Learning to experience grace

A little about myself.  I am a recovery conservative.  I will probably always struggle with my conservative mindset and upbringing, but I am in recovery–no longer able to comfortably be the conservative I once was.  I am a Lutheran pastor.  I am also serving a Methodist congregation as a pastor congregational care.  I thoroughly enjoy both calls. My wife is a retired  Lutheran pastor, who is well read and energetic.  She challenges my thinking all the time.

Years ago as we wrangled theologically my wife told me Jesus was a liberal.  I was offended by such nonsense.  However, she was able to defend and unpack that claim by pointing to how Jesus dealt with the sick, the poor and the outcasts and of His day.  He welcomed sinners.  He embraced those who were unacceptable socially.  He cared for the poor, the marginalized, those criticized and rejected by the proper ones of society.  He was critical of the religious leaders of His day.  The Pharisees were the conservatives of Jesus’ day and they sought to protect and preserve their understanding of what religion and faith should be.  They couldn’t even measure up to their own standards.  Therefore, I found it is very appropriate to challenge my basic assumptions, to question my long held view points and answers and to, in a real sense, rediscover Jesus for myself and for others whom I might have influence over.

I certainly not original in this attempt.  Others more intelligent and well spoken than me have written much.  Some that I agree with.  Some I disagree with.

My purpose in starting this blog is to maybe connect with others who are no longer comfortable with their conservative upbringing and ideology.  Through this process maybe I hope to challenge myself and others to be more biblical and Christ-like in how we relate and interact with our world.

WWJD? “What would Jesus” do is a fair question to ask in our politically divided and socially tormented society.  We won’t always agree.  That’s okay.  But we can challenge each other and learn to respect each other in our differences.


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