For those that have read any number of my posts, it is probably clear that I do not hold a conservative view when it comes to the Christian faith.
Now, I am not one for labels as I find there only use is to reduce and flatten people to a series of dogmatic statements. I would never define my theology as liberal because of that. I say it only so you can get a sense of where I am coming from. When I studied at bible college, the New Testament lecturer labelled me a heretic. It was good to see that in bible college there was an openness to dialogue and debate (that last sentence was sarcastic).
I’ll be honest and say that my last position, as youth worker for a conservative baptist church, was a difficult one. Many judgements about who I was because of what I believe were made.
We have since moved and as a family we have started attending a small anglican community church. A few weeks ago I went out to the pub with a few of the other folks from the church and through the various discussions, it became clear that the leadership of the church would be, what I term, conservative. Again, I want to be careful with that label.
This sent my mind racing. Can we be part of this church? What happens when I express my supposedly unorthodox views of sexuality, adam and eve, hell, atonement, swearing, horror movies etc? Will we be thrown out? Should we even bother building relationships with people who have such opposing views to ourselves?
We are still at the church.
After several discussions with my wife, it became clear that I was making the same errors in judgement that I felt some of the congregation of the Baptist Church had been guilty of. I was labelling people. And more than that, I was dismissing people because of these labels. I had flattened these people into a label.
I do not want to be that kind of person. I don’t want to be the kind of person who only hangs around with those who share a similar view point; who make judgements on someone because of the views they hold.
So I’m taking a step of faith. My family and I are taking a step of faith. We are going to invest in this church. We are going to seek truth together. We are going to fellowship with one another.
And I hope I can become more like Jesus in the process.