particular label wholeheartedly, labels are my safe spot, and I thrive within them. Still, I find that the longer I embrace this upside-down Kingdom of God, the more I don’t fit into many mainstream descriptions of various sides of issues. I’m discovering a whole new side of God that I never knew…. the wild, unsafe, unexpected, and counter-cultural side. And it’s ruining me in the best of ways.