Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Are You Prochoice?

I like to think that I have been prochoice for many years now. I have always thought people should have the right to make informed decisions. The challenge of course is how much information do we actively seek after in order to make those decisions. The reality is that we don’t always make choices from having all the information in front of us. Way too often we find ourselves making decisions for things other than truth issues.

Ironically, when it comes to church practices truth is often not a prime motivator for decision making. Political correctness and fitting in at church are generally higher priorities for people doing what they do.

Pastors are often guilty of how truth is presented. They give their interpretation and don’t allow for other points of view to be expressed. In some ways, they are like college professors, with lots of experience, who have learned how to handle questions from naive 18 year olds. More often that not, issues that have varied interpretations are not allowed to be discussed openly, allowing parishioners to make up their own mind.

This happened in 1906, with what Pentecostals would call the re-emergence of the acceptance of the gifts of the spirit. When the early Pentecostals had these life enhancing experiences they believed they would be able to go back to whatever churches they belonged to and bring them the fuller message of the gospel. History tells us they were severely chastised for bringing that kind of disruption to the group that they had faithfully been a part of. They didn’t plan to form into a new church, they just didn’t think they had other options.

Ironically, Pentecostal pastors would not allow things I write about in this blog, like tithing is not for today, offerings should primarily be used for the care of the less fortunate, pastors shouldn’t get paid or the Lord's supper is best practiced in homes as a meal, to be discussed openly within their church.

It seems that truth is in the eye of the pastor and it is his job to control his perspective on truth within his congregation. People are not given the chance to hear other points of view from the very pulpit that they pay for.

The mark of a great pastor these days is that he is able to get a large group of people to do what he wants. The goal of equipping believers to stand on their own two feet is usually not a primary consideration. Consequently, the label of being narrow minded can be easily attached to most church groups since they don’t allow differing viewpoints to be expressed openly and honestly. Generally, people are happy with this system, since it requires little brainpower from them and gives a semblance of peace.

Prochoice is definitely not highly valued within most churches that I am aware of. And I am sure that I have blinders on that I am not aware of. That's why we need each other without the stifling confines of aligning ourselves with group think or a single interpretation.

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