Don't Judge Me: Proud Presbyterian

I don't like to put too much religion into anything I post, but I can and will proudly say that I was raised Presbyterian, confirmed Presbyterian, have been active in my church since I graduated from college (which is longer than I will admit) and am raising our son in the Presbyterian tradition.  (Note:  My husband is NOT Presbyterian.  Nor is he Christian.  But he does support me and our son and as a result may actual attend the Presbyterian Church more often than some people who might put the denomination down on a biographical check sheet.) 

 I don't shout it from the rooftops, but I am proud to be a part of the PC USA.  One of the reasons why I take straight from the PC USA website which states: "God comes to us in free and undeserved favor in the person of Jesus Christ who lived, died, and rose for us that we might belong to God and serve Christ in the world. Following Jesus, Presbyterians are engaged in the world and in seeking thoughtful solutions to the challenges of our time. Presbyterians affirm that God comes to us with grace and love in the person of Jesus Christ, who lived, died, and rose for us so that we might have eternal and abundant life in him. As Christ’s disciples, called to ministry in his name, we seek to continue his mission of teaching the truth, feeding the hungry, healing the broken, and welcoming strangers."  

I have purposely emphasized part of this affirmation in red.  It speaks to me and is at the core of what I believe Presbyterians to be.  And I believe the church in which I worship ascribes to these ideals and acts upon them.  If they/we did not, I certainly would not be an active participant for such a long amount of time.  I could not be.

Now I'm not saying any of this to convert anyone.  As a matter of fact it is my opinion (I don't claim this as fact) that most religious organizations (I'm not just talking Christians) ascribe to something similar.  And that the majority of the people who worship and/or attend a religious service do so with the mindset of bettering humankind.  (I am not putting down anyone who has no religious affiliations; just trying to make a point, so bear with me.)

So what is the reason for this blog post?  Simple.  I don't want to be judged based on the actions of one person who might identify him/herself as Presbyterian and who doesn't, in MY opinion act as I feel a Presbyterian would or should.  (Sadly, I say one person, but it probably is more than one.)  Just as I would not condemn all Muslims because of some extremists, please do not condemn me or my denomination.  Would you not befriend a person just because he or she happened to have the last name of Stalin, Mussolini or Hitler? Would you vow never to eat your favorite food again if one time it was not prepared correctly and made you sick?  I've had some not so magical times at Walt Disney World and yet I have returned many a time.

I realize that this is all over simplified. But perhaps it's time we tried to look at things in a simple, uncomplicated matter.  Perhaps we need to throw out the thoughtless rhetoric and endless verbiage and just get back to basics.  Maybe it's time common sense came back into vogue.

But even if it does not, I will, in my own way be a proud Presbyterian and act on what I believe to be the most important tenants of the denomination:  to seek thoughtful solutions to challenges.  I will do my best to remember this (and encourage all, no matter what your background or philosophies are): "Give justice to the weak and the fatherless; maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute. Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.” (Psalm 82: 3-4) and “But if anyone has the world's goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God's love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth."  (1 John 3 17-18)


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