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Troubled Poster On Other Forum.


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Hi again everybody. I guess this could be construed as a prayer request also. Anyway, In addition to this forum I've also started posting on a "Liberal Christians" subforum at christianforms.com. Since this is part of a larger and mostly more conservative forum, we're not immune to drivebys from fundamentalists.

 

A few days ago, a young Baptist woman (age 19) posted there about her struggles with a growing sense of alienation from her current church. Though the real kicker for her is having GLBT friends and trying to reconcile supporting them with her church traditions, she's also finding herself more liberal than her fellow churchgoers on a wide range of issues. Her church is apparently if not a megachurch than certainly a large program church, with a substantial youth group that forms the core of her friends. This is painful for her because she apparently grew up in this church and she's risking losing her friends, or at least having them at an utter loss to understand where she's at. She is technically an adult but apparently still lives at home, and her parents are not supportive of her new beliefs.

 

I've been trying to help as best as I'm able, mostly through a mutual female friend (being married and markedly older than this poster, I feel limited by propriety issues regarding what I can do directly). It's not helping that a self-identified charismatic Christian interjected himself in the public part of our discussion, basically dissing her for her lack of "spiritual resolve" and also directly targeting the empathy she feels towards her GLBT friends as a "stumbling block" to her making "righteous judgments" on said GLBT friends.

 

Anyway, please pray in whatever way you understand prayer for this poster. She hasn't been back for a few days and I'm worried. If it will help focus your prayers, I trust most of the regulars enough to PM her user name to you, but I don't feel comfortable posting it publicly.

Edited by ParSal190
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Hi Parsal190,

 

Perhaps you can suggest this site to her where people will be more supportive of her more liberal positions. It really is a sometimes painful exit for those who place spiritual over dogmatic religious beliefs. We can follow man and the church system that is external or we can choose to look within for the true pearl. Our compassion goes with her but it seems to me each must, in the end, be true to that inward draw that must be traveled as if alone.

 

Joseph

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I did tonight, as well as some progressive Baptist resources (including congregation lists) I remember from my Baptist days.

 

Hi Parsal190,

 

Perhaps you can suggest this site to her where people will be more supportive of her more liberal positions. It really is a sometimes painful exit for those who place spiritual over dogmatic religious beliefs. We can follow man and the church system that is external or we can choose to look within for the true pearl. Our compassion goes with her but it seems to me each must, in the end, be true to that inward draw that must be traveled as if alone.

 

Joseph

Edited by ParSal190
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Being born again and again is difficult, the labor pains we must endure. People defend religion as if it is a fixed structure where people must die, but I feel it is a launching platform for our spiritual journey. I am impressed she is standing with her new friends. You sound like a great friend and both of you are compassionate Christians giving shelter to those who need it. The Lord gives us the experiences we need to become stronger even if we don't want them. It is nice if we see it and hell if we don't. The Lord is with us every step of the way, but sometimes we need a friend to remind us. God Bless

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  • 1 month later...

This really is so typical of the "church". I myself am having these types of struggles in my own congregation. I belong to a larger mainline denomination who's views pretty much parallel my own, unfortunately the local churches are still on their own conservative tac. So as you can see, regardless of the church or the denomination, you will always have some degree of disention... I have found the easiest thing is to simply follow Christ's teaching...or more simply, "What would Jesus do?" I know it sounds too simple and for someone that is in a peer pressure situation it's even more difficult. Perhaps if she simply knows that there are others out there going through the same thing AND others out there that feel the same way she does, it might help a little bit. Someone else IS in her corner.

 

We are to be welcoming...open...trusting...safe...non-judgemental. Why do so many believers / church's think its our job to be the "judgement police?" I don't think that's what Christ was all about... It's Old Testament stuff that a lot of places hang their hats on. They comletely forget about the New Testament... Fogiveness, love, sharing, joy, happiness...

 

I'll be praying for your friend. I do hope she finds that while tradition is a wonderful thing, sometimes difficult decisions need to be made. I myself am at a crossroad right now... trying to decide if leaving my family church (of over 150 years) is the "right thing" for me or not. Why stay connected to a place (local congregation) that no longer has any commonality with my views? Walking away from 150 years of family tradition surely is not an easy decision, and not one to be taken lightly. But the judgemental, non-accepting, unwelcoming ways are becoming too burdensome.

 

I hope this will give some hope to your friend. There are others of us out there. She just needs to reach out and find us!

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