Recent comments by presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann have stirred up the discussion about gay marriage once again. While speaking to a group of high school…
I’ve spent the majority of my life in the institutional church, giving of myself and being blessed by folks giving of themselves into my life. That time in my life was very valuable. It was necessary. Had I not spent so much of my life in that environment, I would not be suited for the plan God has for my life, for my family and for my church.
I am through being “given” and “giving” concrete interpretations on Scripture. Instead, I want to start building interpretations.
We’ve all heard the phrase, “Give a man fish and he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish and he eats for the rest of his life.” Another telling of that phrase goes, “Give a man a fish and he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish and you’ve lost a customer.” I think a lot of churches treat parishioners like customers. We give them a good hearty “meal” once a week, just so they can come bns on Scripture. To build a beautiful building, you need a lot of things. You need a foundation layer. You need a framer. You need an architect. You need an interior decorator. You need a landscaper. All of these things and more are important, so why when we are “building our faith” or “working out our own salvation with fear and trembling”, do we let only one person dictate what that faith should look like? Shouldn’t a group of folks have an input on what that faith should look like?ack hungry the following week. Yet, how many folks are we teaching to fish? How many folks are we equipping so that they might internalize their faith? I much rather my parishioners have a faith that is unique to them than have 750 folks attending every week with a cookie cutter faith.
God created us all differently and we all interact with God differently. We should allow room for questions. We should allow room and create space so that folks know that it’s okay for them to interpret Scripture for themselves. They don’t need to rely on a pastor. We all need help molding our faith, even your pastors.
Your faith should be unique to you.
How do we create a faith that is unique to us? We find safe space for us to question. We find folks who challenge us to think critically. We challenge others to think critically. We take the words of Jesus seriously. We wrestle with the writings that we don’t agree with or don’t like, rather than just write them off.
Are you brave enough to create a faith that is unique? Are you brave enough to think critically about Scripture? Are you brave enough to let the Bible and the Spirit of God ruin your life? Are you brave enough to lose your life, so that you may find it?
Join me on this path. Let’s come to church and not check our brain at the door.