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Restoring Unity

May 10, 2011

Last week, a group of bloggers led by Rachel Held Evans created a Rally to Restore Unity  (because, don’t we all adore Jon Stewart ans Stephen Colbert?), calling Christians of all stripes to publicly proclaim their love for one another, even if the situation is thus:

I’m pretty sure a name that contained the word “hymen” would have prevented your admission into the Baptist school where I used to teach

The whole effort provoked several days of discourse and the sharing of personal testimonies and declarations of unity (a la,” one  of my best friends is Catholic”).  Evans added a unique element to the blog-around by encouraging people from all talks of the Christian walk to help fund water projects.  As of this post, the goal hasn’t been met, so if my reader could help, please DO!

It’s funny how I’ve seen some of this play out in my News Feed on Facebook.  I have a few pseudo-Emergent friends who have been posting links about the Rally, etc.  And I have several neo-Calvinist friends who took John Piper’s “farewell” to Rob Bell as a clarion call to launch a full-frontal assault on the term “heretic.”  Meanwhile all the Catholics I know (including one who called ME a heretic once) were oblivious to the evangelical drama, celebrating the beatification of John Paul II.

I’m coming late to the Rally, and the thing’s pretty much over, but in standing here looking at the leftover party streamers, I’ve come across a few things I’ll be taking home with me.  The first is a reminder of how much I love Mary DeMuth.  She participated in a roundtable on Day 2 of the Rally and I just. love. her.  Before I had my first baby, I was pretty much desperate for anything that could tell me how to raise my kids to love God.  I went to all the usual (and occasionally scary) evangelical sources: the Ezzos, BabyWise, a Preparing for Motherhood course at church, etc.  No one told me how to be a Christian mom.  My parents were great at loving people: particularly wayward souls and those in need of respite. But as far as formal theological training goes, most of my education was an annual manger scene and a conversation that went like this:

Me: Are we Christians?
Parental Unit: Yes.
Me: What does that mean?
Parental Unit: Well, I was raised a Baptist and your other parental unit was raised a Methodist, so you all get to pick.

To their credit, my parents were the ones that gave me my first Bible. They were also supportive when I chose to be baptized as a teenager in the Methodist church. But you can see where I’d have a little trouble when our mommy-class teacher asked us to reflect upon the “Christian traditions” from our childhood.  I languished for a while, full of pregnancy hormones and despair, thinking I’d be the worst Christian mom EVAR.  But then Google saved me by bringing up Mary DeMuth’s book Building the Christian Family You Never Had.  Half of the book is dedicated to forgiving your folks, a rite of passage I’ve found easier to do as I experience parenting on this side of my first pregnancy.

The best part about the book was knowing that I wasn’t the only one dealing with these issues.  I wasn’t the only one without an “I walked down the aisle when I was 8 and received Jesus as my Savior” testimony.  I wasn’t the only one without abundant church-lady examples to follow.  I wasn’t the only one struggling to set boundaries and trying to figure out what and who to expose my kids to as they grew.  And I’m still working on all this.

Yes, ma’am.

The second thing I’m taking home from this Rally is encouragement that there is a move of God’s people, some of whom have fluid opinions and others who have fortified ones, who are all working diligently to be together.

This is good news.  Heresy is real, and we should address it.  But God is building His Church in spite of it/us and all these distractions.

{Insert rabbit trail joke here}

I’ve been a yeller and I’ve been a peacemaker.  And one of my best friends is a Catholic (I think that’s +2 Christian hipster points for me!).  It’s not easy for me, or for anyone else who tolerates me and my giftedness.

But the truth is

And regardless when we think Jesus is coming back, we best all get ready for it: together.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Kate permalink
    May 12, 2011 3:04 am

    One of my best friends is an Evangelical.

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