A Point of Clarification
I would like to clarify something after my post from yesterday, Trapped or Free. Lisa pointed out that it might sound like I was anti-Presbyterian or generally anti-mainline. She also pointed out, quite correctly, that we have been treated far worse in the church since then. And she's right. So here' s my clarification: The issue isn't where we are, but how we are where we are. The struggle for me wasn't with the Presbyterian church per se (although at that time I might have thought it was), but with the fact that I felt trapped, without choices, without options, held there against my will. I do not have a hate on for all the traditions and denominations, theologies and schools, cultures and groups. The issue isn't that you might feel trapped in a dead and decaying tradition, and that you need to make the leap into the Vineyard movement or some other charismatic, post-modern or emergent group. I've discovered a remarkable but simple truth in my many years of pastoral experience, and that is that no matter where I go, there I am! I could've carried my delusion of bondage and slavery with me for the rest of my life. Rather, I had a revelation of my enslavement that I was somehow complicit in, fully supported, nurtured and sustained by my own willful blindness, naivete, and the super-spiritual idea that I was somehow an obedient martyr by staying in the land of slavery that my own mind had created for myself. Of course, the powers-that-be fully validated, supported and succored my unconscious decision to be a slave, but that was no excuse. I learned then, with that short sentence, "It's time!", that I was a free man and nothing could change that, no matter where I found myself. I woke up in the same bed I fell asleep in, but I was a completely transformed man. I still struggle night and day against the powers that would reduce me to a slave with a slavery mentality. And this struggle is largely the content of this blog. But so far I have triumphed. I'm still free. And I know that I would still be free if I went back into a mainline church. Believe me, it is no better here than there. And it is no better there than here. The only thing that is better is that I have claimed the freedom that was always mine. And I continue to endeavor to live in that reality from moment to moment.