Maybe it is my youth, maybe it is my up bringing (spending time in both the north and the south) or maybe it is just the Spirit boiling the waters of baptism but I am ready for a change in the establishment of church!!
Now, I consider my theologically views to be somewhere in the middle but primarily pointing towards Jesus and not society. I completely agree with the thought that if you truly are a faithful follower of Christ then you are not living within the bounds of what is consider socially acceptable but in fact you are often challenging the very foundations that the secular world stands on.
I believe that, church has done a lot of hurt - in fact I know that church has done a lot of hurting. In the name of Christ more un-Christ-like things happen then I would like. In the last several decades in fact, this has come under the microscope of society. This has to stop - Jesus didn't act like this. There might be a lot of inconsistencies in the Bible but the one thing that is pretty clear (not only by Jesus but many of the OT prophets) is that it is not US but GOD who judges in the end. In fact, Jesus calls out his disciples time and time again for making rash judgments! And yet, people continue to make judgment calls in the name of Christ?! What gives??
Humanity is full of sin; humanity although made in the image of God does not have the many attributes of God and thus we need to stop living like we do. We are not more worthy then anyone else.
Jesus sat with those who were deemed unworthy and made them worthy! Therefore as Christians we need to put aside the desire to judge - we need to admit that it is not our job. For we do not know the whole picture. Our job is to spread love - to teach and to preach. To love our neighbors as our selves - to do to the least knowing that God works within all!
I am not a Christian who claims to know all the answers. I am a human who struggles every day with understanding the Word of God and the will of the Divine.
I do know that the divine is far more vast then my mind can even imagine. For God is beyond all the words in all the human languages. I do know that Jesus preached about love - a love that I can only hope to spread. I do believe that the Spirit works within all people - often when we don't even know it or realize it. And I do not believe that religion is dead - I just believe that religion is in need of transformation.
So lets be real: church has hurt a lot of people in the name of Christ. But I believe that through Christ's love and the determination of pastors and churches around the globe we can begin to rebuild those bridges that have been burnt. One step at a time, one prayer at a time we can reclaim the name of Christ!