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Author Topic: Can I ask my pastor to change this?  (Read 2975 times)

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Can I ask my pastor to change this?
« on: October 10, 2013, 12:42:16 PM »
The role of women in my church is not very good (can't be pastors or leaders, or don't even get a vote)- so a pretty conservative bunch you might say.  They do let us be ushers, and when the church is raising money and need congregants to speak, they do let the women speak as well in this capacity.

Usually after the sermon we recite a creed of beliefs- but the last few weeks, they have changed it up and are using something from our catechism instead.  I absolutely despise it- everyone is supposed to recite every section that applies to them, but when we get to the wife part about submitting to her husband as Sarah called Abraham "master", I can't even bring myself to say it.

I know that my views on the role of women in the church differ greatly from that of my church (I refused anything about obeying or submitting for either sex from our wedding),  but over the years, this hasn't been a major thing that my church focuses on.  I want to stay with this church because my children go to the affiliated school and I really like the school (couldn't afford it otherwise), but this new recitation makes me very uncomfortable.   

I was thinking about talking to one of the pastors about it, but I am not sure if it's appropriate, given that I was fully aware of this issue when I joined.  I just feel now that it's being more thrown in my face (not as an eff-you thing- I've never been very vocal about my feelings there aside from our wedding- years ago and different pastor- so no one really knows).   I almost feel about it like I would about living next to train tracks- I knew they were there when I moved in, so I can't complain about the noise.

Do you think I should talk to the pastor about it or just suck it up? 

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Re: Can I ask my pastor to change this?
« Reply #1 on: October 10, 2013, 12:52:03 PM »
Of course you can talk to your pastor about it. Maybe he listens, maybe he doesn't. Maybe you suck it up, maybe you find a new "church home".

I don't know that etiquette has much to do with this, aside from making sure you're polite when you raise your concerns.


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Re: Can I ask my pastor to change this?
« Reply #2 on: October 10, 2013, 12:53:58 PM »
I think you should always feel you can talk to the pastor about how you personally are living the beliefs the church espouses. And about whether this is the place for you to be a worshipping member.

This is getting in the way of your relationship with God. I think you absolutely should explore this with your minister.

It's not that you should complain. Go and say, "This is really troubling me. It drives me away, in my heart. I need to explore this." And then be honest.

Don't think of it as you convincing him or even as him convincing you. Think of it as him expanding and explaining,a nd you deciding whether this integrates with how you think of God, and what your relationship with the Almighty is.

And if this is still the sort of thing that drives you away from God, and you believe that this is not true to what God is, then you may need to find a different church to be a member of.

You can send your children to that school even if you cease to be a member of that church. My kids attended 2 church schools, and I wasn't a member of the churches affiliated (well, that's not true--one of them was linked to our congregation, but not in our neighborhood), and many of the children in that school weren't members of the denomination, even. And some not even members of that larger body of faith.

(and total aside: Galatians 2:28)

The train-track analogy:
You might find that the trains are far more frequent, and now you need to figure out what to do. Obviously, you can't affect how often the trains come, but that doesn't mean you are forbidden from complaining, nor are you forbidden from exploring more about the issue.
   If you discovered that the trains were running more frequently because commerce was increasing in your state, then maybe you'd have a mental attitude that each train was evidence of more jobs, less unemployement, etc., and you wouldn't mind it as much. (if the thumping on the floor upstairs is the kitten or the friendly little kid, I smile; if it's the snotty teenager, I feel differently)
    Similarly, you might find a way to integrate this thought that is not as punitive and minimalizing as you think of it now.
    Or, you might discover that the increase in train traffic is permanent, and that there's really no upside like more jobs. And then you'd decide that it's time to move to a new home.

With this, it's your faith--it's your relationship with God. Absolutely you should explore it.


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Re: Can I ask my pastor to change this?
« Reply #3 on: October 10, 2013, 12:54:22 PM »
I don't belong to a church, so I don't know the proper course of things, but it seems like if they are changing things up ad the congregation doesn't like the changes, its ok to at least mention them. I don't know if you can ask them to stop per say, but why not mention how you preferred the other way? It seems like a harmless bit of feedback for them, and I can say as a community organizer my group always welcomes feedback - so often we are operating on guesses and assumptions of what the public wants. When we get actual real feedback its always welcome because it makes it easier to choose what to do going forward, or at least gives us something to think about.


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Re: Can I ask my pastor to change this?
« Reply #4 on: October 10, 2013, 01:07:58 PM »
I don't really see this as an etiquette issue. If you are having doubts about the core tennents of the church you attend (the Catechism really is just the basic, most fundamental beliefs) you need to absolutely discuss that with your pastor. If this is a Christian congregation, which I assume, they really shouldn't be concerned with what guests find to be personally palatable. They should be focused on proclaiming their beliefs; so come at it with a desire to dig deeper into what is meant by submission and sacrificial love on the part of a professing Christian couple.


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Re: Can I ask my pastor to change this?
« Reply #5 on: October 10, 2013, 02:15:33 PM »
This is a theological question, not etiquette.
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