Posts Tagged With: Deeper Story

Lines and Labels

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABreaking news: I’ve discovered yet another line in Christian culture, and now (of course) I must decide which side I am on! Because obviously we can’t all be on the same side, and (of course) whichever side I pick will be Jesus’ side, because, y’know, He always sides with me, and speaks plainly to me about what is His good and perfect will. In addition, He always cares about every facet of Christian culture, because our varying opinions on baptism are totally a significant reason that we cannot possibly work together to feed the destitute. Yada, yada, yada. You get the point.

Sarcasm aside, I did find it slightly ironic when both this and various articles from this website came into my facebook feed on the same day. Disregarding that specific topic (No, this is not another persuasive essay about 50 Shades. You can breath a sigh of relief now.), I feel that that incident points to a bigger disagreement that has been forming in my practices over the last few years. Allow me to clarify. I grew up on Moody radio, rather conservative sermons, Brio magazine, and the purity culture whose effects are being dissected and debated quite a bit of late. But as I’ve grown older, I’ve also come under the influence of another, somewhat more liberal branch of Christian thought. I’ve been a fairly faithful reader of Deeper Story  for several years, I followed Prodigal Magazine back when it was a thing, and, I can’t fail to mention Jamie the very worst missionary. Who knew that actual missionaries could swear? I thought that was, like, pretty much impossible. Granted, I don’t agree with everything I’ve come across on any of those websites, but neither do I agree with everything I’ve heard on Moody, or in sermons, or in purity culture. Yet, I also can’t say that I know exactly where I stand in between these two extremes.

I don’t have a set, writ opinion on feminism, or even necessarily on the gender of God. I refer to Him as masculine because the Bible does, but really I think Johnny Cash captured it best when he coined the title “Father Hen” without attempting explanation. I have friends who’ve courted and dated specifically for marriage, and I have friends who’ve lost their v card, some of whom don’t regret it. I have friends who basically abhor swearing, and never associate with people who curse; I have friends who swear like soldiers. And you know what? They aren’t terrible people any more than we all are. I love both groups just the same. I know folks who’ve marched in the march for life, and I know those who vehemently believe that in many circumstances abortion is the most humane option. I socialize with Christians who drink or smoke and also those from the polar opposite camp. I could go on…

But essentially, I guess this boils down to that I don’t know which side I’m on, and as much as I dislike labels, they are a part of being human. I gain security, and self worth from knowing who I am. Also, I think a crux of all of these issues is how I choose to view grace. The first of the extremes I’m caught between easily morphs into old testament legalism, and the second into a grace happy, sin and you’ll be forgiven existence. Legalism repels me, so often I lean towards the second, but the first somehow comes with me, and I’m seen as quite conservative by my “living in the freedom of New Testament grace” friends. Bottom line? I don’t fit. Which is nothing new. I should be used to this by now. I just wish I could pinpoint where I stand…

*footnote: Camp conservative is having a hard time stomaching the idea of me in dreadlocks (which I plan to get this June). For now my appearance allows me to group hop. Maybe then I’ll be stuck in the one extreme.




Categories: My Life, Ponderings | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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