Saturday, August 19, 2006


A friend from college recently told me about a new direction he's going in his life. He's joining the staff of an evangelistic ministry that works with college students, and he has to raise his own salary to do it, so he's asking everyone he knows for support. Long story short, relations between myself and this particular organization are not friendly. I was active in it in college because it was pretty much the only Christian fellowship there was at the school. I always had some problems with the theology but I dealt with it for the most part.

Then at the end of my junior year I was kicked out. I was told that I wasn't teachable, that I asked too many questions, had too many ideas that weren't acceptable, and that all of my questioning was dangerous for others who were "young in their faith" because it could cause them to stumble. Needless to say, that experience was pretty bad. I was really wrestling with my sense of calling to be a pastor, and getting rejected from a Christian group did not help matters.

When my friend told me he was going on staff with this ministry, I had to sit with my decision for a while because I wasn't sure what I wanted to do. On the one hand I have such tremendous theological and methodological disagreements with this ministry that I think they often do as much or more harm than good. Should I give money to an organization that I don't support? On the other hand, he feels a very strong calling to do this ministry, and he has a very tough task raising the support he needs. He is a person of tremendous faith and compassion, and I know he will do great ministry and positively impact people's lives, even though I have some serious disagreements with the theology he'll be teaching to students.

I've decided to go with the latter thoughts and support him financially. My contribution goes directly to him and not to the organization generally. It's not a large contribution, but then again, I don't have a lot of money to give. But I hope that my financial and prayerful support of him and his ministry will help heal some of the divisions and bitterness I've experienced in my own life with this organization.

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