Tuesday, September 06, 2005

the godly meter

"For they, being ignorant of God's righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God."
Romans 10:3

Why is it that my best thoughts, my very best ideas and contemplations come to me when I am in my bed, my head resting on the feather pillow, my entire self trying to be so very still while Clay sleeps soundly next to me?

Adverbs and adjectives race through my head, nouns, all sorts of them, swirl in my mind. I can't decide if I should get up, quietly opening the door, and find a pencil and paper before they disappear, these random acts of grammar, or if I can simply file them away until morning, until the house is quiet and I am sipping coffee. I am disgustingly cheerful and perky at 5:00 am so that seems the better choice. I don't move. Morning comes and even the caffeine cannot bring back the great thoughts of the midwestern world from the night before.

The last few nights I have been troubled by the same reasonings, the same frustrations that have brought so much pain, so much frustration for the past few years. Why are Christians so quick to judge other Christians, to place someone else in their own box and expect others to dance to their tune?

Legalism. Our pastor preached the most amazing sermon on this very topic a few weeks ago. The following week he moved on through the book of Acts, proclaiming God's grace and washing over me, over my soul, words I needed to hear. I am thankful for this because it has been too long since I have heard such gentle words, words that proclaim the truth that I can do nothing to save myself, that my salvation is all by God's choosing and this was accomplished by the death of His son on the cross, words that spur one another on to love and good works rather than beat you into submitting to a list of man's rules.

Readers of this blog who have visited our college girl blog know that I have been challenging those who believe women ought to not attend college, especially those who have dropped the s-i-n word along their hyper-patriarchial paths. What is it about man that he just cannot trust God's sovereignty and the working out of His will in the lives of other people?

Last week I read this statement on a blog and it blew me away:

"Our country needs women who will lead us back to an old fashioned morality, to old fashioned decency, to old fashioned purity and sweetness for the sake of the next generation, if for no other reason. And this is the special role, not of ‘beautiful women, smart women, sophisticated women, career women, talented women, divorced women, but of godly women, who can come nearer fulfilling their God-given function in the home than anywhere else."

I am all for morality, decency, purity, and sweetness, but who says that ugly, dumb, unsophisticated, stay-at-home, untalented, never divorced women are the only ones who can be all of these things, who are the only godly women? And where is the grace in this definition?

I have spent much time ministering to women who made really bad choices, women who are the modern day equivalent of that dear lady Jesus met at the well. Many of them made the choice to abort their children. Their response to that quote would go something like this "If all those things make a woman ungodly, then there is no hope for me."

I also think about two of my dear friends. One of them, after homeschooling her children for more than 20 year, has become a consultant for homeschoolers, where she is making a living as a Titus 2 professional! Is she ungodly because she leaves her home in the mornings? I have another friend who lost her husband in a terrible accident a year and a half ago. She picked right up where he left off on the biggest construction project of his career and brought it to completion a year later, to the accolades of all involved. Was she ungodly because she did what she had to do, her finest act of helpmating posthumous?

My newly found friend, Sallie has discussed this issue far better than I could do in a terrific series of articles on her super blog, Two Talent Living. She has boldly gone where most have feared to tread by challenging some of the newly calved sacred cows of conservative Christians. In discussing her sabbatical articles, wisely called "creating boulders for others to shoulder", with friends over the weekend and around the dinner table, we all agreed that if we, too, are sick and tired of hearing these sacred cows mooing in our direction, we who have been Christians for many years and who want to walk in an upright manner and serve Christ, for His glory alone, then how must unbelievers or even new Christians who are trying to understand a new-found faith, respond?

The godly meter is running and who will have to pay the fine when we don't measure up?

"Not by works of righteousness which we have done but according to His mercy has He saved us by the washing of regeneration and by the renewing of the Holy Ghost."
Titus 3:5


At 1:55 PM, Blogger Heart said...

We've been upset by something similar at our church. The young adults group (for college age people) has become devoted to pushing the idea that godly young people go to Bible College, and if you're not going to Bible College, you must not be right with God. Our two oldest live at home and are in college (secular public), and they feel like outsiders in that group. Who says that the only godly path is Bible College, and the only godly vocation is in the ministry? I want to take a copy of Roaring Lambs to our youth pastor and insist he read it.

Sharing your frustration with these poorly prayed-through ideas that act as stumbling blocks to young people and parents alike...

At 3:16 PM, Blogger prairie girl said...


I hope you will visit our college girl blog.

We are seeking to thoughtfully discuss college for girls etc. I think you would enjoy it. The recent article by my friend, Rachel, has some really good counsel for young people who are seeking direction for their lives.

Welcome to my blog, btw!

At 10:24 PM, Blogger Canopy said...

My pastor made a funny comment in a recent sermon. He was talking about growing in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ, and he mentioned Christians who have knowledge without grace, "You know these people. They're the ones who will write a thesis on the doctrine of dyeing or not dyeing your hair."


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