Have you ever felt caught in between a rock and a hard place? Have you ever felt caught in between two parents, or perhaps two friends?

That isn’t a fun place to be.

I’m feeling this, but on a religious level. I’m feeling it, but it has more to do with denomination than anything else.

Yes, you can go. I can hear your yawns from here. I’ll still love you.

I think that it comes down to identity. That keeps me from making a clean break. You can talk about finding your identity in Christ all day long. But, it sure is nice to be able to walk into a room with people that you know share some similar characteristics.

We all need that place, that group where we can hear our name shouted out like “Norm(!)” entering into Cheers for a beer.

It’s about identity, affinity, a sense of belonging.

It has gotten harder as of late. There has been betrayal on the local and state levels. It is hard to smile at people who’ve called you a traitor based upon a lie that they perpetuate. It is hard to go to national meetings where you know the “good guys” aren’t really that much different from “those other guys.”

On the national level it isn’t as personal, just a continual reminder that I’m either not conservative or progressive enough depending on the group. It is also amazing how the groups fall down among political linnes.

Seriously, how did I end up with only repubs in the SBC camp, and only dems in the CBF camp? Yes, I know there are people of both flavors in each organization; I just don’t know them.

I feel caught in between the lines. I know too much negative about everyone. I know about abusers on almost every level, in every camp. I know women that have been grievously hurt in every organization.

So, I find myself as a poor example of a Southern (sbc) , Cooperative (cbf) leaning kind of baptist pastor that enjoys hanging out with non-baptist types. The air just seems cleaner, easier to breath when I’m not with other baptist ministers.

Go figure.

Things, they are complicated. That is because it boils down to relationships, and relationships are always complicated.