First off, thanks for the comments and support! You made me feel more comfortable and gave me food for thought.
If you go two posts back, you'll see that life has been sorta heavy for me lately. Lots of learning and stretching and pain and growth going on. But God is so so so so so so so (not nearly enough "so's") good! I honestly would not trade the trials I have endured, because through them, God is refining me, revealing what's in my heart, and showing His presence in my life.
But when life is difficult in one area, it's easy for that trial to spill over in other areas. Frustration comes easily when you're already edgy.
Anyway, I just want to say for the record:
1. I LOVE my church. LOVE it. People are warm, compassionate, forgiving. The generosity I have received from members of my church leaves me speechless. I often find myself just being overwhelmed with thankfulness, because I KNOW that when great trials come up in my life, I can count on my brothers and sisters to be there. To pray. To listen. To provide any help they can.
2. I know that wherever I go, whatever denomination or non-denomination I'm a part of, that my fellow believers are sinners...just like me. On this earth, the bride of Christ will be plagued by sin. I talk about Baptists a lot, because that's what I know. But you could just as easily insert any ol' denomination and have a slew of problems.
3. While certain issues frustrate me, there are far more that I totally agree with in my fellowship. And the things I disagree with are not deal-breakers. Not the biggies. Not "hills I want to die on." I vent on my blog, but I know that my particular church has a dedication to God's Word, and even if not everything is perfectly accurate (no church is), the MAIN truths are evident.
4. We actually had a really good talk with our Pastor last night (eeek!!). It wasn't as scary once he encouraged me to be honest and comfortable speaking my thoughts. I realized that I can disagree with him and we can still respect each other. I still feel puny and insignificant and childish when I disagree, but it's not because he makes me feel that way. That's just a hang up that I'm going to have to overcome. He actually helped change my mind on something. GASP! I don't know if he knows how big of a deal that is and how humiliated I was when I realized he was right. Humble pie is not my favorite dish, but I survived it.
5. Final point, and I'm reiterating a bit. I don't believe that disagreeing with the opinions of others is a reason to jump ship. There is no perfect church. We've survived tougher spots in our fellowship before, and it was such a blessing in the end to look around at our brothers and sisters and to know we stuck through it. I know that we'll look back on this time one day and feel the same way. Just like in a family, overcoming obstacles makes you closer. Disagreeing teaches you empathy and how to handle pride. God uses others to help smooth out our rough edges. It wouldn't be very Christlike to give up on Christians just because we're imperfect.
So, there's my more rational take on the issues.
Thank you for listening. Now back to our regularly scheduled blogs about absolutely nothing.