Proper 10: Peer Pressure and Me

IMG_20180715_102805283Every time I attend church, I find myself thinking three things:

  1. Do I miss my old church(es)?
  2. Should I force myself to believe in the Trinity/how do I reconcile my Unitarian beliefs with the Trinity?
  3. How would I modernize this church/sermon/message?  How would I make it my own?

I thought of these three things while attending church this morning, at First Christian Church of York.  I’m still missing the structure and holy communion at First Evangelical Lutheran Church, but I can’t reconcile my Unitarian/Works+grace beliefs with the Lutheran faith.  I’ve thought about attending the Saturday services at FELC here in York, so we’ll see how that goes.  I miss celebrating Holy Communion as the literal body and blood of Christ – I don’t know why this is so important, but it is.  And in a small way, I miss infant baptisms.

As for trying to convince myself to believe in the Trinity, its not working so well.  I know what I believe, and while God coming to earth in the body of a baby to reconcile us to himself sounds very convincing, I know the Unitarian truth.  I do believe in God the Father and God the Holy Spirit, but I’m not sure if I’ll ever be able to convince myself to believe in God the Son again after reading the Gospels.  Having read that Jesus prayed to our Father in Heaven makes me dream of going back to the Mormon church, so that I can at least believe in both Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.  Then, at least I could believe in both works and grace.  Ughhh.

Lastly, I wonder how I could modernize my current church/my future church/or at least the message of Christ.  First Christian is very conservative, which is something I’m very worried about if I decide to make this place my Home Church.  I’ve heard good things about First Evangelical Lutheran Church, such as them reading progressive books by progressive female preachers.  Ugh.  Did I make the right decision in not believing in the Trinity and just grace, and leaving my old stomping grounds?  I feel a whole lot of regret right now.

How could i modernize this church?  How could I modernize its message for people of my generation?  Take peer pressure, for example.  This was our message from the Lectionary today, and I have been feeling a whole lot of peer pressure to conform in this church.  There was even a snippet in the bulletin about not conforming to this world.  Oy vey!  Doesn’t that sound fundamentalist?  I want something more progressive!  I want to talk about water conservation, taking care of our planet as stewards by God.  I want to talk about not giving into peer pressure of older generations to stay back and do nothing against oppressive societies.  DO NOT GIVE INTO THE PEER PRESSURE.  Be bold.  Care for the earth.  Care for our queer siblings of creation and of Christ.  Care for the immigrants.  Care for the vulnerable, the least of these, whether they are of the earth, of another nation, or just down the street from us.  Care, my friends.  Do not cave into the fundamentalist, white Christianity where one only focuses on personal piety.  Yes, be holy.  But don’t forget to fight the oppressive systems. (I’m more of a person to focus much more on social holiness as I don’t buy into the American ideal of personal holiness).  Let’s be socially holy people.  Christ said that if we only care about the outside of the bowl, but don’t wash the inside of the bowl, then we are nothing.  Focusing on one thing negates from social holiness.  How we treat people matters, even the point of judgement and Eternal Life (Matthew 25).

Alleluia and Amen.

-Leigh

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