I am writing this unedited, and 'unmasked'. This is one of those posts where I just write what is in my head, pretty much, just as it is. No editing.
( Excuse the poor grammar )
I have been thinking a lot about intentions recently.
other's intentions and the good and bad they seem to do.
As a Christian I have been part of churches of many types for all of my life, and have seen lots of people hurt, upset, offended and wounded by people in churches. I am one of these slightly annoying people who always manages to see both sides to every story. I have had friends in total turmoil because another well meaning Christian has said and done things which has really hurt them.
Processing these things for me has been hard, really hard.
How and why can one person who professes to follow Jesus, preaches that they love him and want to emulate his caring and loving characteristics cause so much pain to another person ?
I think I have discovered that in the main, (there are exceptions to this rule) they haven't 'meant' to be hurtful, and have mostly been doing and behaving in a way they thought was 'right', and more often than not, a way they perceive the bible to tell them to act.
But this 'discovery' leaves me with a dilemma, if believing strongly in a certain ideal/rule/standard, can hurt, offend and cause loneliness and isolation to others, is that believe ever actually God intended ?
I don't know.
For example (and this is just one example of MANY I could draw on ) the whole debate about Women's role in church and Women bishops…..there are many Christians, some of whom I know well and love very much, Who would say that the bible doesn't allow Women to be in total leadership over men, and therefore would say that Women shouldn't be bishops, or overall church leaders. Now, I totally disagree with this, and this viewpoint I believe, contributes to oppression of women, and doesn't reflect God's character. But, the people who have and would again vote against this, are mostly doing so out of an intention which is to please, and be obedient to how they interpret the bible. Obedience to God - is an intention I also share.
That leaves me and the wider church I am a part of in a sticky situation………
I think what I have concluded, is that it's important to look at someone's intentions before judging them.
I have also concluded, that if my intentions are to love people, to accept them as they are RIGHT NOW…not as I think they should become, then God will not judge me as wrong for that. I too want to please God, but cannot see how suppressing any type of person is in line with that.
Call me a liberal or an unruly lefty, but I feel much happier knowing that when I meet Jesus, which I believe one day I will, I will be judged more harshly for the damage I could do in trying to get it all 'right', than loving someone with a strong and unswerving love. The kind I believe Jesus showed and have missed out a few rules here and there.
These are my thinkings so far !
For anyone reading this who isn't part of a church, I am IN NO WAY saying that direct abuse and pain is EVER justifiable in the 'name of God' or religion. I am merely talking about decisions and guidelines which church goers tend to create in order to run a church. Abuse is always wrong. ALWAYS.