God Doesn’t Know Any Racists

Some people aren’t going to like what I’m about to say. Because it goes straight to the heart of a very pernicious attitude that is only expressed in certain company. An attitude the Church doesn’t like to address because it would be “too uncomfortable” for the well-dressed membership and the leaders who may be entertaining it in their own minds.

I’m talking about racism. Continue reading

God’s Justice (and Hell) Revisited

I realize that, despite a thorough explanation of the circumstances, some people are probably still having a tough time accepting a God who ordered the destruction of entire nations. I admit, sometimes the thought troubles me as well. Surely if He is God, He can prevent destroying the innocent with the wicked. Can’t He?

I recently visited the blog “The Upside Down World” of fellow blogger Rebecca Trotter. She, too, confessed to being troubled by these Old Testament passages. So she asked God about them, and the response she received was, “I work it all out.”

Now, I just about fell out of my chair when I read this, because God had whispered the same words to me when I was doing research for my previous post, “A God of Justice.” What staggered me about the situation is that Rebecca and I hold different beliefs when it comes to God’s judgment. Yet, God’s response to us was the same. Mind = blown. Continue reading

Riding the Fence: Thoughts and Confessions

In high school, I absolutely adored my senior AP English teacher. His emphasis was on teaching his students how to think–not to simply memorize test answers and regurgitate them, but to actually think. But don’t assume for an instant that he didn’t have his own opinions about things. While tolerant of others’ viewpoints, his own mind was well made up. And he didn’t hesitate to give us a piece of it, either, when he found our arguments (or essays) lacking.

One of his pet peeves was what he called “riding the fence”–sticking to a middle-of-the-road, everyone-is-right argument simply out of fear and laziness. Have a ‘live and let live’ attitude if you must, but pick a side. Form an opinion. Maintain a position. Make up your own mind.

Needless to say, this teacher had a huge influence on the way I think (and write) today. And his philosophy is a good one. You can’t make wise decisions until you’ve made up your mind about the world. Life in general contains about 50 shades of gray, and the older I get, the more gray areas pop up. Continue reading

My Faith Experience: Part 3

So after a heavenly choir descended from heaven and sang for me, my faith was set in stone, right? I wish, but no. It was only a couple of years after this that my church was literally torn apart in the most devastating way. And my faith nearly became a casualty.

I believe it was sometime around the Women’s Encounter that my husband and I started dating. God brought him into my life as promised. And after dating for a long while, we wanted to get married. I was graduating from college and looking forward to starting a new phase of life. By then, our pastor had been at the church for 8 years. He and his wife led the cell group that me and my fiance attended every week. Despite some of the concerns I had about the pastor’s attitudes and teachings, I felt close to him and his wife. I asked him if he would officiate at our wedding. He said he would.

A few months later, however, the pastor backed out on us. He said his son had changed his wedding date to the same weekend, and the ceremony was in another state. We would have to ask another pastor. I was disappointed, but seeing as how there were three other pastors (youth, children and worship) at our church, I thought this wouldn’t be a problem. I asked the youth pastor, and he agreed to do it.

A month before our wedding, the youth pastor backed out, too. He was resigning and taking a job in another state. He knew before he agreed to do the wedding, but didn’t want to tell me for fear that word would get out to the rest of the congregation. He wanted it to remain a secret until the last minute. I was flabbergasted. Something was up.  Continue reading