Fat Pastor is a blogger I have just discovered. The name doesn’t say it all, very little in fact. Better check it out following the link or, at least, give the next samples a try:
When I think of the churches I have been a part of, I don’t think of buildings or decor. I don’ t think of great sermons or well-organized Bible study. I don’t think of perfect liturgy or music. I think of love.
I think of people that cared for me as a child. I think of people that loved me as an adult. I think of people that helped guide me into ministry, that picked me up when I failed and allowed me to grow. I think of people that loved me like parents and were grandparents to my daughters.
The Bible can be interpreted a lot of ways. With any given issue, people of faith can go to the same Bible, pray to the same God, seek out the same Holy Spirit, and come up with very different answers. Take any issue: homosexuality, immigration, the treatment of the poor, abortion, gender roles, warfare, capital punishment, gun rights, euthanasia, the environment, education, etc. and people of faith will come to very difficult conclusions.
Some try to group these things into neat little packages like liberal and conservative. I’m not a fan of those labels, or of any labels really. I think most people are more complicated than our labels. I know that the world is.
That said, I think my seminary professor was right. He taught a lot about grace and the Hebrew word hessed, which he translated as “God’s steadfast love.” When asked once about God’s judgment he said (more or less), “For most issues, people lean either on God’s grace or on God’s judgment. When I think about those two sides, I choose to err on the side of grace.”
I thought it would appeal in those times when I’ll be willing to give to going to a church once in a while, a second chance.