For a few very hard years this word was my mantra.
The word means
-undismayed; not discouraged; not forced to abandon purpose or effort
-undiminished in courage or valor; not giving way to fear
But the truth is, I was often dismayed by everything that had taken place, and I did battle discouragement. I battled fear and doubts. I hurt and was angry, and sometimes "undaunted" sounded more like a mockery than a mantra, and I was determined to be real about all of it in these posts, thus the name, Undaunted Reality. More than that, though, I was determined to live undaunted, not because I'm so great or strong, but because my God is, and no matter what this world looks like, He is the only reality that matters.
I pray I live the reality of Him beautifully undaunted.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Exiting the Theological Box...and Dealing with the Aftermath

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, I have been attending mass for awhile. Last fall I attended mass on weekends as well as during the week. However, I only told a few friends, like two, that I was attending because I didn't want to deal with the fallout from either my Protestant or Catholic friends who either thought I had lost my mind or finally seen the light, respectively. Instead, I kept it low key between God and me and a few friends who knew I was seeking something beyond theology of once saved always saved, Mary and the saints, when the baptize someone, and whether the juice and bread were actual body and blood or not.

Now that I have come out of the theological closet, per se, it has started. "It" being the battle of beliefs.

We all know there are only two possibilities: Protestants are right and Catholics are wrong or Catholics are right and Protestants are wrong. Since I now realize Protestants aren't all right, then I must choose the religion in the cup in front of you. Some of you are laughing because you can see that scene in your head. I'm not laughing because, honestly, that is how it feels. The logic of "must be this or that" is dizzying.

I hit a point this week when I told God frankly, "I never want to go back to church again. Period." And it had nothing to do with theology. It had to do with people demanding that I take a side.

None of those people asked me about my relationship with God. No one asked, "Are you growing in faith? Is your intimacy deeper? What is He revealing to you?" Nope. Just, "Do you see why we are right and they are wrong?"

Really? Where exactly did Christ get His panties in a wad over whether someone was baptized in running water or a baptismal? Where did He get all offended because someone drank grape juice instead of wine? Where did He tell someone, "Hey, that prayer you prayed isn't in the prayer book. Work harder at learning the rituals because it is about the rituals, not the relationship"? Where did He tell the priests at the Temple the offering should be after the first song and prayer and should be followed by two more songs because that is the absolute right way to do it?

Jesus received a lot of criticism for hanging out with the wrong crowd. He hung out with the tax collectors and prostitutes, the lepers, adulterous women at wells, crazy lunatics in cemeteries, and other people who realized they didn't belong on either side because no one wanted them. Except Jesus wanted them. And I don't think it is just because He loved them. He loved everyone. I think He enjoyed them because they were more concerned about knowing Him, than knowing a theology, and the religious folks were so blooming pissy about making folks look like them, think like them, and agree with them that they missed the Messiah who walked right into their midst.

Does it ever scare you to think that churches spend time teaching you how to be like them and fit into their box rather than how to be intimate with the Savior?

Does it ever scare you to think that people can be so busy learning a religion that they never learn the Lord?

Do you ever think that churches have become so concerned with people choosing a "theological title" that they have lost sight of the important thing: people choosing Christ?

I would tell you I'm not trying to bash either side of the theological chasm, but the truth is, I'm I don't handle demands to submit to human boxes well, and I am pretty turned off by them both right now. Kind of makes me want to make friends with IRS folk and prostitutes, you know?

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