When You Don’t Fit In At Church

http://alise-write.com/when-you-dont-fit-in-at-church/

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I should not fit in.

Why not?

According to a number of demographics, I am nothing like a lot of these people. It would be all too easy for me to focus on our differences. There are plenty, and if I’m being perfectly honest, some of them matter to me. I care about things like LGBT equality and access to birth control. I’m pretty iffy about hell. I’m far more likely to reach for John 3:17 as a life verse instead of John 3:16.

And yet this is my home.

Okay, well you’re welcome to continue hanging out with us and wrestle with how to reconcile your opinions with the revealed word of God.

I don’t fit in, but I am loved.

And because I am loved, it is much easier for me to reciprocate that love. I am accepted, so it becomes easier for me to accept. I am honored, so it is my desire to return honor.

Bravo – you have learned how to love the people who voluntarily loved you first despite their prejudices. Baby steps.

And when we love like Jesus tells us to love, fitting in isn’t really a concern, because love makes all kinds of room for everyone.

I understand that many people feel encouraged by statements like this (particularly my liberal Christian friends who linked this all over facebook), but I find statements like this very disheartening, especially when written by a supposed regular congregant. How sad is it that anti-church and anti-Christian messaging has so successfully rendered judgmentalism the default secular assessment of the church?

I don’t so much question the sincerity of the post as much as I do the pretext behind it: that even though she doesn’t fit in with her church’s traditional conservative values, her church loves her anyway because Jesus commanded so.

And I don’t think this blogger has any self-awareness of just how offensive that pretext is.

Judgmentalism isn’t the norm in America’s Christian churches. Showing love to the congregants of many various worldviews, political persuasions, lifestyle choices, and personal vices isn’t uncommon; in fact, it’s typical. There’s nothing remarkable about being treated with compassion and respect by the church. To praise the church for not being as intolerant and bigoted as presumed is to insult the church and its congregants.

Sure, it’s completely okay and even expected for a nonbeliever or a new believer to be anxious about fitting in, but that anxiety naturally goes away with familiarity. But for seasoned Christians who continue to perpetuate their insecurities over their perceived “differences” from their church home, I ask: Why are you unfairly casting your fears onto these good people? Are they not imperfect people just like you who deserve better than your continued prejudice? Did not Christ humble himself to a cross for them too?

To that person, I say: Get over yourself. Drop the act. The church loves you regardless of your differences, not in spite of them. You fit in because Christ has made room for you. Now please make room for the rest of us.

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When You Don’t Fit In At Church

Reply from Senator Cornyn concerning the defunding of ObamaCare

On Tuesday September 24, 2013, I emailed Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) to encourage him to support Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) in his effort to rally Republicans and prevent Senate Democrats from railroading the House Republican spending resolution to defund ObamaCare. My respectful message, and the Senator’s October 4 reply, are featured below. September 24 was the day of Cruz’s marathon 21-hour speech, which culminated in the current reduction in federal government operations. Including Cruz, 19 Republicans voted that Friday against cloture and against surrendering their right of democracy to the majority. I was disappointed, but not surprised, to learn that Cornyn was not among them.


Senator Cornyn,

As I write this, Senator Cruz is speaking on the Senate floor to advocate in favor of the House spending resolution that funds all government functions except the enforcement of ObamaCare.

I encourage you to please join Senator Cruz in his effort to prevent a cloture vote that would enable the Democrats to insert ObamaCare funding – WITHOUT any meaningful debate – by a simple 51-vote majority. Please stand with you fellow House conservatives to protect the integrity of their bill and honor the liberty of the majority of Americans who reject ObamaCare.

It is thanks to conservative Americans that Republicans gained and retained a majority in the House of Representatives. Conservative Texans have made their voices heard in electing Senator Cruz, and he has served admirably on our behalf. Please join Senator Cruz and conservative Texans and fulfill the duties of your office in protecting our liberties and upholding the Constitution. Thank you Senator Cornyn.


Dear Mr. Pitt:

Thank you for contacting me regarding the Continuing Resolution (CR) and defunding of Obamacare.  I know how passionately Texans feel about this issue, and I appreciate the benefit of your comments.  All Americans should be exempt from the onerous and costly provisions of Obamacare and the best way to do this is to repeal and defund the law in its entirety.

Texans continue to share with me real-life examples of how this law is hurting businesses, killing jobs, and burdening individuals with costlier premiums.  All Americans should receive relief from this law, so I was pleased when the House of Representatives chose to listen to the American people and sent the Senate a CR that funded the government and defunded Obamacare.

Because of procedural rules in the Senate, the only way for Senators to vote yes or no on defunding Obamacare was to vote for cloture, thereby allowing a simple majority vote to defund Obamacare.  Only five Senate Democrats were needed to defund Obamacare.  However, Democrats continued to ignore the pleas of the American people and stripped the language that defunded Obamacare.  I joined with all Republicans to vote against the final Senate CR that included funding for Obamacare.

House Republicans continued to send reasonable packages to the Senate that would have funded the government but provided relief for Americans from this law, including bills that would have delayed Obamacare for a year, permanently repealed the Medical Device Tax, delayed Obamacare’s individual mandate, and required that Congressional members and staff live under the same rules as the American people.  Senate Democrats rejected these reasonable compromises.

On Tuesday, October 1, 2013, the U.S. government funding authority expired, resulting in a government shutdown.  Unfortunately, this shutdown did not prevent the implementation of Obamacare and the health care exchanges opened as scheduled.

At every opportunity to defund or repeal the law, I have voted in favor of doing so, and I will not waver in my opposition to this law.  To read further about my efforts, please visit my website at: http://www.cornyn.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=senator-cornyn-record-on-obamacare.

I appreciate having the opportunity to represent Texas in the United States Senate.  Thank you for taking the time to contact me.

Sincerely,

JOHN CORNYN
United States Senator

517 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Tel: (202) 224-2934
Fax: (202) 228-2856
http://www.cornyn.senate.gov

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PLEASE NOTE:

Due to the nature of electronic communication, if you did not receive this e-mail directly from my office, I cannot guarantee that the text has not been altered.  If you have questions about the validity of this message, or would like to respond to this message, please use the web form available at my website, http://www.cornyn.senate.gov/contact.

Reply from Senator Cornyn concerning the defunding of ObamaCare