These past couple of weeks have been a serious struggle. I know I’m fighting God’s will for my life, and my wrestle with Him is just causing me pain!
My Church, First Christian Church, is voting this Sunday on two things:
1. Should we leave our denomination?
2. Should we close our doors for good?
I feel a serious tug toward Reformed theology, where grace is life and election is salvation, if we leave Disciples of Christ and sell our building. Of course, we’ll still meet up informally as a non-denominational home group, but what will I do without being in a denominational church!!??
While I’m not sure what my church will do exactly with Pastor Penny leaving us (she’s transferring to a Methodist church somewhere else), and us seriously struggling financiallly, I hope God can help us and KNOWS WHAT HE IS DOING!
I’ve said it on my Instagram, and I’ll say it here: We’re struggling because we don’t embrace everyone. My church is incredibly close-minded and this is killing us. THIS, however, is not a matter for us to embrace heresy to grow the church. On the contrary, we are embracing the diversity of God and His love for all creation: Immigrants, single parents, women who’ve had abortions, queer folks, trans and gender-conforming folks, and/or disabled or atypical-neurological folks.
I’m always amazed at the image of God, because of His people made in His image. God must be amazing!
And while I do hope that my church will get the help it needs and grow financially and in attendance, I do now, in my heart of hearts, that we are dying. I fear nothing can stop it dying, but I’m just trying to keep my head up to God’s future. I can keep trying to lie to myself, saying “we’ll make it, we’ll stay Disciples of Christ,” but I know that is NOT true. I cannot keep lying to myself, thinking I could be a student preacher (even though I’m pretty sure my denomination won’t allow that!), or whatever.
With moving toward Reformed theology, I know this is God’s plan and will. God wants this, and has been guiding my steps in my life to get here. I could go the ELCA route, where they believe you can commit temporary apostasy, but I’ve never really been much of a fan of the ELCA or Lutheran faith, so I’ll just stick with Calvinism. I’d most likely attend our First Presbyterian Church here in York, where I would be welcomed as a future female pastor, leader, and chaplain. And yes, while I struggle with Eternal Security, I hope I can reconcile that with my faith (since fake Christians can be cut from the vine!).
JUST THINK ABOUT IT! A year ago today I was a Unitarian Christian who believed in works+grace theology! Now, I’m a Trinity-professing Christian who is all about that grace! But if I hadn’t gone through my Unitarian/Works stage, I wouldn’t understand being saved by grace as much as I do now, and I wouldn’t understand Jesus as being truly God incarnate. And I SURELY wouldn’t have thought I’d become Calvinist!
I wouldn’t understand God or his plan for my life like I do now.
So, while I struggle with being so disconnected from Seminary right now (by the very fact that they’re 400-500 miles away from me, and I HATE being an online student/laptop student!), I do hope for goodness in the future. God is a God of love and hope, not of disaster, right?