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denominational differences...

I used to cringe at the word "pentecostal." I used to be wary of anyone who went to a church with the word "evangelical" in the title. Non-denominational? Are you too good for a proper denomination? I used to be really wary of people whose theology was based solely around their beliefs in hell (ok that one hasn't changed).

I guess my point in this little bit of exposure of my past thoughts on denominations is that those things no longer really get to me. I think God works within all of those denominations, and speaks to people in different ways. God's grace is offered to all. Not just United Methodists, or Catholics, or Lutherans, or non-denoms. Am I less of a Christian because of the denomination that I've chosen to express my faith? No. Absolutely not.

I bring this up because last night I overheard a story where someone was talking about an individual and started out by saying quietly... "Well she's a Lutheran..." Like that explains her behavior. I was taken aback by the broad sweeping generalization and honestly just wanted to get up and leave but I didn't have my check yet so I couldn't. What kind of labels do you attach to that stereotype? Do people talk about me like that? "Well I heard that she's United Methodist so that must mean..." Do I fit nearly every stereotype that one would associate with the UM church? Yes. I do. But that isn't my point.

My point in all of this is that we all have stereotypes. I know I have them, but I try so hard not to. I know that I'm affected by them when people look at me, when they learn what I do, everything. As a Christian, I am called to look beyond those stereotypes. To get upset when I see injustice and to fight for people's rights.

I wish I hadn't have been across the table last night. Because I wanted nothing more than to question that stereotype. When I do not speak up at things that I feel are wrong, I feel like I'm not doing my part.
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