Monday, November 07, 2005

Don't Talk, Do It

Too often, religious people do more harm than good.

I used to work at a Baptist college. One Fall I agreed to lead a freshman orientation class. Each student was required to complete a personality inventory and meet with me to interpret the results. As I prepared for this assignment I discovered that students at this Baptist college had more guilt than the general population.

What! How was this possible? These were children who were raised in church. These were children who should have been hearing and EXPERIENCING love and forgiveness and acceptance. They should have had less guilt, not more.

About that time a pastor phoned me. He had a young lady who sang in the choir and was pregnant. The problem was that she wasn’t married and the pregnancy was beginning to show. He asked “What should I do?” What he really wanted to know was how to get her out of the choir without angering her family. My response was “Don’t do anything. Let her sing and be thankful that she’s coming to church where you can show her that you care for her.” The young girl responded to a natural instinct and found herself facing a great deal of responsibility and lost opportunities. She knew she had made an unwise choice – not an evil choice but an unwise choice. What she needed was people who gathered around her and let her know that she wasn’t alone or unloved or condemned.

It's understandable that the students in the orientation class felt guilt. Our actions destroyed our message of forgiveness.


Blogger George Breed said...

Yep. That's why I like the Church of Is, the Church of the Eternal Now. Guilt free. Happy to be here!

11/08/2005 06:25:00 AM  
Blogger Anvilcloud said...

To some extent, morality in certain religious circles, seems to begin and end with sexual issues. That might be overstating it a bit, but it's true to some degree in my experience.

11/08/2005 06:57:00 AM  
Blogger mreddie said...

We faced that same "unwise choice" with our daughter several years ago and through it all we felt the love and support of our church family. But that is what brothers and sisters in the Lord are supposed to do. It's so sad that some church families miss their calling and resultant blessings by not doing that. This brought our daughter back to God and our first "grand" has been a blessing to our family ever since. ec

11/08/2005 08:44:00 AM  
Blogger Buffalo said...

Guilt and fear. Isn't that the way it is supposed to work?

11/08/2005 09:41:00 AM  
Blogger Bonita said...

It is a substantial opportunity to love those who error; we give up our missconceptions and biases, and just let the love for them show. Everyone makes mistakes, missjudgements, and they will work out all their corrections with the support of the church community.

11/08/2005 11:39:00 AM  
Blogger Ciera said...

I can never measure up to higher standards...of particular people in leadership over me...and I have given up trying. Because the harder I try, the harder I fail an dI can't take it any more.

11/08/2005 12:18:00 PM  
Blogger Lane Watson said...

If more Christians excercised God's gift of Grace, then there would be no discussion of this. Unfortunatley, we, as Christians, are cosnstantly in battle over how to handle "human" problems. We mess up! We all fall short of the glory of God. Go figure. Forgive and let each other live according to God, without judgement from our brothers and sisters. Nice, honest post. Thank you.

11/09/2005 01:49:00 AM  
Blogger natala said...

i think learning to be like jesus is such a part of my faith... and learning to love in the ways that he did..
thanks for this -

11/09/2005 06:58:00 PM  

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