Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Ugh....I hate labels

My friend in the blog world received a comment to one of her postings that I had some strong feelings about. Here is what I posted in reply:

"I have to address your comment:

"I know that it probably would not occur to the emergent folks or to those who do not ascribe to attending church...."

First of all, that is a rude comment. It is comments like that which divide the church. It appears to me that you have had a bad experience with the "emergent folks" and that you view them as "in the wrong" or "sinful." Why else would you blatenly segregate yourself from that group, who are also Christians and love Jesus?

I am a regular church attender and do not think pastors or elders are scary, nor would it be a bad idea to talk with them. If she wants to do that, she probably will, or her friends that actually know her outside of the "blogworld" will help walk with her to go meet with them.

Either way, what's wrong with telling someone "I'll be praying for you?" In my experience, people who have a problem with that are people who don't really believe the power of prayer changes things. That it's just a saying Christians use to make themselves feel like they're doing something with the least bit of effort.

Also, if you really do have a problem with "emergent folks" don't you think it would be more effective to approach them politely rather then belittle them? I don't think Christ ever belittled the people he disagreed with. In fact, he poured their love on them and made a point to do it publicly. Instead of taking, my guess is a bad experience, out on everyone else, why don't you go to the Lord and figure out why you are so against these people who just want to spread the love of Christ, as I'm assuming you do. Why are you so negative towards your own brothers and sisters in Christ?

Christ calls us to love people unconditionally, not to judge them. We are to be accepting and loving, not condemning and rejecting. It is not our place to make calls on the state of someone's heart, nor should we be trying to. It doesn't matter if someone is black, white; straight, gay; Mormon, Christian; young, old; criminal, citizen; poor, rich; modern, postmodern; etc., we, as Christians are called to love on all of God's creation, which include everyone in the above listed groups, not just Christians.

This is purely my opinion, but I suggest next time before you go and make comments that are rash, rude, and offensive that you think about how Christ would view those comments and that you decide if it is something that would help unify the kingdom or divide it. "

What do you guys think about this person's comment? I know you can't see the whole comment, but let me put it in context for you. This guy was saying that "emergent folks" and those that don't attend church would not think of recommending going to the pastors or elders of a church to someone who is struggling with something. I took offense to that and I don't even label myself "emergent." I am just someone who loves Christ and doesn't want to see the church divided any more over petty differences and I want The Church to be a place where people feel welcomed and not condemned.

Let me know what you all think....


Kim said...

Thanks for this post, Stephanie. I really enjoy reading your stuff. I think you make your point eloquently and firmly.

I grew up in New York City. On my Dad's side, my grandparents came from Italy and Ireland. My mom's side is German and Irish. The New Yorkers I knew always liked to align themselves with their heritage -- the Italians stuck together, the Irish stuck together, the Germans, the English, the Puerto Ricans etc and so on. I never minded these affiliations, really. It only got annoying when the Italian Americans would battle with the Irish Americans etc, or the Irish with the Germans, and then the Germans with the Italians... (you get the point...) After all, we were all Americans -- New Yorkers at that. It seemed silly.

In the Christian community, it seems even sillier. Fundys, Emergents, Post Moderns, Pre Moderns -- We just have too much time on our hands. We don't need cultural differences to separate us -- we can just make stuff up! I know that my comment will make some out there say "i'm not making this stuff up -- it's in the bible..." Well I haven't found most of these categories in there, frankly. I have found Christ there, however, and I think the people who say they occupy these categories have found Him there, too. Doesn't that make us all Christians?

"There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus." Galatians 3:28

I don't really think the commentor wanted to be rude. Maybe he was trying to be funny? Maybe he wanted to play? He did come off as grumpy, but I don't think he meant to. As a former New Yorker, I'm always being mis-interpreted every where I go (it's that accent -- I can't lose it). Here's to you, rude comment guy. I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt. I'll copy this and post it over there, as well.

Thanks for listening. :)

Chris P. said...

I have replied to your commentary over on my blog.

I would suggest that you read it.

WoundedHealer said...

I liked your post. Thanks. I don't like people who suck and are blog trolls - or throw their titles and tags around, or lay hands on themselves - but we are all growing up, hopefully.

Chris P. said...


It is my sincere prayer that you recover from whatever is afflicting you.

Kim, Your quote from Galatians is proof that culture, social standing, etc are irrelevant in the indivisble Body. Both you and Stephanie have put words in my mouth and assumed way too much. Your reactions are knee-jerk and over the top to say the least.
I am not trying to be funny, nor playful, and hardly grumpy. This is hardly a funny matter.

Robbymac said...


Good call. I'm "cyber-friends" with both Maryellen and Chris (although we live in different countries), and I think you said what needed to be said.

Be careful that you also guard your heart and writing. I don't think your comments (or Kim's) are knee-jerk or over the top. Just allow me to encourage you to continue to word things with grace.

Blog on! :)

Maryellen said...

Don't let him fool you, sometimes Chris is grumpy...but he means well. I think we all really need to guard our hearts and writing. I think if James were writing his epistle today, he'd have more to say about what our fingers type than what our tongues speak. We do have audiences, and if we are writing as Christians, we need to be extra careful. There is power in the written word, even here in the strange world of blogs. I have often been blasted, and sometimes offended by comments made to comments. But after a few months, I've really gotten the hang of this. The experience has also helped me to refine some of my basic principals of faith. And I've made some good friends too, like you Stephanie. I've gotten "closer" to Chris, and even re-established a relationship that had been lost for blog on!

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