I've been having a rough time of sorts lately and I am getting hit by all sides.
I have many questions.
If you have stuck around here long enough, you would know I am a Christian. I belong to the E.L.C.A. Lutheran church. After moving away from Wyoming, I have attended a nondenominational church which is fundamental Christian. I did this in hopes of going to a church close to home since ELCA was a farther drive and I am upper poor. So below are my dilemmas.
Here goes. I am ready for some rock and roll. Let the opinions fly!
I believe in treating all people with respect and dignity...all walks of life. If you permeate that Golden Rule by treating me like crap, I might treat you as you treat me. I have friends who are Muslim, Jewish, gay, black, white, yellow, red, purple, green, Republican, Democrat, American and foreign.
My steadfast heart of rights is being challenged in this church and I feel I might need a separation. Bug is also questioning things. We feel we are constantly being preached to and degraded. Below is the basis to this...
1) Leviticus. Several times, the minister will preach about being gay and how sinful it is. In Levitcus, gays were slain. Obviously, this is a conflicting moral dilemma. Do we kill people because they are gay? It's a hate crime in most states and a murder in all of them.
I believe a sin is a sin, no matter how big or little. I don't agree with everyone's life choices, lifestyles, religious beliefs, moral decisions, immoral decisions, political platforms...etc. I am sure there are several people who do not agree with me either. BUT...it doesn't mean I condemn them for it. It also doesn't mean I won't fight for what I think is right. I guess I was forced to be Switzerland in so many instances in law enforcement, that I became the country and I look at things through a different lens. At the same time, police often made judgments. What is right and what is wrong? And why? Or were we just called peacemakers and all that judgy stuff goes out the window?
Blessed is the peacemaker.
2)Shall not eat meat which is unclean. This is in reference to pork. My family are pig farmers for Pete's sake. Which one of us is going to give up bacon? Isn't it true pork is acceptable protein in most instances. I do know many Jews and Muslims who refuse to eat anything with pork. I also know at work, we have to provide vegan and pork free alternatives to honor all religious and personal choices. I asked this question of the change in the fact that many Christians eat pork and posed it in church and got, "I don't know."
3)Thou shall not lie. Police lie and use trickery all the time in law enforcement in order to find truth and fight evil. Well??? Is this not sinful?
4)Halloween. I love Halloween and not because I practice Paganism or demonic resurrection or black magic. It's a secular holiday and I was raised it was just a costume party of treats and games. I do know the extent of all the history in Celtic and German culture, Pagans, and Christian Reformation of the day. I am so worn out by it being brought up every Sunday as "the devil's holiday" and the fact if you attend any haunted houses, corn mazes, or decorate...you are the devil's spawn and condemned. In fact, this topic was so predominant in church, several of the congregation were getting up raising their hands to the sky and yelling "amen" each time the minister said Christians who "practice" Halloween and believe it is harmless are rudely mistaken and sin. Now, are there those kids who vandalize and use the holiday for mischief and evil? Yes. Is it the norm? I don't think so. I think most adults make it a costume party. The minister also went on to talk about how adults use the holiday for a drinking fest. Well, getting drunk is not good for anyone. Have I done it before? Yes. In my college youth and some of my cop days, I drank too much. I have a very different view of it now.
(5) I like The Walking Dead and sometimes I like to watch horror flicks. It does not mean I practice nor condone evil, black magic, or summoning the dead. Yikes. Apparently, I am being frowned upon by this entertainment viewing.
(6)All political parties aside...we are not talking of my liberal conservative thoughts or my conservative liberal thoughts. These are things in my heart. If we want to delve in politics...we will be here all day.
(7) Oh, and in one sermon, the minister suggested that when Jesus turned water into wine, it was actually grape juice and that when it wasn't consumed fast enough, it went rancid and fermented, thus, became a drink of evil. He goes on and on how evil drinking alcohol is and he goes on and on how he has never drank a drop of alcohol. He even suggested one drink leads to drunkenness.
I'm starting to believe I don't belong here, although I love many of the parishioners and they are kind people.
It's funny how many people have brought up the fact if Democrats are liberals, they are non-Christian and if you are Christian you are Republican. SUCH A mis-statement. This makes me angry. Don't go there.
But if a sin is a sin, why are Christians weighing so hard on gay legislation? Because of the Bible? Why is it OK to eat pork now? Aren't we to love one another...love thy neighbor? Why is it OK for cops to use trickery or lie to fight evil and do good?
It might be argued both ways...(1) it is a civil rights violation and what does it hurt those who do not believe? (2) just because I support gay rights does not mean I practice their lifestyle. I just think all should be treated equal. Call me a gay lover. Yep. I love gays because they are my neighbor. I bet they don't condone all my sins, but treat me as a human with equal rights. (3) I don't understand the Muslims and all their beliefs, but I don't think they should be made to eat pork. I don't think Christians should be killed because of their beliefs here or there or any country.
I also see a lot of problems in the international realm with other cultures condemning Americans, but taking advantage of our educational system. And why are they here? Why would you get a college degree from people you despise? And why do we take their money? Why do we allow them to disrespect our flag? Why do we work so hard not to offend anyone? Ok. Getting way far off the mark.
Here is another issue. I truly loved being involved in the church activities and attending because of the tranquility, peaceful worship, and singing. Now I fear it has turned into a political platform every time I attend. It also feels I get drilled for not being in church every Sunday and Wednesday.
Maybe I need to suck up the gas bill and go find an E.L.C. A. Lutheran church.
And so we sit here, missing morning church, debating on whether or not to attend this evening or go seek out a new church. Maybe I secretly hope for world peace.
Can anyone help me make sense of these questions without hating on Christians or hating on others? In other words...a reasonable voice from Switzerland? Ok. You know me. I'll take all views. Hopefully I can make sense of the confliction in my heart and in my head.