Thursday, May 9, 2013
Bringing People to God
Isn't this job just a little bit most successful if we're open minded and open hearted?
Let me tell you all a little story... And please note - I realize I have said most of this before, but I feel it deserves being repeated.
Of course, if you read my blog, you probably already know most of my story. I loved God, believed in Him and Jesus. But I was not a faithful member of a church. Churches are close-minded, often. If you don't believe exactly as the pastor does, or as the church as a whole does, you're an enemy of God. You don't belong. You're going to hell. You don't truly believe.
Nearly a year ago, I started having conversations with a pastor, and eventually with others. And I asked the questions which are often in the minds of atheists and agnostics. People argue that because the Bible isn't correct or whole, it cannot be real. Because of the Big Bang Theory, God cannot exist. The laws of the Bible are inappropriate and outdated for today's world. I believe in science and religion. I believe in the Bible, however, I do not know if it is complete. I believe God's Word is in our hearts and ever living there. It is not about the little laws - it is about the love and grace of our Lord. And some of what I was told includes...
There is a possibility for both science and religion to be correct.
While doubtful, there is the possibility that the Bible could be missing some books.
The Bible is not a how-to guide. Many of the laws from Moses' day do not apply to our society now.
The Bible is not the only Word of God. The Word lives in our hearts. While it does not change, it continues today. Our stories are similar in the basics to those of the people living in biblical times, but they aren't exactly the same (i.e. we generally don't have multiple wives, and allow our husbands to sleep with servants).
Some find this offensive. Some find this way of thinking completely wrong. And the fact that I was actually told this stuff by pastors? Inconceivable! (anyone else just have a flash back to The Princess Bride?)
But do you know what? Being told all of this... having someone speak to me in a real honest loving conversation... having someone not immediately tell me I'm wrong and closing their mind to me...
I was brought back to God.
Isn't this what it's all about? Isn't this what we're supposed to be doing? Aren't we supposed to be sharing the love and grace of God?
If we close our minds to other people's thoughts and ideas, we close them out of the church. If we close our hearts to the concerns and questions of others, we close them off from God. We chase them away. We tell them they are not good enough to be part of God's people.
Is that what God wants from us? Is it our responsibility to weed out the people who don't believe and adhere to a strict way of thought? Is it our right to tell people they are not good enough for God?