Self-love, self-improvement & self-empowerment is NOT about hyper individualism. A community formed by erasing individuality is not about submitting to one another in love, as I was told growing up evangelical, it was about letting those who hold power in those communities to KEEP THEIR POWER. This is why you hear arguments from complementarians that require gold medal mental gymnastics …
As much as I find the Christian tradition, as well as other religious traditions’ versions of the after life fascinating, beautiful, and hopeful, I have to believe that it is also a total and complete mystery. Everyone last one of us is an agnostic about the after life if we are honest with ourselves. Whatever belief we have is speculation, no matter how earnestly that speculation may be held.
Isn’t that the Good News for our children? That they aren’t born to engage in power struggles against us, their parents? We welcomed them into our world so we can share in our power and joy and dreams. So we can have this life together of mutual giving and taking, where both parties enrich one another’s vision for what makes us whole.
Out here, in this messy web of personal identity and political association, I am weary of being a Christian, precisely because I am so uninterested in negotiating that identity.
Evangelism using coercion, violent stories, and wielding economic and cultural power over parents of children is predatory.
Parents’ hearts are soft, driving them into action that has impact.
A faith community should never be a place you’re coerced or manipulated into participating—a healthy church should keep their doors wide open, both to welcome all in as well as to bless those who choose to leave.
Theology, as is often true, is done best from the margins, including vulnerable children.
Original Sin relegates behaviors that are developmentally normal as proof that children are rebellious instead of exploring children’s psychology and healthy development.