In a previous post a while back, I mentioned some tensions in my “relationship” with the apostle Paul that I’ve been trying to overcome. You can read it here:
I just wanted to clarify a few things because I’m paranoid that I might have come across as tradition-bashing and that was not the point at all.
I grew up in the Church of Christ – a faith tradition* I am very proud of. I was harmonizing by age 2 because when you’re committed to a cappella worship, you’ve gotta find the sweet harmonies, the back beat and when it’s done right you can feel it in your actual soul.
My favorite thing ever was going to the Diana Singing with my pappaw, in Pulaski Tennessee. Thousands would gather in a great big tent on an open field off of Diana Rd, armed with ancient hymnals, ham sandwiches and fried peach pies, ready to sing the night away.
I loved participating in Bible Bowls during the summer, proudly contributing to my team in the area of scripture memorization. I love my faith tradition’s commitment to scripture study, and the integrity with which the founders of my faith tradition went after New Testament church principles as guides for worship and church community life.
Weekly communion was a big part of my church life growing up, and over the years has become more than just “the old chip, sip and tip routine” and more of a treasured identity marker for which I’m very thankful.
While I have moved on to a church that affirms my ministry calling and preaching abilities in a DIFFERENT WAY than I’m used to, I love the faith tradition that raised me, and am thankful for the person it has made me today. I’m also thankful for the opportunities I have through the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship and feel like this unique place in life that I’m in is an opportunity for me to grow and change, and to help others (as I myself continue to) learn that there is a way to welcome small changes (or bigger ones) in a way that honors tradition and history, without making a mockery of faith heroes that have gone before me who were also just trying to do the right thing, and find their way in God’s bigger picture.
* I’m not a huge fan of the word “tradition” in this particular context because of the emotional weight it carries, but I use it in this post for lack of a more appropriate word and because I want to present myself as one who is open to dialogue and respects that traditional ways of doing things are hard things to have threatened and I understand that. Very much.