Politics, Family, and Religion,

Image

I recently posted this on Facebook:

I am an evangelical, Bible believing, born again, die in the wool follower of Christ, a Christian pastor–and I’m voting NO on Amendment 1 on May 8. Oppressing others and denying them equal civil rights is no way to “protect” my marriage or my family from anything….Jesus always always always stood on the side off those who were outcasts of the 1) Religious Establishment (Matthew), 2) Political Establishment (Mark), and 3) Social Establishment (Luke). I can’t imagine my following Him and still finding myself voting to harm members of a minority community that falls into all three of those “outcast” categories from The Gospels–and then say I am doing so in the Name of Jesus. Everyone must vote what they feel is right, but for me, there is no other choice. Blessings…may we be one body even in our disagreements on such issues.

(you can add me as a friend if you wish, but let me know you are from this blog): http://www.facebook.com/herev

For the most part, only my more “like minded” friends commented and about 30 folks “liked” my post.  Some of my GLTBQ friends or their family members offered thanks.  Many of my preacher friends chimed in with agreement (made me proud to be friends with so many of them).  All of my friends that are not so “like minded” refrained from comment at all.  I know what they were thinking, but perhaps they just didn’t want to argue or simply chose to move on.

A couple of my cousins–one a very conservative Church of God member (I believe that is what denomination he still is) and one who is from a very conservative Lutheran church, both chimed in.  My COG cousin was not happy with me at all, telling me that he wanted me to “move out of Sodom and Gomorrah.”  The other, the Lutheran one, had some minor complaints and questions and presented them in a fairly compassionate manner.

Oh boy.  I have to say, I love my cousins.  My wife and sister both complain that anyone I can trace any family relationship to up to 10th cousins is simply my cousin and I claim to be related to everyone.  But both of these are first cousins of my dad, so fairly close–I grew up knowing them and loved their parents (only one of which is still alive).  I don’t WANT to argue with family over Politics or Religion.  I just don’t.  I don’t think either of them was trying to be mean or evil, or even argumentative–both were speaking with passion and speaking what they felt were the right words in this situation.

The COG cousin wasted no time in getting down to brass tactics when I simply told him we would have to disagree, to the point of finally having to, in his words, “preach to the preacher” and offering to help me with any scriptures if I needed them (both direct slaps in the face, but again, he is passionate about it).

I tried to respond to him simply that I love him and we must disagree on this.  The other, I tried my best to answer her questions and I felt less “attacked” by her and more on good terms when it was over.

But DANG, I just hate it when it comes to these things.  Friends, fellow pastors, church members, strangers on the Internet–those I have no problem debating such issues, but I really feel somehow inhibited trying to talk to my family, especially my “elders” about such a passionate issue in which I KNOW we will see things differently.  I don’t want to judge them and I don’t want to feel judged by them, so–I tend to just show love and resist any argument.

So the question is…Since I genuinely feel no one is going to change anyone’s mind anyway…Am I being a coward, or am I being a peacemaker when I just don’t go there with them….

let me restate again, I love my cousins and will continue to love them no matter what.  I harbor no ill will towards them for offering their “input.”

Thoughts?

Advertisements

5 Comments

Filed under Christianity

5 responses to “Politics, Family, and Religion,

  1. Eric

    I feel your post changed several peoples minds.Just as your open minded approach to your calling has (evident in several comments). to answer your question… neither… just wise! 🙂

  2. Well, when you respect someone telling them that they are wrong is not your first priority. When you care about them you want them to have all the bet information so that they can make good decisions. Sometimes they don’t want the best or most current information. Sometimes they don’t want to investigate to see what is true. Clearly your cousins already have some ideas about gods and belief. If you don’t want to have an argument with them then don’t and don’t worry about it. Life is far too short to spend it arguing with people that you’d rather be having a bbq with, or something like that. Not wanting an argument is neither cowardly nor being a peacemaker.

  3. Dear cousin…it is strange to me I would post here that this is not an argument I want to have with you…in part because of my respect for you, but mostly because of my love for my family…including you…and then you would come here and make 3 argumentative posts. Let us agree to disagree and continue in love. You keep telling me that scriptures tell you that you must tell me the errors of my ways or you will be responsible for my eternal downfall. You have told me. You can rest easy. Your obligation is fulfilled.
    My faith is in Jesus and I trust him to save me. I also do and say AND believe all of these things…not in spite of my faith or my biblical understanding but because of them.
    Don’t let this disagreement keep you up at night or interfere with our familial relations. I have been kind and gracious with my responses to your comments so far, even when they have risen to the point of condescension and condemnation, so far…again due to my love and respect for you. You are moving from being concerned for me to being concerned about being right. In matters of theology, I have to live (and die) with my theology as do you. I’m not going to spend precious time trying to convince you of your errors and would hope you would show me the same respect. Trust me when I tell you I am quite at peace with my savior and I will trust you are too.
    This blog, however, is one of my relief valves. I will not let the peace of this place be tampered with either in comments to my guests or to me. HERE I am the master of THIS domain.
    Love you sincerely. Thank you for your concern for my well being. Of course, I will expect that we should continue to keep each other in our mutual prayers.
    Peace of Christ be with you
    tommy