Its HARD to be IN the world. But we have to be, don't we? Recently I've been thinking alot about how much my life has changed, all for the good, but how in that change I feel uncomfortable, stretched a little beyond where I feel at ease. But being IN the world offers opportunities for personal growth, the kind that we cannot get when we stay in our protective cocoon.
Sunday, September 20, 2009
Recently I've realized that for the first time in my life, my friendships have extended outside of my cocoon of safety into the realm of those outside my religion. I've always had one or two friends who did not share my beliefs, but I find myself now in the curious position of having most of my friends not share my beliefs. I feel stretched a little beyond my capacity to feel comfortable. But I love these people. They are good and kind friends, they are worth stretching a little for.
I think the main reason for my discomfort is the knowledge that many of them attend churches which actively preach against my church. Some of them even organize protests against us. (I'm not aware that any of my friends have participated in such a thing, I just know that some attend churches that organize these kinds of things.) I feel betrayed in a small way every time they say how much they love their church, and yet, I know they aren't meaning to betray our friendship, they are meaning to share their love for Christ and the experiences they have in their own centers of worship. But I still feel betrayed. I really wonder what they think when their Pastors get onto Anti-Mormon topics. Do they think "Amen Brother! I'm gonna pray for my sinner friends to leave that church." Or do they think "I don't know if this makes sense, I don't think my friend Lisa would believe that." I hope its the latter, but I doubt it, as they never ask me to clarify anything for them. ( I have a sneaking suspicion that they've been carefully instructed by Pastors who are tired of losing tithe paying members to the Mormons, not to ask a Mormon about their beliefs, because they'll trick you into believing they are Christians...we are Christians, we just happen to believe that God the Father, His son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost are three separate beings, that's the biggest contention, really it is! You'll be amazed at how much everything else matches, at how much everything we believe can be supported Biblically.)
I realize that if they are not worried about hanging out with a Mormon, I shouldn't be worried about whether they accept me or not. Its obvious that they enjoy my friendship as much as I enjoy theirs. I just wonder how it is that they can feel comfortable listening to outrageous lies about a group of people to whom a good friend of theirs belongs. That's all.
But like I said in the beginning, growth is uncomfortable, and if having friends who stretch me, make me dig deeper into my beliefs, and challenge me to grow in ways they are not aware of is part of my human experience, then I intend to participate, and I intend to eventually get comfortable. Then again, beware comfort! It always leads to a bigger learning lesson.
Posted by Goob at 9:41 PM