Friday, July 27, 2012

Homeschoolers, Abortion, and Chic-Fil-A: Christians and "exclusiveness"

Now that we are "homeschoolers" instead of unschoolers, I have been looking into joining another co-op.  I've seen several options in our city and they are all... well... how do I put this lightly?  Exclusive.

If you want to join these co-ops then you need to be a Christian and you and your spouse need to share a salvation story on the application.  And/or sign a declaration of faith. For a homeschool co-op.

In my research, I was unable to fine even one secular co-op in our immediate area.  I was disheartened.

If my family participates in a co-op, I'd like it to not be a place where religion is shoved down our throats.

I'd like to not feel anxious every time I come in the doors because what if my kids say the wrong thing or do the wrong thing or I wear the wrong thing.

There are rules about this stuff, y'all.

Rules about what we can wear and what we can say and well... it's just all too much.

But most of all, I'd like to be able to invite any of our homescooling friends to any co-op we decide to join.  Hey, if I'm going to be getting together with a group of folks regularly, I'd like to kill several birds with one stone here.  One of Hunter's best friends is an open atheist.  I do not worry that his beliefs will rub off on my kids just as I don't contemplate trying to convert him to Christianity.
What I hope is that he might, at the very least, grow up thinking to himself, "I remember that Jones family.  They were Christians and they prayed and went to church.  And they loved me even though we didn't share the same view of God."  That's my hope.

So it looks like if I want a co-op that is inclusive, I will have to create one myself.  Sigh.  Of course.  I still may end up joining one of these Christian co-ops seeing as how, conveniently, I AM a Christian. But my ultimate goal will be to provide the people in the Murfreesboro area with an alternative.  A healthy homeschool learning environment that is not just for Christians.  That is for anyone and everyone.  After all, how are we going to ever convert people and bring those who truly need His salvation the most if we are never near them?  If we never step foot in a room with people who aren't already Christians, if we never befriend them and interact with them and play with them on a regular basis, then we, as a religion, become exclusive.  And let me remind you, Jesus died on the cross for everyone.



As a newly baptized young bride, I sought healing from past sins and deep wounds left by my abortion experience. (Yes, you read that correctly, I have experienced the pain, loss, despair and relief that is abortion... if you would like to talk about this matter privately, feel free to email me.)

I took my baggage over to the local Pregnancy Support Center to become a volunteer.  This is where I truly came to know Jesus and His people.  I learned just how much He loved me and how forgiving He is and how true it was that He really did die for ME.   So swept up in His love and His grace and the new freedom that this brought, my zealous self decided to take on the daunting task of convincing the very conservative church I was attending to support the Pregnancy Center (something that was pretty difficult to do from what I was told).  I was successful and pretty proud.  Naturally I wanted the church to be aware of every wonderful service provided at the Center and I submitted a blurb about the upcoming post abortion class to the church bulletin.  Well, I was stopped dead in my tracks.  In the parking lot of the church, a lady who I thought was my friend flat out told me that this information was not appropriate for the church bulletin.  I was flabbergasted.  How was there anything inappropriate about Jesus's love and forgiveness?  Quickly I learned that, supposedly, there were no people in the congregation who could possibly have been touched by abortion and that it was an unforgivable sin. 

Jesus died for a lot of reasons but abortion was not one of them.



I believe that if I'd not already been a Christian before that conversation, I might never have become one.  Because that lady witnessed exclusion to me.  She said to me, "Your sins are too great.  You better go ahead and just give it up."



This past week my Facebook feed has been overrun with people either supporting Chic-Fil-A after recent light has been shed upon some of their “conservative” views and practices... or not.  Research has helped me determine that I am no longer going to support them financially. My question to the men who run this corporation is this:  "If you believe that homosexuality is a sin, shouldn't you be doing everything in your power to try and love gay people?"  Will openly arguing against gay marriage and financially supporting organizations that work to do away with homosexuality end up being helpful on any level?  Because, as a Christian, I believe it is my job to love people.  Not to try and change them.  Or argue against what they believe in and want desperately.  But to love them.  Isn't the ultimate goal for them to accept Christ and be made anew, just like the rest of us pathetic sinners out there?

I know that I wasn't brought closer to Jesus by being rejected and ridiculed by Christians, that's for sure.

No matter what type of sinful state a person's life might be in, as a Christian, it is my job, my PRIVILEGE to love that person.  To include that person.  And I hope that people I encounter will remember me and my family as the exception... as the Christians who loved them no. matter. what.



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9 comments:

  1. and this dear sweet lady is why i will never forget you and your family!!! you are the REAL expression of God and the love that HE has for us all!! miss you and the family you have me on facebook!!

    your leading player hugs and kisses!!!

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    1. I love you, sweet Michael. Hope to see you at the awards show!

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  2. I totally agree. I was raised in the church and always had a hard time with the pias sanctimonious attitude. Jesus is about love redemption and grace! Some people forget God is the only judge and those who judge will be judged in the end! I am born again I am Christian and as such I choose to love as Christ loved!
    Nelle from San Antonio

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    1. Choosing to love as Christ loved is quite a challenge but it's worth the effort. :)

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  3. I found your blog through a friend on facebook. SO beautifully written! You say everything I feel about being a Christian in today's world. It's so hard to find others who think in the same way. I almost don't even want to say I'm a "christian" anymore, because it carries so many negative connotations to so many people. And it shouldn't be that way. You are so right, God is about love and forgiveness and acceptance, not judgement. Thank you for this.

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  4. Wow, I am truly sorry about some of the experiences you have gone through with the Christian community. Maybe your church friend should realize that all sins are the same in God's eyes and no sin is worse or better than the other. I have recently started a Christian Fine Arts Co-op to help teach God's love and how to spread it through music, drama, art, etc., but anyone child can come and not be turned away or made to feel like they don't belong. This is why I love the new Casting Crowns song "Jesus Friend of Sinners", because the Christian community needs to wake up and rediscover what we are supposed to be doing according to the Bible.
    Blessings
    Diane

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    1. Good for you for using your Christian co-op to reach out to everyone. I like that idea :)

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  5. I can totally relate to your frustration for the lack of diversity/inclusivity of local homeschool co-op choices. I have been searching for secular options and I'm so excited that there is finally a new, inclusive co-op starting in our area this fall, and we are going to give it a go.

    Also, as an Atheist, I want to sincerely thank you for this post. In my experience, not many people in the Christian community are so open and accepting of those who have differing beliefs - *especially* towards nonbelievers - which has always seemed like such a blatant contradiction to "WWJD", in my opinion. There should be more Christians like you! :)

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