A few things have incensed me recently in relation to the church. Christianity can be like an UXB in that everything is swimming along nicely until there is something floating in the water. What is that thing? Is it a shark? is it a mine thats going to blow me out of the water? or maybe it's just a bit of rubbish floating by. Or maybe, just maybe if we look a bit closer and stop panicking, we will see it is another swimmer, just like us, or possibly a beautiful fish come to see what we're up to. Slightly weird analogy maybe, but I just think that sometimes we forget who our role model is, who we are representing here on earth, who we are called to be more like. If we could be more like Him then perhaps our churches would be more enticing, more welcoming, bigger, fuller and maybe a bit more diverse but probably all the better for it.
There are so many UXB's that can trip us up as Christians, from the biggies like homosexuality and women in church to the more banal, like where to put the new toilet or who will run the next Alpha course. We get so het up with the 'I'... I think this, I think that. Well what about God? What does He think? I was once on a PCC where the meeting was split between people who wanted to run an Alpha course and those who wanted to run an Emmaus Course. I mean what was that about if not selfish ambition and Pride? Both courses do basically the same thing, the church was aiming to bring more people into the church (and therefore to Christ although that did seem rather secondary).
If we all focussed more on Christ and less on what we want then life would be so different.
As part of the ministry application, I have felt forced to take a stand on certain issues - not in any direction particularly - but just to have a position. It is not something I have enjoyed. I want to feel welcoming and loving to anyone who may come to me in a position of authority. I do not want to be put on the spot or questioned over my views. I have my own views of course, but I just reject that fact that Leaders have to take a position, whichever one that is. I just feel we need to be so much more loving and welcoming and not loving with a proviso. Jesus did not say, I love you up to this point, or I love you if you do this. He loves us whatever, when we do wrong, when we ignore Him, when we've made a mistake, He still LOVES US and that is what we should aspire to be like rather than bickering amongst ourselves about who is right and wrong.