Some of the following was written several years ago on the Beautiful Heresy Message Board. It was a post within a thread that discussed the Old Testament...and the inerrancy of the words written there. So...and this feels kind of weird, let me quote myself...and then the peanut gallery will comment on the peanuts gallery's yesteryear musings. Hmmmmm....
Beth, my little agnostic, has a big problem with the OT. Heck, as recently as a few years ago, I had a huge problem with the OT. How many people have rejected God simply because of what they see him depicted as in the OT? Go to any of the skeptic sites on the internet, that dissect and criticize and defame God because of how they see him depicted there.
Beth the agnostic? Yep that was written several years ago. The agnostic? That might be a bit of an understatement. You mean the angry, defiant teenager who wore the YOUR GOD IS DEAD T-shirt...last year? The shirt she hand painted with angry red and black graffiti like letters? The one she wore on her walk to the library one day...a walk that just happened to coincide with quitting time for the new pastor at our church. As he was driving home, he saw her walking. The t-shirt was impossible to miss. YOUR GOD IS DEAD? Them, there's fighting words for a United Methodist pastor. He went around the block to try to find her and talk to her...but she was out of sight (no doubt offending people in the library with the sentiments expressed on her shirt)
And so she became the sermon illustration the following Sunday. Being new he had no idea her mom..and sister...were sitting right there listening to the sermon. Distressing moment during a time I was sure things with Beth would never get any better and would never be okay. Anyway...I am digressing big time...so do I go back to the subject at hand or plunge farther into the valley of digression? Hmmmmm. Okay...lets plunge...
The following is a post I wrote...about a year ago...to EU chronicling the very upsetting experience.
A few weeks ago when Beth was at her angriest (I actually called the police on her when she was trashing her bedroom) she painted a shirt that said in big graffiti letters "YOUR GOD IS DEAD". She wore it last week on her way to the library. Part of it was anger at God....the other part was, of course, up yours defiance, and to get attention. She wrote about it on her myspace blog....and a confrontation she had with a man who stopped to defend God. He wasn't the only one who noticed the shirt .....and she got attention all right. She made the sermon yesterday at church. All three sermons!!! About six hundred people heard about the girl in the Your God Is Dead T-shirt.
The sermon was about "who is Jesus to you" based on the scripture when Jesus asked Peter "who do people say I am" "Who do you say I am?" Peter answered, "thou art the Christ, the son of the Living God".
The springboard was the "Living God" part....because from there he went on to say that the other day, when he was driving home he saw a girl walking down Market Street....wearing a T-shirt.....and he could not believe what it said. Emily and I looked at each other. OMG, we knew where he was going. Yep...the T-shirt said, "YOUR GOD IS DEAD" He went on to say that he turned his car around to go talk to her but she had disappeared by the time he got back to where he'd last seen her. He said he could not imagine how sad and lonely (and he used a few other adjectives) that girl's life must be to wear a T-shirt that not only said her God was dead but that YOUR God is dead too. Em and I, of course, knew who the girl was....and the two youth leaders Emily is so close to and who Beth was very close to at one time knew...and another girl who is friends with Em (and used to be friends with Beth)
Later, when the service was closing, Spencer (youth leader) asked if he could say something....and he said something about if you are here and do not know who Jesus is, ask one of us...ask the person who brought you....because, that girl in the T-shirt......I know that girl". "she's been to our home...she's been to this church". He said some other stuff, too, about being Christ to people. The pastor had no idea, I'm sure. As I said, he is a new pastor there and I'm sure he thought the girls' parents were sleeping off Saturday night's hangover and definitely not sitting in his new sanctuary. (It was the consecration of the newly remodeled sanctuary....big crowd Sunday)
There were refreshments after the service, but I left right away. Later I wrote him an email introducing myself as the mother of the girl in the Your God Is Dead T-shirt...and let him know that my other daughter, Emily, is very active in the church and in the youth group. She is part of the youth leadership committee etc. He wrote back today and said he would pray for Beth.
Just another one of life's interesting moments. Ya' gotta' wonder what was God's purpose in it. Shrug.
Still haven't figured out God's purpose in all of it, although I will say that things have improved somewhat with Beth. Thanks to any and all (Jack) who prayed for her. And please keep praying because she turns 18 this month which is sure to involve a learning curve for all concerned.
Tomorrow...I'll get back to the topic at hand...