Friday, March 15, 2013

Where I Stand

I've written about it before, how I grow tired in the blogosphere and on facebook. So many hot topics, and everyone has his or her own take on every issue under the sun.

I spent my formative years in an independent, fundamental, missionary Baptist church, ok? It doesn't get much more conservative than that unless you make it wear a dress 24 hours a day and take away its automobile. I feel closer to the Lord, now, than I did then. I'm decidedly less conservative, but I'm not by any means liberal.

I'm in the grey, a lot of the time. I'm in the middle. I might even be called wishy-washy or lukewarm (on the issues, not on my faith), but I don't believe I'm unstable or double-minded, and I don't anticipate being spewed out of the Lord's mouth. Here's where I am at the moment, although this is a severe oversimplification. I acknowledge freely that I may be somewhere else, later. That's why it's called "down the road."
  • Homosexuality - I was born straight and am thankful that things are easy for me. I love gay people. I want gay and straight people, alike, to know that Jesus loves them and to love Him, back.
  • Chick-fil-A - I don't care who does or doesn't eat there.
  • Gay Marriage - I'm against it based upon my interpretation of scripture but feel sad (and sometimes conflicted) over my position.
  • Race Issues - I was born white and am thankful that things are easy for me. I love people of all colors and believe Jesus loves us all the same.
  • Immigration - I was born in the U.S. and am thankful that things are easy for me. I think it's nice when those who weren't born here and want to live here follow the proper course to citizenship.*
  • Gun Control - I don't understand why people need automatic weapons (machine guns) and think I prefer they not have them. I come from a family of hunters, however, and have eaten many a beast killed by their guns. I have guns in my house. If you break in and try to harm my children, I will absolutely shoot you and talk to Jesus about it, later.*
  • Abortion - I have never had an unwanted pregnancy and am thankful that things have been easy for me. I think God is pro-life. I also think He can forgive. I find images of aborted fetuses offensive and prefer that they not be shoved in my face.
  • Purity Culture - I think God wants us to wait until we're married to have sex, but I didn't. Either time. I regret my poor decisions. God can forgive and has forgiven me.
  • Living Together Outside of Marriage - See above. I lived with two men outside of marriage. I regret my poor decisions. God can forgive and has forgiven me.
  • Divorce - I am divorced and remarried. I have a beautiful relationship with my ex-husband now that I don't live with him. We do divorce well. God can forgive and has forgiven me. He can redeem any situation into which we invite Him. If you don't think so, I won't allow you to speak into my life.
  • Marriage - I live in submission to my husband. It's not always easy, and some areas are more challenging than others. I'm blessed to be married to a man I respect. I know he has my best interest at heart. 
  • Theology - I'm a member of a Baptist church. I don't necessarily agree with everything they say at my church, but I've never agreed with everything, anywhere. I shrug off what I can't accept. I love them. I've only just determined that I'm a Continuationist, not a Cessationist. I'm pretty sure I'm not a Calvinist, but I'm still working that out.
  • Women in the Pulpit - I have not been called to preach. 
  • Clothing in Church - I dress modestly, in general, so as not to distract others with my huge boobs. I don't feel badly for wearing pants because 1) God looks at the heart, and 2) My legs are terrific and less distracting when covered.
  • Tattoos. Piercings. - My ears are pierced, but I rarely wear earrings because I'm lazy. My nose was pierced during one particularly miserable phase in my life. God looks at the heart.
  • Drinking. Drugs. - I don't feel badly, as a 38-year-old woman, for having that rare drink. I have inhaled. It wasn't my deal. I would prefer, of course, that my children neither drink nor do drugs.
  • Hell - I'm not going there. Praise the Lord! I believe it exists. I will not allow anyone to try and scare my children, period. Including to Jesus.
  • Heaven - I plan to end up there. Praise the Lord! I believe it exists. I believe Jesus is the only way but that He saves more than Baptists. I believe my aunt is there, and she was a member of the LDS Church. I always invite in the Jehovah's Witnesses. I'm still trying to figure them out, but I'm not sure how they shine out like that if they don't know the Lord.
  • Missions - My mission field is comprised of my home and communities (physical and Internet). In July, The Owens Family will pack up my heart and take it with them to Africa.
  • Small families. Large families. - I have 4 children. I nearly killed myself getting the last one here. He's 4 months old, and I'll be 39 next month. My tubes are tied. I'm at peace.
  • Parenting - I think parenting (outside of abuse and neglect) should be left up to the parents. I breastfeed and co-sleep as much as possible. I use disposable diapers and jarred baby food. My kids watch too many cartoons and don't do enough chores, but they're sharp as tacks and love Jesus, so I'm satisfied.
  • Spanking - I spank. I use my right hand. I want my kids to understand that everything I do with my hands, including spanking, is for and with love. If ever it's not, shame on me.
  • Homeschooling - I believe it's a calling. My 13yo has always been in public school. I'm praying about the little kids. Clementine just turned 4; I have time to figure it out.
If there's anything else you want to know, fire it at me, but know this: you'll probably not budge me.

*Added 03/16/13.

22 comments:

  1. Crystal clear. Until maybe tomorrow? These things are always in flux, aren't they? Love this list - it tells me a lot about you. Thanks.

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    1. I did acknowledge that I may think differently, later, but these things are less in flux than one might think. I experienced a huge shift in the years just after I left home and don't anticipate anything so momentous, in the future. In terms of theology, I know exactly what I believe but not all the fancy names for it. I'm learning the names.

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  3. I love you so much, for each and every reason listed and more. Whether I agree or not.....but mostly I agree. It makes me miss you terribly in my life....

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  4. Brandee,

    I love this. I respect you and your willingness to stand on your convictions. :)

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  5. I love your list of convictions Brandee and I love that because of them and despite them, you love the Lord. May He continue to lead you in His Ways until the end! {{hugs}}

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  6. I love this list because gives me a different glimpse of you. (And I mostly agree, so that's a plus, haha.) I am always trying to make sure my convictions line up with Scripture - working out my salvation with fear and trembling, so to speak. The Holy Spirit has been gentle with me, even when I have not been as gentle as I should be at times.

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  7. Oh Brandee, what I see, overall, in what you stand for, is that you want anybody and every body to KNOW HIM because He loves us. That is pretty much the sum up from what I can see.

    I was raised pentecostal, yip, and although I am pretty tame in my pentecostalness I consider myself radical for Jesus.

    I bet if we were to be worshipping our Lord together in a church service I could get you to raise your hands with me. (hee, hee)

    Love ya, Brandee!

    Marlece

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    1. Oh, I've raised my hands and witnessed my share of jumping, hollering, frothing, and spitting. I grew up with altar prayer as common practice, with everyone kneeling in the altar and praying different things aloud at the same time. I MISS THAT! The altar at my current church is usually a lonely place! I have lain hands and had hands lain on me. I believe very much in instantaneous healing, as I believe I've both experienced and witnessed it, and there weren't any tv cameras or donations involved. I've never been slain in the Spirit. I've never spoken in tongues or heard people speak in tongues. I've never handled snakes or witnessed the handling of snakes. But I'm from East Tennessee, remember, and all those things happen down there. I don't judge and am not bold enough to call any of it inauthentic. If it works, awesome. Love Jesus, amen.

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  8. I am so with you- so many things are lost in heated debate and it all comes down to knowing Jesus and loving him . .. I admire your courage and clarity in writing it out.

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  9. bang...you hit all the hot topics...ha...
    in agreement on many things...cant stand the aborted fetus pictures...i think it does more harm than good....oo on the scared to jesus as well...ha...grew up in that...not going back...smiles...

    i think many times we fight the wrong battles and in doing that really jack up the message of love jesus has to offer....just saying...smiles...

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  10. I pretty much agree with everything myself. :) Great and insightful post! :) Miss you!

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  11. It's no wonder we gravitated toward each other. Thanks for sharing your heart with us. It's tough having standards in a "whatever" world. I, too, believe in God's forgiveness. I just wish I wasn't so darn arrogant and accepted it easier. :)

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  12. I love your boldness, even with the caveat that things may change. I also love that Jesus is first and that it's ok to disagree about the non-essentials! This is the body of Christ - saved by every drop of grace and a beauty for all her variations.

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  13. This is my kind of beautiful, B. Thanks for being open and true. I'm shaking my head in agreement with gusto.

    Also, thanks for this: Women in the Pulpit - I have not been called to preach.

    It cracked me up. :)

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  14. i would be laughing -- no, roaring -- right now, except that my toddler is sleeping next to me on the bed. ;) you are so awesome, Brandee. i love your heart to stand where you are, and (as you put it so well) let "down the road" take care of itself. and i especially love that i can't budge you.
    that's what i love about you most, i think. bold and beautiful and unashamed of what is real to you. thank you for this post. i loved every hilarious word.

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  15. You took the words right outrta my mouth. Seriously. I wish I had written this. Love.it.

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  16. you are a treasure. and now, despite my commitment to not learning anything after 10pm, i must look up continuationist/cessationist. what am i? the suspense is killing me.

    :)

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  17. I love this post. We think a lot alike. The only thing I disagree with is the marriage thing. I wish churches in general would start using the words "holy matrimony" instead of marriage (this isn't my original idea, it's that of a Catholic priest). That way, CIVIL marriage can remain exactly as it is, and churches can join in Holy Matrimony those who they feel comfortable doing so. I think a lot of people miss the fact that being married conveys 1000's of rights that are not available to unmarried, or even "civilly partnered" people. You have to get a government issued "license" to make your church wedding official to the local/state/federal governments. If that were not the case, and everyone could share the benefits of what we now call marriage by declaring themselves civil partners, then fine. But until governments change the word "marriage" to "civil partners" so properly joined people can take advantage of the benefits, then everyone needs to realize that civil rights apply to everyone, not just the straight world.

    Peace <3
    Jay

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