Can We Still Be Friends?2:52 PM
I'm knee-deep in comments and research over the headship issue. (In fact, I've been so consumed with the great discussions we're having, the hard questions you're asking, and the satisfying answers I'm finding that I'm still in my pajamas sitting in an unmade bed. I should break for lunch...an hour ago. Oops.)
Despite any confident facade I may put on, I cringe every time I hit "post" on articles challenging traditional conservative views. I'm well-aware that the majority of my blog readers disagree with me on these things -- and that scares me. Not because my fan base is disagreeing with me, per se, but because of the implications this has on my spiritual life and the helpfulness of this online conversation.
Many of you may be concerned that I'm going off the deep end. Maybe you feel the need to distance yourself from a blogger who embraces "liberal" ideas such as egalitarian marriage. Maybe you feel that I'm angry against my past and against anyone who holds views opposing my new ones.
But I'm not angry. I'm okay with agreeing to disagree. And for the love of mercy, I don't want you to stop voicing your dissent.
I'm encountering tough questions and finding tough answers that contradict what I formerly believed. I'm not a fundamentalist anymore by any stretch of the imagination. And it scares me as much as it scares you for me to venture into unknown territory. Trust me -- God's been hearing lots of pitiful prayers along these lines: "God, please don't let me turn into a liberal!" (Whatever "liberal" means. They're just the bad guys, right?)
I don't like change. I don't like disagreeing with the only section of Christianity I've known. I don't like picking through Rachel Held Evan's blog or questioning John Piper. And do you know how confusing it is to run into my old blog posts that flatly contradict these newer posts? Awkward.
I've watched friends and family truly go off the deep end -- bitter against God and their upbringing, unfaithful to Christ, antithetical to everything they once believed. And I'm not going there. I refuse to go there.
You know why people jump off the deep end? Because they separate themselves from other believers who disagree with them. Christianity gets split into such hyper-conservative and hyper-liberal groups because we stopped letting our different perspectives sharpen each other. We stopped searching for truth and started retreating to whatever side made us feel most welcome -- or we forced those who disagreed with us to go somewhere else, as if our beliefs on evolution, marital roles, and skirt length makes or breaks Christianity.
My boyfriend told me, "It's not a slippery slope if you have a solid foothold in Christ."
And that's what I want -- Jesus. I want Him so badly. I want Him so badly that I'm willing to follow His Spirit into unknown territory and consider beliefs and traditions opposite my previous beliefs. Can I promise you that I'll never call myself a feminist or a Catholic? Can I promise you that I'll never again call myself a complementarian or a literal six-day creationist? I can't promise that. I can't promise who I'll become, because I have no idea where I went or where I'm going. I'm literally asking questions as they come up and following answers as God reveals them to me one by one. All I know is that I want truth, and that Jesus is the truth. I can promise you I'll seek truth and will try to settle for nothing less -- I can promise you that.
We're all walking a slippery slope. And we will all fall once we lose sight of Jesus and the common ground He gives to all Christians.
That's why I need all of you who disagree with me about headship, evolution, denomination, modesty, women's roles in church, or whatever else. I need you to keep asking me questions and keep searching with me as we keep our Jesus foothold. And you need me and others different than you too.
Can we still be friends? Can we still love Jesus together? I would hate to isolate any of you, and I would hate to be isolated from any of you. You are hereby commanded to continue speaking your mind. :)
Photo Credz: Babiekins Magazine via Pinterest