Monday, March 10, 2014

For or Against

You know those people. I know those people. I used to be those people. 

The kind of people that have strong opinions and speak loudly. 

Have you seen the miniseries The Bible that was produced by Mark Burnett and his wife Roma Downey?  We watched it when it was first on television, but we have been watching it again with our small group. 

I wish I could say that I have read the whole bible, but as many times as I have started through a one year read... I have never finished. Nathan on the other hand, has read through it several times. And he's super smart. So as we have watched the miniseries, we have paused and discussed some parts, talking about how that part of the story was portrayed or going back to the scriptures to verify what we have seen. All in all, I would say that they did an excellent job of telling the most important story in history in an eight hour miniseries. 

We did find small discrepancies. For example, when Jesus walked on water.  In the bible we are told that when the disciples saw Jesus walking on the water they thought it was a ghost, but He said, “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” And then Peter asked him “Lord, if it’s you, tell me to come to you on the water.” In the miniseries Jesus sees that the disciples are scared and calls out to Peter to come walk on the water, without Peter saying anything. 

So while this is not technically a 100% accurate portrayal of this story, it doesn't change the story. It doesn't change the gospel. It doesn't change the truth of who God is. 

Last week, one of the members of our small group found an article about the miniseries and forwarded it to the rest of us because he thought it was an interesting talking point. As a disclaimer, I did not read the entire article. It was long and wordy, and I could quickly see that the author had a very strong opinion and agenda of discrediting the miniseries by discrediting the Burnetts. 

She attacked their character, she called them "false teachers" and "fake Christians" and had the gall to say "they are NOT real Christians."  {A judgement reserved for the Lord.} She also accused Rick Warren and Saddleback Church {who have been very supportive of the Burnetts work} of being New Age. I live very close to Saddleback Church, I have been to events there, and I have several close friends that attend there regularly. I have never seen anything but authentic Christianity coming from that church. 

This article really bugged me. Not because I thought she was incorrect. Not because I am a big fan of the Burnetts. Because I feel like this is the problem with the church today: we are too busy judging each other and we have forgotten that one of the last things Jesus did on earth was to pray for the unity of believers. “I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you... I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are oneI in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me." {John 17:20-23}

The "church" has become many churches with countless denominations and sects, some of which still serve and worship the God of the bible, and some that have reinvented the bible to serve themselves. There is only one truth and the truth is important, but a lot of the issues that Christians spend their time arguing about are not salvation issues. They are not things that change the gospel. And it makes me sad when Christians would rather be right than be love. 

A few days after perusing this article about The Bible my pastor said something that I have heard him say many times before. He said:

And it struck me what was really bothering me about this article: this woman is busy trying to be known for what she is against. She is being divisive. 

This miniseries has brought a lot of attention to the bible. It has brought a lot of attention to Christ and the gospel. And that is a good thing in my opinion. 

And maybe, just maybe the Burnetts are off track on some of their beliefs. I don't know, because I don't know them. And I would certainly NEVER claim to know their hearts. But I do know that they are being used by the Lord to shed light into the darkness. 

I want to be known for what I am for. And I am for the bible, Christ, love and truth. 

Friday, March 07, 2014

Just Adopt

When you go through infertility well meaning people will say to you, "Why don't you just adopt?" 

Just adopt?  Ha!  Spoken from the lips of people who have absolutely no clue what adoption actually looks like. 

Despite what Brad, Angelina & Madonna may have you thinking {and honestly, just because it looked like they got their children at the snap of a finger, I imagine they actually jumped through more hoops than we know} adoption is anything but a simple process. 

Recently I have had several friends go through difficult, gut-wrenching, heart-breaking experiences on their adoption journies. Three of my friends lost babies that they thought were going to be theirs.  One of those friends had held and loved and poured into that baby for two weeks. And now she will most likely never see that baby again. 

When you adopt a baby there are home studies, and fingerprints, and family profiles, and trainings, and DMV records, and paperwork, and social workers, and referrals, and matches, and expenses - lots and lots of expenses, and waiting, and waiting, and waiting. And it's exciting, and scary, and wonderful, and awful, and a roller coaster not unlike infertility. 

So while I believe that adoption is an amazing option for people having difficulty conceiving {and if I'm honest... I actually think it is the best option}, please don't patronize your infertile friends by suggesting that they just adopt. 

Instead, hold their hands, tell them that their situation sucks {because it does, and it's nice when people recognize that}, and offer to stand by them should they decide to pursue adoption. Because they will need you.