Over they years I've locked myself up in a debate... well several debates, but this is one of them.Roy wrote: ↑15 May 2018, 15:12I agree with the pick your battles advice. I try to limit my comments in the class setting to advocating for more charity and less judgment for all. I do get the feeling that my comments are not always appreciated. Similar to relationships, you can only have so many emotional withdrawals before your comments begin to feel grating. People go to church to revel in uniformity of belief and take comfort in certainty. They really do not want or appreciate me there providing counter examples.
Is church really a community of believers with a shared goal of finding refuge in shared belief, where the goal of the three hour block is to reaffirm said beliefs and to seek validation from the community?
With each passing Sunday I feel like the only option available to me is to seek greater comfort than the discomfort I felt the week before. Discomfort at the realization that the more peaceable outcome is for me to refrain from making any comments at all. That's usually when I begin to seriously wonder why I bother showing up to church. I don't need the kind of validation that the church offers, they don't need my comments. Let's call the whole thing off.
People don't come to church looking for truth... or to be kinder, they don't come to church looking for my truths, they come to seek refuge in a community that shares their truths. That begs the question. Should the church be a place where we create room at the table for people that unabashedly hold differing beliefs and feel free to share them, or should church be a sanctuary where beliefs go unchallenged, a place to enjoy respite from the worldly "thems?"
A little from column A, a little from column B is probably healthiest.
But at church we like to believe that there is a place for everyone and we fully expect the church to be a community that everyone should belong to. It creates an interesting dynamic, people that fit well in the community insisting that people that don't fit well in the community have a place and therefore should be participating. The regular toys insisting that the misfit toys join them but the prevailing culture only highlights just how misfit the misfit toys actually are.
What does it mean to belong? To share who you are, even if it challenges the status quo? To show up and be tolerated?
I think not making comments because you realize that what you have to say isn't necessarily what people need or what they came to hear is the more charitable approach, at least when compared to showing up to provide counter examples week after week. I question how sustainable it is for the person that isn't in harmony with the culture.
Does the church want me there, or merely their projection of me?
I recognize that some of you have that skill to say the perfect thing in that loving way, all in sheepese. Not everyone has that skill. Do you take the path of silent sufferer? Here I'm reminded that contrary to what is presented by the culture, it's perfectly okay to be inactive. We like to say that everyone belongs but that sure is a hard thing to practice... for people on any side of the equation.