What do you get when you put a Lutheran, a Wiccan, a lone ranger Christian, a Unitarian and an evangelical at a table? Breakfast at my house the day after Thanksgiving. Yes…it was interesting.
Yesterday we avoided the hot-button topics. We were on guard. When my grandmother declared that she can’t stand Billy Graham because “he preaches at her” we pretended not to hear and moved forward. We didn’t even make fun of her, which was tough.
Today we walked in full throttle. Here is the list of characters:
- My aunt’s boyfriend is a Lutheran. He believes in “high church” and thinks that anything that does not have a liturgical book is “entertainment Christianity.”
- My aunt prays to the great spirit. At one point she declared herself a wiccan.
- My mother has been hurt by the church (and vicariously through my hurts from the church) and believes that “as long as you have the Holy Spirit” you are fine.
- My father believes that all religions are the same and essentially “we all pray to the same god.”
- I believe that if you call upon the name of Jesus and repent for your sins, then you are saved.
How can one person address so many issues sitting at a table when the other four people are ready to pounce in unity? Well, I did what any decent person would do. I walked away. Noone at that table was ready to listen to any point that I would have made, let alone concede the point. Frankly, I’m the only person with whom I could have had a constructive conversation was with Paul, the Lutheran. But it was not the right time.
You see, there are much deeper heart issues to all of these ideologies (mine included) that cannot be discussed productively in a group setting. When I walked away, God showed me some of the issues. Once again, He’s given me the tools…the issues through which I can pray for each individual. Instead of engaging in a fruitless battle, I was given the weapons, not made of flesh and blood, with which to fight.
In short, God is awesome. That is one thing that has not changed. Thank you God for being the same yesterday, today and forever.