normalcy

I have no idea if this is true or not as it came from a source I consider to be slanted, but I read somewhere that it’s becoming illegal to counsel people from unwanted sexual leanings and the like.

There is a profound difference between exhibiting behavior or seeking to convey to one (and that one may include oneself) or to many an air of normalcy and having a sense of normalcy from deep within one’s being that elicits a sense of well-being.  I’m not against counseling to achieve that inner sense of normalcy.  I believe that counseling is of the most benefit when 2 people are working together to truly commit to searching out and not stopping until the truth is arrived at no matter how deep, how broad, how high, and even how long it takes to find the absolute truth that truly makes free.  Therein is freedom where that sense of normalcy, that sense that all is well, becomes possible.  If the goal of counseling is the manipulate the outcome, it has failed before it has even begun.

If words spoken are the agreed upon words of truth, but they are spoken with a manipulative heart, the truth becomes lost in the words.  The words become meaningless.  In fact, depending on the degree of manipulation behind the words, the words that were designed to bring freedom become kidnappers, hostage takers, they become weapons that can inflict much damage – and can even become destructive.  Preachers please know and remember this as you step up to that pulpit to counsel your flock.  May we all encounter the truth that truly sets free this morning.  Amen.

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weighing in instead of “duck”-ing

duck decoy

I was hoping to get away from talking about this, but it alas, I cannot but express my feelings about the whole patriarch of the Duck Dynasty furore.

Unless you’ve been under a rock for the past decade, you pretty much know who Phil Robertson is and what he is about.  If you ask him to weigh in as a “Christian” about how he sees homosexuality and the like, you’ve probably already had enough exposure to him to get an idea which side of the fence he is on.  He’s not hiding who he is, what he thinks, and what he believes.  That being said, to be fair, I can’t help but wonder if the man was being baited – just like when the Pharisees threw the woman caught in the act of adultery down at the feet of Jesus and asked Him to weigh in on that particular sexual issue.  The unfortunate thing for Mr. Robertson was that he didn’t grab hold of the same wisdom that Jesus grabbed hold of in His time of being baited that helped Him refrain from taking hold of the rope they were offering with which to lynch Him.  It wasn’t about the woman.  It was about setting a trap for Jesus.  He let them stand there holding that rope out to Him and, with facing down one simple question, they had nowhere else to go but to be hanged by their own pricked consciences.  The bait they were offering was, “This woman was caught in the act of adultery – in the very act!  The Law says such a one should be stoned.”  Jesus answered, “Okay, then.  Whichever one of you is without sin, you be the first to throw a stone at her.”  One by one, they all dropped their rocks and walked away leaving only Jesus and the woman at the scene.  He asks, “Where are your accusers?  Has anyone condemned you?”  The woman answers, “No man, Lord (some translations say she addressed Him as Sir).”  Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you.  Go and sin no more.”

Here is what I am going to say about the whole controversy, all across the board.  God is infinitely more than the sex that human beings are having.  I would venture a guess that He is not hung up on sex like we are, as in, who is having it and with whom.  He is calling us all to a higher realm, a realm of pure and radiant love where we are kind to each other, and we are taking care of each other; we’re making sure that if we recognize that someone has a need, we are doing whatever we can to see that the need is met.  Life is hard.  People are suffering – all over the world.  If we are truly doing God’s work then we are doing whatever we can, however we can, at every opportunity we can to ease the pain and the burdens of whosoever we encounter who is suffering.  If we are truly doing that then we really don’t have much time to obsess over and give our two cents about someone else’s sex life.  That is the way that I see it.  This is what I believe.  This is how I feel.

anarchy?

Something I’ve been pondering lately is this: If the cross is what we who believe in it believe it to be, then it has to be about more than just black or white, good or bad, right or wrong, heaven or hell.  It has to be!  For a man to go to the extremes of stepping out of a celestial state to being born into flesh, born of a woman by means of supernatural seed, for Him to choose the life of consecration to the walk with God that He did, for Him to go through all that He did to die and overcome death, it has to be about infinitely more than just a bunch of rules and regulations!  After all, the people who believed in and followed the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob whom Jesus descended from and was kin to had all that.  They had rules to live by already – and plenty of them.

This is just one example of what I mean when I said in the previous post that I have way more questions than answers as to what this is all about and what it all means to truly love and follow Jesus.  I am probably already edging toward it by my opening paragraph, but if I were to list every question that I currently have, I would probably be cast off as an anarchist (but, come to think of it, the authorities of Jesus’ time pretty much called Him out as an anarchist, so perhaps I am in very good company…).  What I am coming to believe more and more is that where I am and what I am going through is not merely anarchy for the sake of anarchy.  I just can no longer make myself adhere to a God of rules.  When Jesus revealed Himself to me, I didn’t see a rulemaker.  In fact, that day – and if I were to be completely honest about that day and every day since – He did not give me even one rule to follow.  In fact, He didn’t even give me the rule that I should follow Him.  He just appeared, letting me really see Him.  I used to wonder if I missed something because I didn’t come away from that experience with any instructions or any idea, really, as to what I was supposed to do with His appearing.  What I’m beginning to see now is that what He did was merely let me have a good long look at who I and others had been talking about and see for myself who He really was (and, by the way, what had been said versus what I actually saw that day couldn’t have been more polar opposite).  He appeared then faded from view, leaving the choice completely up to me as to whether to follow and find out more or not to follow and dismiss the whole thing.

And that is the biggest problem I am having right now with modern Christianity.  We have become experts at the in-your-face approach of telling others the rules and dictating how all should follow them or else brace for the wrath of God – while we simultaneously demonstrate time and time again how completely LOUSY we are at following the one and only rule Jesus did give us in the gospels, which is to love one another as He has loved us.  I don’t see love calling out people, pointing out their “faults” and berating and condemning them for it and telling them there is hell to pay for it.  Perhaps it’s because of what I saw when I saw Jesus that day, but I see Love simply being Love and allowing people choose for themselves whether to walk in the light of it – or not.

As much as it may appear so, this is by no means taking the easy way out.  It’s easy to become rigid and make rules.  It’s easy to bully people into following those rules.  It takes no creative genius or deep thought or contemplative study of any kind to become a bully.  In fact, bullying takes little to no effort of any kind.  And that is what I see so very much of from those who profess themselves to be speaking on behalf of Christ these days.  I see a bunch of bullies…mean, mean loud-mouthed bullies!  And it makes me cringe every time I see it.  I think it always did, but I was so caught up in the hype of “the movement” that I ignored it, pushed it aside…until I could do it no longer…until every sensibility I ever gleaned from the Christ who revealed Himself to me in the beginning could no longer sit down inside me and abide it.  Something within me rose up (terrifying me in the process) and said, “No more!  Enough!  I will participate no further!  I will not further this cause; for this CANNOT be the cause of the Christ who loved me and gave Himself for me and gave Himself to me!”

And here I am 4 years later, having had all this time to really think, really search, really look, really examine myself and what I am doing, to really take the time to find out what this is all about, and I am no closer to being able to regroup and rally for the cause of bullying in the name of Christ.  If that makes me an anarchist, then I am pleased to be called an anarchist.  Jesus called the leaders of His earthly time out for their bullying, and often.  He refused to participate too.  And He too was labelled an anarchist for it.

So yeah…if that’s what I must be labelled in order to seek and promote peace, I’ve decided I’ve no choice but to learn to be at peace with whatever labels the bullying type may put on me.  Whatever it takes to be one less bully in the number, one less speck of the pollution that is causing the salt to lose its savour.