Sunday, September 07, 2008

Sunday Afternoon Tea

In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty;
in all things, charity.
St. Augustine

Okay, so I'm going to do what I said I wouldn't... step back into the Mommy wars. I've had so many comments and e-mails and the battles raging among Christians are going far beyond what they were last week. So excuse me as I sip very strong tea and get ready to jump back into ecclesiastical waters.

Note the quote above by Augustine (and I've read it was well loved and quoted by Wesley so we have both sides of the Reformation in accordance). That quote was written out each week on the bulletin of the church my family attended our last few years in Holland, Michigan. It was a very large church and although Wesleyan in denomination, it attracted Christians from all over Western Michigan from other denominations... especially the Reformed and Christian Reformed churches.

For those who don't know (or care), Wesleyans are Armenian and Reformed churches (including the Presbyterian church) are Calvinist... to one extreme or another. Thus, the quote... every Sunday... as a reminder.

Oh, my friends... how we (as Christians) should never judge another family just because they don't agree with our theology in those things which are not black and white, cut and dried in Scripture. No wonder the world wants nothing to do with the Church when we throw darts at each other about the way we dress, if we watch or don't watch media, whether we homeschool or send our children to public schools, whether we allow dating or prefer courting, and in this case... our feelings about a Christian mom working full time as the Vice President of the United States.

How can we have the audacity to say to a wife and husband (who have prayed about a decision and discussed the consequences of a life change most of us would never have to deal with in our own journey) that they have to be wrong. By throwing darts at them (and not rounding the prayer wagons around them in their time of need), we are calling them liars at most and out of touch with God in the very least.

Would God raise up women for such a time as this. Deborah was a mother in Israel and a judge who went into battle. Haddassah was a young Jewish woman who must have been horrified at being dragged into the King's Harem... but went on to become a queen who influenced an entire civilization... as Esther. God's ways are far beyond what we can reason.

How blessed we should be to have a Christian woman with a husband and children along side of her, willing to accept what they know is coming so we may have a conservative and Christian witness in this campaign. Let us not judge them, let us hold them up in prayer for their decision is between them and their God as well as between husband and wife.

Yes, we will most likely find out the weaknesses and imperfections of this woman and her family. Ummm... better her than me! I met with judgement from others in my church... in the 1980s as a working mother in a corporation (from those who believed mothers should never work) and later as a homeschooling mother when I made the decision not to work outside the home when we desperately needed the income. Both times my husband and I agreed on our decision after much prayer and discussion.

At this time, I do nothing in my own church but attend Sunday morning services even though I've been a Bible teacher, written Bible lessons, been on staff of two churches and a Sunday School teacher of women and adult classes, represented the Christian coffee house ministry I was a part of in my youth by speaking at various churches about the Jesus Movement, wrote for a Christian newspaper, used my skills in long range planning to help churches and ministries, and um... worked in a couple of church libraries.

Why do I spend my time homeschooling (until this year) and blogging? Because finally the tongues of the false accusers cut me to the extent I was no longer willing to put myself or my family in a position to be attacked. At least in "real life". What is the old saying, "Christianity is the only army that kills its' own wounded"?

Of course, there is criticism from people because I don't get involved. This side of Eternity, it appears there is nothing one can do to keep tongues from wagging short of never leaving the house, answering the phone, or reading e-mails. We will never please everyone and by trying, we will not become the man or woman God wants us to be... we must only try to please Him and our mate (if we are married)... Godly parents if we are still at home.

Regarding Sarah Palin... the decision has been made and you can decide whether to vote or not vote because of the record of each individual. But let's unite as Christians and stop wagging our tongues against this woman because she feels God has placed her in this unique position in time and history. If she missed God, that's between the two of them and her family and frankly, none of our business. Either way, she now needs our prayers and support rather than snipes against her theology. The world will give her enough grief.

In a Bible study I wrote about the book of Esther, I talked about how God prepares each of us and positions us for that moment in which, "who knows but we were brought into the Kingdom for such a time as this". Oh, my friends, are we so much smarter than our God that we can say for certain that this woman is not another Deborah or Esther? Not perfect in any way... but prepared... and positioned?

Unity... Liberty... Charity (Love).