Monday, September 8, 2008

Sunday...not Peaceful!

My Hubby and I attend church faithfully...I say this not to brag or boast!

I attend church because I NEED it...it is my "easy button" to remember God is in charge...not me! I also need to be reminded of His Grace and that I constantly need it and that I need to give Grace to others... I don't believe you have to attend church to worship God...I do it, because I need it in my life. That being said...I have noticed that during the service and the Sunday School hour... our congregation is becoming separated along party lines...not all of us...but many, many of us. I have included myself in the "us" because I am a known liberal Democrat and I am not afraid to engage in any discussion about politics. I love politics! BUT... I LOVE GOD , HIS PEOPLE AND HIS CREATION, MUCH, MUCH MORE! I have many, many Republican friends...so I don't think that it is because I am intolerant that I am having this problem but...it might be that I am wrong!

The Sunday School class I attend is studying a book called Eat This Book by Eugene H. Peterson and the premise of the book as far as I can see (I am only into the second chapter) would be the importance of Christians using the Bible as opposed to other contemporary literature for listening to God and responding in prayer and obedience.

The opening devotion used by the teacher of this class was an OP ED piece by Judith Miller...the irony it would seem was lost on my Sunday School teacher...We discussed an obvious political piece in our Sunday School class during a discussion about the importance of using the bible for our instruction!

Now, I ask you if God can turn Lot's wife into a pillar of salt...Why can't he render me speechless for 25 minutes! I am sure this teacher and I both made a room full of people uncomfortable ...as I could see members of the room aligning with each of us! Why does Politics have to invade my time with my church family? My very best friend is a fairly conservative Republican and she loves me and has even bought me an Obama T shirt...and yet, I have another friend who I also love who sends me political cartoons characterizing my party as socialists! Why do some people think that your faith defines your party? But, if you do feel that way ...Why can't you see and allow this for others outside your particular party?

I ask that you pray for me...I want to drop out of this class...My Hubby said that he thinks I need to stay because my voice needs to be heard. I feel like this teacher is willing to give of his time to our class and I am grateful but he has a definite agenda as to what "Christians" should think and feel about current issues! I think he is intolerant and I am a distraction! This is a good man who loves God but he doesn't leave his politics outside the class and I don't look good in a muzzle...So, what is a girl to do? I am asking for guidance as I don't want to feel like this after leaving worship and I don't want others to feel this way because of me and my viewpoints! Okay...please comment...I can take it! Really...

Thanks...

Don't forget to watch Bonnie Hunt!

Don't forget to enter the writing contest at Travel with Ronda! You have until this Wednesday and then I close the contest and the voting begins!

24 comments:

Hot Tub Lizzy said...

I think it's all in the delivery... I know I try to be open minded, but when I start to deal with someone close minded, I feel my mind closing as well. I think you should stay in the class, because surely it won't ALL be political, and say your peice when you feel led to, and ask God to help you drop it when it's time to drop it....

Ronda's Rants said...

Thank you ...and My Hubby agrees with you...I just have to feel this in my heart now!

Hot Tub Lizzy said...

Isn't it amazing how divisive politics can be? When really, once we're adults, what are the chances that any of us are going to really "change our minds"... I mean... what is someone going to say that is going to just completely rock our world.

And thank you for asking for my advice. Gosh that makes me feel good.

I'll be praying for you, that you'll find the peace and the voice to say what needs to be said in the right way!

You go girl!

Kendrawolf said...

There are people in my own family who can't leave politics out of a discussion about faith. Just keep praying and keeping attending.

Dawn said...

I wouldn't drop out of the class because you do have the right to your opinions and people do need to hear other people's views. Just make sure you are being open to hearing theirs as well. I am always uncomfortable discussing politics and try to avoid it at all costs! It's great that you like it and understand it! I sure don't!!

jill jill bo bill said...

Ya know Ronda, I,too, am sick to death of the whole political definition. I listened and studied some of Obama's platform and really wanted to vote for a different outcome, even though I am a conservative Rep. Saying that I want to reiterate that I loved you before I knew your political view and will continue to love you because of who you are, not because who you vote for. I respect your decision, even though it differs from mine. I have stayed neutral in my blog, not wanting to bring any of these issues to the front because in reality, I really don't care who anyone wants in the White House. I am not going to marry, date or probably hang out with my blog buddies because we all live so far away from each other.
In your situation, because you WILL be around those who you go to church with, I see your dilemna.
My biggest struggle is keeping an open mind while expecting them to do the same. Show me WHY is hould support this particular candidate. I pray daily that God will open my eyes and allow me thru scripture and other believers the answers I search for.
I agree, stay in the class. Go in with an open mind and heart and receive what they say and give what God had laid on your heart to them. Don't take what anyone says as an attack against you personally.
I am just hoping to vote for the person I can see God using more effectively.
I love ya girl and will praying for you.

Ronda's Rants said...

Thank you...let me just say...our church is probably equally divided party wise...so I could hang with my peeps if I wanted to! But, I really do have friends ...in fact MOST of my friends are Republicans, not just friends but good friends! So, that is why I don't think I am an intolerant person who doesn't listen (But again perception is everything, and I don't want to be perceived that way) and MY parents are Republicans for God's sake! I just don't want to spar with this man every Sunday! Thank you all ...my Hubby will say I told you so but I guess I have just got to smother this with prayer!

Brenda said...

If the class makes you unhappy or you leave the class with a "bad" feeling, I think you should drop it. I usually don't advocate quitting, but life is just too short to spend time on things that don't bring joy into your life. What was once a sanctuary for you has become stressful and that's just not right!

KeepinUnity said...

hey Ronda you big trouble maker lol!!! I am kinda mixed as i am very opinionated myself! part of me is in agreeance with Brenda and the whole if it leaves you feelin like shit,dont bother with it and i also agree with the not quiting part n lifes to short,Then the i am entitled and allowed to voice my veiws rightous part of me says sock it to them,maybe many poeple agree with your veiws and just dont have the words/confidence to say so......so based on that id probably go a few more times just to see and then decide what to do.Good luck keep us posted! xoxo failing that theres always bonnie to look forward tooooo woohooo

Gina said...

Hmmm.
This is why I try to never talk politics. I don't like confrontation. :-P I'm a wimp.
I would hope that the class will evolve into it's main focus, which is the BIBLE not the election.
No amount of debating ever seems to change either party's mind, so I don't usually see the point.
Somehow, in Heaven, I don't think it's going to matter one iota whether we voted Republican or Democrat, so it seems that should be a non-issue in the church.
Some of the ISSUES must be issues, because God does address a number of those in His Word, so that's different, but it's not necessarily political- just right or wrong in God's eyes.
Hang tough for a few more weeks and then reevaluate.
Bring duct tape.
hahaha!

Rhonda said...

Hmmm. It's not too often that I am stumped. But, alas, I have no words of wisdom for you. SHOCKER, I know!

Regardless, I love to talk politics. My opinion is like this:

They are all lying scumbags who only say what they have to to get voted in and then they give themselves a big fat pay raises and ignore the needs of those very people who voted them in.

The end.

Will you still be my friend? lol

Ronda's Rants said...

So funny...Duct tape!
I don't know...
You would think we could all agree with what God says is right and wrong but really do we do it for our own lives let alone others? I know many of us say "We would never do this or that?" And like Peter denying Christ...we do it! I think we all Cherry pick...to suit our own agenda.
I don't know...I am going to pray hard about this because I want to do what God wants...even if I don't want to do it!

Ronda's Rants said...

Rhonda...not only will I still be your friend...you are now my best friend! It's true...they are the ones (Politicians) who always let you down in the end!

Tulsi said...

I have to say that Church is my weekly easy button, also. Here, we could ask the teacher or one of our church leaders if they could keep the topic off of politics. Which is almost a must as this election is so watched. Is that an option for you? I have seen friends get their feelings hurt, even just by a person who happens to attend their meetings - not directly church related-, and not ever return to church meetings. That is so unfair to me. (Like life's fair) I think everyone has a right to believe as they choose. With Politics, church, school, parenting, etc. Therefore - I do too. I do know what you mean by seeing a division in church with political parties. In the town we lived in before here, we were a political minority and I remember some people trying to pick a fight. That was for the last election. And then you want life to go on as it did before all of the hurt feelings. I would attend church anyway. Even if I only went to one of the meetings until the election was over. Which is not fair to you. BTW - Joshua 1:9 is one of my son's favorite scriptures. I'm babbling.

Kori said...

I am perhaprs THE most liberal, left-wong Democrat. I am ALSO a Christian. I love God, try to do my best, etc...but the stuff you wrote? Part of why I don't go to church. I uderstand the need you have to go and be reminded, and I think those are all really great things, but I also know myself that the crap I have to listen to about how so and so is going to hell, blah blah blah...well, I can't rant in church!

Ronda's Rants said...

Tulsi...How smart you are? So simple but yet ...I didn't think to even ask if we could make that a boundary...this is a new teacher and he is new to our church...how ever not a new Christian and I am new to his Sunday School class as this is the first year in 15 years I haven't taught Senior High. I was surprised by the bias and it took me by surprise but I could ask that during an election year we be careful about our topics! Smart girl!!!
Kori...I do understand...other's would say it is your loss but I maintain when we alienate people from God's house we have deminished God's body at work. Whatever Gift of the Spirit God has given you...our church is less rich because you are missing! Part of what made me upset was his critizing of other denominations...it's not what I feel called to be a part of.

Z's Mom said...

OH, and so it begins! I keep seeing this more and more....I know....I feel strongly in politics..but it doesn't mean I'm not still friends with the same people of the other party I was friends with before. AND I really wish it would stay out of church. However, if that guy is going to bring it up....then your husband is right. Stay calm.....state your case as you need to....but if its gonna come up then both sides need to be heard. Be strong, Ronda!!!!

Nic said...

Our service this Sunday was from Ephesians - one of the 'themes' out of it was basically - if you're not saying it out of love, just don't say it. Now MAN, how on EARTH can I carry that forward?!!! But thinking about it, does what I say change people's minds? no, not usually, do other people change their minds because of my wonderful insights? no, the usually think 'shut up already, Nic' so this does really make sense.

I would leave the class, if you're uncomfortable with it. Listen to that quiet little voice, and go with it.

Fab post, so much of it 'spoke' to me.

Jennifer said...

I have stopped talking politics w/ people lately--it's gettig way too emotional for me!! I would say--give the class another try, and if it continues to bother you just drop it! If you feel you can speak your mind there openly--maybe you can continue. Either way--good luck!

Also, I emailed you earlier thanking you for the amazing mug. I love it!! I will have a post about it tomorrow.

Karyn said...

Your teacher either made a mistake with their lesson planning or is trying to push a political agenda in church.
I feel really bad for you. You are going to have to make your decision on which option gives you the most peace: quitting a class you (normally) enjoy or walking away from something uncomfortable.
Your opinions do not come with cheap shots, so I think you should stay as long as the others are playing nice.
Our churches are within a mile of each other- I can stop by before or after Mass and let the air out of someone's tires while you are in class if anyone hurts your feelings! xo

LoLo said...

Ok, so first off Im glad karyn is always good for a laugh:) 2nd I think you should give it another try and then make your decision. I do feel that politics and church shouldnt go together as you know. I also think the suggestion of asking him to leave it out is also a good suggestion. I think politics are very personal and some people (not you) do not know how to get their point across with out hurting someones feelings, something I do not feel benefits anyone in sunday school. Hang in there, I will be praying that God speaks to you. Love you!

Blog Stalker said...

I am responding to this later than most. I am sorry you had to deal with politics at church. I agree that politics should not be discussed at church. I think it is hard enough to deal with everyones differing opinions on what is church doctrine and what is not. I believe we are here on this earth to exercize our free agency. To worship and vote as we would. We are free to choose where to worship, how to worship and who and /or what to vote for. To choose the lifestyle we choose. We then have the responsibility to accept the consequences for those decisions. Either here in this life or in the next. I will not wax political but you should not feel you need to drop the class. I think you should approach the teacher aside from class and ask that seeing how there are differing views politically that you would keep politics out of the discussions if he could do the same. If he truly wants to have the spirit of the lord in his class I think he would not only be receptive but thankful to you.

Good luck,

R said...

I realize I will probably not change your mind. And I risk of hurting your feelings here. Know that this is not my intention. This has been on my heart for weeks and I can't seem to shake it any longer. I must do something. I fully realize you have every right to choose who you want in this election. I just have a difficult time believing that anyone who is as smart and informed as you are and also professes to be a Christian would be voting the way you are. I don't believe the alternative is a saint by any means. I frankly don't like him much either. I simply see it as a lesser of two evils. Others have said it far more eloquent than I ever could. Here is a link of someone who has. I pray that you would seek the face of God on this terribly important decision.

http://randyalcorn.blogspot.com/2008/10/abortion-reduction-by-freedom-of-choice.html

PS
Yes I'm a big chicken and I'm using a "fake" account. Sorry. I'm working on being fearless as you are. :)

Ronda's Rants said...

Dear R,
I sent you an email...but I don't know if you will receive it because this isn't your account! You don't have to apologize...if you had this on your heart then I am glad you spoke out. I have already voted and I voted for Obama...I don't believe either man is bad...I happened to repsect John McCain very much but I believe with all my heart Obama will make the better president. I thank you for disagreeing with me respectfully and saying your thoughts ..in love!
I try to see the face of God everyday and to show it to all I meet!
In His Love, Ronda