God & Church are Not Synonymous: Pt 1

I think it’s taken me near 10 years to realize, that despite the Protestant Reformation 500 years ago, most people assume church and God are synonymous. They are not.  They never have been.

It took going back through the memories of being inside the church system to realize I believed it once. It was never spoken out right, but it has always been implied.

When I started weaning away from the church system my brothers had really critical things to say to me over the smallest detail. Stupid things that have stuck with me like thorns under the skin since that time. But I think I get it now. I think they saw the way I acted at or towards church was synonymous in their mind to how I was acting or respecting (or lack of {in their mind}) towards God. Not even that  it was connected, but it was a directly linked together in a full embodiment. If I didn’t mark the sign-in sheet correctly I was mocking God, not the sign-in sheets.

I never realized that this side of Protestant Reformation that there was still such a direct correlation in the minds of the masses of church goers. I mean I know that’s how masses of pastor think. I know the people are trained to associate the two. However, I just didn’t realize how much that is the reality within the church system.

There has long been this thought that if someone leaves their local church building and gathering times, that they’ve walked out on God. For many this does happen, because there is no separation between them.

I can’t emphasize enough that God and church are not synonymous.

Sometimes it takes looking at history to realize, that something that holds a scared title isn’t always what it seems. For me, the most simplistic words that really spelled this out for me was when Jesus said: “If you were Abraham’s children then you would act like it.” (John 8:39)

God judges someone by their heart, what’s on the inside, the true character which we develop within ourselves, our true motives and intentions. God sees that clearly. If that’s how God judges us, is it any different for an institution or an assembly of people?

God knows that our true intentions and our heart cause for us to do all things that flow out of us. All of our actions. The way we perceive people comes from our heart and our inner being. I believe this is also true for any system, corporation, community, assembly.

Now in a matter of speaking, a system has no heart, no inner being. Therefore those who align themselves with any given system become the heart therein. Yet so often we trade our minds & hearts for a go-with-the-flow mob mentality. We create a system to unify and drive us to our intend goal, but often it’s not long before we sacrifice our own goals, our own drive for the sake (health and sustaining) of the system.

I see this is still the reality of something called church. I too was part of  that once.

This is the strange thing about “church”:
It starts by saying that you can have a personal relationship with God. But then the whole time is spent telling you how to interpret God, how to serve God, how to do these things through more solidly aligning yourself with the local “church” and its “ministries”.  This happens so much so, that for those who actually do learn to grow and interpret on their own, they do not become the prize pupils, but instead are consider the ones who need to be corrected, or even broken in.
My husband and I have heard multiple stories like this. We’ve both been in these situations. We know it happens everywhere. It is not an isolated event.

We also know this isn’t God. This isn’t how God works. This isn’t the relationship that God had in mind.

A healthy body works together. Period. A body with auto-immune disease attacks itself. This is not consider healthy or normal. This is considered to be something that is in need of cure and of treatments, as there is often no known cures for many auto-immune diseases. Maybe especially spiritual ones which go unidentified. 

This thing calling itself church attacks itself. Am I to believe that is the resemblance of the body of Christ?

500 years ago (and more) there was something that was calling itself The Church. It was taught that this was the one way to know God, to honor God, to get to heaven, to be safe in this life, to be a responsible admirable citizen of your country. The Church was the guardians to Truth, or so it was taught.

But there arose men and women who disagreed with this thing called The Church. They disagreed that this system was not doing what it said it was meant to do. They disagreed that this system was honestly, openly, freely leading people Truth and to God.
To them the cruelties of the opposing a well-established system were unleashed. There was no mercy for such trouble makers. We are not too far removed from this history.

As a matter of fact, we maybe standing in the middle of an era where history repeats itself. We maybe at a crux of guarding and regarding the sacred words and descriptions back unto their true intentions. System or no system, when a people want to know God and want to know truth, there is an unquenchable thirst for the authentic thing.

Yet we have seen in history that the artificial thing will defend it’s stolen/assumed throne. The price for truth is high. Very, very high. Yet for something so priceless, we’d be fools to settle for anything less than the whole truth.

We can no longer bow our necks and bear this a little further in history. We cannot continue to plow for a master who is not our God. We must consider who and what we are truly serving. What do we truly fear? Whom do we truly want to serve? Are we interested in God? Or are we interested in our own rewards and security?

God and church are not synonymous. They never have been.

But woe to you … For you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither go in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in.
– Matthew 23:13

To the Unknown God: Perfect

We worship a God who is good. We quake before a God who is Sovereign. We know almost nothing of God because we allow this to be our prime definers of God. We are as children, barely understanding the world we live in, let alone the great world at large.

We are uninterested in God being anything but good or love. Somehow we think we can predict, control, or even manipulate what that means, and therefore how God must respond. It is not so. Yet we proclaim it.

Because God is good he would not allow his people to suffer such things.” One lady told her theory on pre-trib rapture. I may have accidentally laughed in her face and called her idealism a coupon-Jesus redeemable at anytime before tribulation. I laughed because I thought it be so childish, and she was much too old to not know or have seen some history we God did not save his people out from some kind of tribulation. Yet there she was middle class America living a “good” life. Serving a “good” God.

Early in my life I struggled to see God as good. God let’s a lot of things slide. Things that create destruction on others lives. And in my life. Such things don’t always make sense when we’re seeking a good that is God, as a defining characteristic.

Yet there’s something else that we don’t consider, which is tightly linked into this concept of God being good. Beyond good, God is perfect.  We, as people, hate perfect. It’s told to us as unobtainable.  We disdain a God who is unapproachable, but still requires of us. How very brutish! Yet if that’s how we view perfect, than we know not what perfect is.

Perfect, as defined by who & what God is, is: beautiful, lovely, fulfilling, victorious, honest, holistic, eternal, raw & pure.  These are not utterly unfamiliar traits, so why should we be scared of such things? We seek these things in our relationships, in our food that we consume, in our movies and music. It is not so foreign to us at all.

Instead, we more often than not, believe a tainted view of what “perfect” is and we despises God for it…when such things have little to nothing to do with God. That concept that “perfect” is what Hollywood portrays. A concept and commitment that tortures the souls of people who are “not good enough” and who have to always keep working to obtain an elusive goal.

This is not the perfection which God himself defines. We should not even believe that such idealisms have anything to do with perfect, for they are so vague and sketchy and demanding, that there is no hint of perfection within the requirement itself. This Hollywood-ish idealism, is nothing but slavery. God’s definition of perfection is fullness, which brings freedom. Restoration which unveils purpose and fulfillment, which gives joy and victory, and brings forth freedom and beauty.

How is it, then, that we choose “good” over perfect? We want a nice God, who is defined by our fickle sense of “love” instead of seeking how God defines Love, good, perfect, and therein securing ourselves to God’s definition of these terms. What makes it easier to accept God on our terms?

The second overused & abused term (imo) is that God is Sovereign. It’s kind of like saying God is god. Like God has the trait which we require in a god. Seemingly it’s non-statement. Although people who use, believe that they are making a big and defining statement, truth is they’re just being redundant. I find it to be unhelpful, and again vague. I find this definition of God to be a scapegoat style terminology. So basically we don’t take time to get to know God or understand his heart, his wisdom, or his character, therefore we come up with some scapegoat words and pin everything we don’t understand under that.  Somehow people buy this as theology. It’s laughable. It is not theology, it is a distraction.

Here’s something to look for:
God works in patterns. Jesus tells parables. This doesn’t happen because Jesus assume people are stupid (although I’ve heard preachers say as much, because too many believe this themselves)  more likely stories are used so that the pattern is available for those who turn aside to see, at anytime throughout history.  God is smart. Certainly God knew the tricks of devil, and distortion that the enemy uses. But as long as the story remains, the patterns can be found and read and understood.

God doesn’t treat people like the dirt Adam was made from. This is bad theology. God knows the price it is to even sacrifice even one of his holy people to the corruption in the world around us. It isn’t something he takes lightly or accidentally allows. But we ache and bellow at a God who is consider to be “good” when these things do happen. Where is that God now?

So much hurt comes from not knowing and seeking a God who is beyond good, beyond love, beyond Sovereign. A God who is perfect, a God who is holistic, a God who is relational. Then to meet that God at these times …to say it is painful, is woefully understanding it. Often it is devastating. Often people utter lose their faith in God here. We can’t hear the voice of God, because that good, loving, sovereign God is …vacant. Something worse, something overpowering is happening.  God -the God of heaven and Earth- is at work, and we don’t recognize him. We don’t know that voice, that hand, those moves. This God is foreign to us, and we think the enemy is attacking and God isn’t around. Desperation sets in deep.

Upon pausing to consider this, I think of the parable of 10 virgins that Jesus tells. Five wise and five foolish. The wise are consider the such for having taken extra oil…just in case a Good God doesn’t come to get us before the night. The five foolish are sure that the will be taken in before their oil runs out, for a Good God is plenty while it is daylight and even while it is dusk. Yet it is insufficient when it is midnight.

They need more oil. They haven’t developed a relationship with a God who can be perfect, holistic, relational, silent.  They head back to those who sell oil obtain more of the same, but this time it’s insufficient. It’s too late.  It’s too far removed from the God who has come to bring us into rejoicing, into fullness, into raw, pure beauty. They’re shut out. They miss out. As matter of fact, this God must even confess: I never knew you, because they never came to know him. How sad.

The easy way is devastating.

Hothouse Christianity while not have roots deep enough to weather the storms. It will not have branches hardy enough to endure the cold. It is not a wonder so many desire to believe in God who pull us up and take us back into the warm greenhouse before winter comes. It is absurd to call it maturity or fullness. For many who have gone on before us in the faith have made huge sacrifices to sanctify the purity of faith that would come to us. To settle with this “good” God and “good” Christianity is insulting to those who have preserved for us the good perfect and pleasing will of God throughout all the ages.

We need them. If we do not have the deep roots we will not be overcomers. And if we seek escape then certainly we are not conquerors. To be involved with a God merely for the sake of spiritual insurance is insulting to all of heaven. If we do not enter into the fullness which we have been granted access to, then certainly we are willing foolish. How can God claim to know us when we will not allow ourselves to know anything beyond the “good” “loving” “sovereign” scapegoat god?

In modern words: go big or go home.

Revival: A Spiritual Distraction

There is a misconception about the church nowadays. Luckily modern theologians are as perceptive as any of the great theologians of the past, and they have a figured out a way to explain this. Well, maybe more like many ways to explain this. However…the phrase “it’s not working, try again, and be louder” comes to mind.
But can I just say…the emperor has no clothes on.

Here’s an astonishing prolific circular reasoning of many or most modern theology:
Old Testament – Jewish have the promised covenant of redemption give to Abraham and his promised descents.
Jews fail in keeping covenant
God gets mad and takes away “blessings”
God creates New Covenant, New Testament, new people, and new Jesus rules (last one is unsaid but totally there)
New Testament – Christians now have everything the Jews wanted, and anything else they want God will probably give them
New Testament = New Covenant = Never, ever, ever can break this covenant because it’s grace, so God will put up with our shit until Jesus comes back flaming hot mad at the world for not realizing how great we are. …I mean…how great God is.

Problems?

The reality is Christian came from Hebraic roots (Judaism, but older than the Talmud).  But Not long after Jesus left for heaven, certain “forefathers” made Christian more Greek than Jewish, more modern-culture relevant than ancient-continuing-story relevant. And ultimately…
We’ve taken the Jewish promises, then acted exactly like them. Including the reasons why “church forefathers” say that the Jews lost out on the “old covenant”, but Christendom acts like we’re totally different and nothing like the Jews of the Bible.

Wrong.

The modern church is exactly like what Jesus dealt with in his day. It’s exactly like what Moses dealt with in his day. It’s exactly like what Ezekiel, Daniel, and Jeremiah dealt with in their day.
And if we’re exactly the same…then why do we think they lost out, but God will always “keep his deal” with us?

Because for everyone who believes the “church forefathers” over the the forefathers of our faith (Abraham, Issac, Jacob, Jesus, the prophets, the saints of the Bible. Hebrews chapter of 11, ect.), then they became what they despised. Because that’s all they focused on.

“The church” wanted to say it’s the new Israel, so God let them. God let them walk the same path, fall into the same holes, tell themselves the same pious lies, take on the same blindness, and ultimately the have the same hope of repentance, redemption, and restoration…However we’re all too busy with our “God stuff” to need God.

Why do I bring this up? Because it’s terrible to watch these Christians praying for revival, preaching of a coming persecution,  waiting for a someday when the Messiah will come (the only difference being we add an “again” to our story), and thinking this is utterly different than the stories of the Bible. The good stories, the bad stories, the repetitive cycles stories. We are still there, but we speak like we’re SO different. We’re not.

As a matter of fact, that thing that calls itself church is exactly like when God talks about Jerusalem and then describes her as if she was Babylon. But we still think that’s a story about them…over there. Those guys.
In the Bible, Israel had these times where it still called itself Israel but it didn’t know about  honoring God, the covenant, the law, and the scriptures where lost somewhere. They were living their lives, doing their practices, and thinking this is how its always been done. They thought they were practicing the same things as their forefathers, but the truth was most of Israel was acting like the modern cultures them.  They didn’t understand who God created them to be. They didn’t understand the importance of their specific story.

We are there. We are a lost people who are still practicing things that have nothing to do with our forefathers faith. We don’t know who we are …or why we are.

But Daniel, a truly righteous man, identified himself with the sins of his people, and he stood in the gap and prayed “we have sinned against you”.  Yet under this “new covenant” we don’t give a crap. Your sin, your problem.

But it bothers me.

I pray that God would forgive us for partaking in the sins of our forefathers. and then… I don’t. I attempt to not repeat the same mindset and the same practices. I find so much of my theology in Hebrews 11.

 Yet all these, though they were commended for their faith, did not receive what was promised,  since God had provided something better so that they would not, apart from us, be made perfect.

There is no old and new in the Bible. Neither testament, covenant, God, promise, law …it’s all eternal, a continuing story. We are part of their faith, if we open up our hearts to receive this. These saints & forefathers who lives their lives in their day, did their part, and they wait on us to receive this legacy and to carry it on, in our day, through our lives, and to do our part.
Otherwise… well…it’s in the Bible what happens when we ignore God and his call.

Revival, persecution, denominational dogmatic doctrine will not be our saving graces. It will not be the sign of the times. It will not promote the kingdom of God. These are distractions.
Living our lives. Joining the faith and living like it’s important to complete the journey that the forefathers of faith began – That’s what’s important. That’s what we should be striving for, praying for, looking to obtain.

Look up! Set your eyes to the hills.
Remember who your forefathers truly are. Find your story. Live it.

 

Not Superheroes, Just Friends

About a month and half ago, a friend of ours confessed he need to turn himself in for DUI. We prayed with him and have prayed for him since then.  A few weeks after that, another friend told us about his agonizing relapse, we listened, and he asked us to pray he’d get into detox. Maybe a month later, a different friend of ours found out his wife was cheating on him and planning to leave him. We were able to be with him that day, and spent the night keeping him company and being available.

We’re not miracle workers. We don’t change the world with our prayers. But we believe this is who we are meant to be. We believe this is what resurrection life looks like. We are thankful for those who will let us know when their life isn’t perfect and they need some support. Not everyone will tell us, not everyone will let us help or pray or sit with them and listen. Not everyone can trust, hope, or call out for help. We are thankful that God has made these friends strong enough to include us.

Somehow, I don’t think people imagine this as the good Christian life. We don’t evangelize (as its known to be), we don’t seal them with cliches, we don’t tell them everything will be okay. We just try to be available, try to pray, try to believe with them.
…and personally I can’t imagine much else to be the “Christian thing to do”.

We’ve never once stopped to think or accuse the devil. We’ve not yet become overwhelmed. Instead we thank God that these fine people have entrusted us with their tough situations. We thank God that we’ve been able to look into their faces, and hear it from them. We’ve thanked God that we are able to pray with/for them, and fully believe God will strength the weak hands and feeble knees. We know they need the prayers. We all do.

My husband and I are searching for a new place to live, and it’s frustrating. We haven’t found an open door, and we start to get a little put out with God. What does he want from us anyway? We’re trying! Then something happens… not to us but to whom we love …and we get quiet. We remember to be thankful. Although our current residence is limiting, and we’re ready to move forward, we are still a part of life. Life is not out there, somewhere, someday, instead…it is today. With all the bad and good and waiting, it still counts as life.

If I have to take a moment to remember this, to think about it, and to let the gratitude sink in, then I’m sure I’m not the only one.

We do not wrestle against flesh and blood, addictions and cheaters, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.

And this is why we believe that we are already part of the resurrection life. In life we feel pain, we share heartbreak, we hope in unseen circumstances, we fall and get up again, we sorrow, we rejoice, we try. WE do this together. We include one another in these adventures -which at times seem to lead nowhere- and we pray. We include God.

When saints pray for a common hope, I believe it’s like going to a concert with a beloved band on stage. It feels like everyone is singing along, the crowd is pressing forward, strangers become friends, there is strength in numbers. There’s also that one weird person who has to yell something like “marry me” or “I love you” to one of the band members…but that’s easily ignore or laughed away.
In a concert like this, people are sweaty, smelly, sometimes pushy, close and pressing closer. Some yell the whole song, some sing, yet we all seem to lose our voice by the end of the night. And we love it! It’s like a sign of hardwork well accomplished. Not only did the band get on stage and perform, but we were all a part of the concert tonight…and it was beautiful.

If you’ve never been to a concert like that, you’re missing out. If you’ve never lived a faith like that, then you’re missing it…missing everything.

One or two of these friends (from the previously stated stories), said to us something along the lines of, “I don’t deserve friends like you” to which my husband perfectly replied, “Everyone deserves friends like us.”

We’re not superheroes. But in real life, we are friends to real people. We love our friends. We are proud of our friends.Our prayers for them pour out more regularly than prayers for ourselves. We are thankful for those who have allowed us to journey with them. We know these aren’t just bad times, but these are times where God is working.  We press on, carrying the burdens of our friends. Hoping. Rising…one more time. We will try. Together we will walk through today.

If this isn’t what faith is suppose to look like, then God help us. It’s the best we’ve got thus far.

Asleep Not Dead: Revival Alternatives

Do you that numb tingling feeling when you’re arm or leg “falls asleep”?  Technically it means you’ve reduce the blood circulation to next to nothing of that limb and it’s just starting flow properly again, and it kind of hurts, but it definitely feels weird and there’s also a particular coldness which is present the that limb.
I’ve been thinking about that a lot and how it seem so noticeable in the body of Christ, that when there’s a lack of blood flow when end up with some severe problems. Cranky, agitated ministries and ministers, numbness, pain, heaviness, lack of functionality. …these are all symptoms that are too common, and yet denied or “hidden” …as if you could hide such an awkwardness.

There’s a big difference between walking normally, and walking with a foot that’s “asleep”. There’s a strain and labor, where the blood isn’t flowing correctly. There’s an agitation when these necessary limbs don’t work just as they should. We depend on these limbs to function correctly at any given time, that to have a lack of blood flow, feels like being handicapped.

I often hear these phrase that Christians are “praying for revival”. But then when these people have described “revival” to me, it just sounds like what I assume to be normal Christian life. Could this be a lack of blood flow?  I don’t get the excitement of the body working like it’s suppose to work. What am I missing here? When did living up the standard that God has set before actually become an accomplishment, instead of just being the standard?

I feel like those claiming Christianity are so often keep with busy-work, and it has nothing to do with Christ Jesus or his words, and it has nothing to do with God or what he approves of, it’s only to do with pulpit fluffy and Christian author defecation of nonsensical busy work.  Something, of course, that would be highly denied even if it was true.
As a matter of fact, there are many times throughout the Bible when great men of God have emerged in times where the society and religious establishments said everything was going fine. It’s a few rough spots. Soon we’ll all be in a place of glory. …But this wasn’t the same message that was coming from God’s messengers.

Many of the prophets record times where the pulpit staff were acting in an untrustworthy manner.

Isaiah records it as “elders and dignitaries are the head,
    and prophets who teach lies are the tail;

The problem with this, besides the obviousness of a prophet who tells lies, is that the elders and “dignitaries” (according to this version) were never meant to be the “head”.  Yet this out of place order was so common that it wasn’t recognized as being out of place. Religiously we let ourselves and our spiritual communities get so cozyed up that we actually cut off blood circulation without knowing it. Then when we go to preform that function or more that limb there’s a deadness and a jerk, that happens instead of a normal swift movement. Our agility is reduced to heavy lifting of what should be functioning limbs, pulsing pins and needles, and slowness.

When my body moves like that, I know there’s a problem. So how can it be that something which claims to be the body of Christ assumes that it’s normal to have this laborious jerking motions?

To criticize something that calls itself church and acts otherly, is a humorous past time at best. But to realize there is a problem, and we each need to be responsible for our own part in said problem, that… that is resolution.

Please know, this isn’t normal. Revival, as well as wishing, hoping, and praying for revival …isn’t normal. Christ never instructed us to pray for revival. Stretching our limbs, working a healthy amount, rearranging our positions, taking in the proper nutrients, these are all healthy normal things that keep the blood flowing well. We do not need a quick fix, health-pill, because if we are the body of Christ, we are alive. We are well. We are functioning.

Stretch. Grow. Learn.

Love: What Does It Do?

I’m losing my grip on the things everyone around me seems to believe is reality, and falling into a devasting black hole of desiring love to be true.

Living a life based upon an occupation, that merely pays the bills and then defining yourself by your job, holds no interest for me. Getting a big beautiful house with latest technology and comforts so that I can live in comfort, does not appeal to me. Moving to a place for better pay, better “opportunities”, or comfortable living, is losing its appeal quickly.

It’s crazy, I know.

One of my favorite quotes is: “The call of God is like the call of the sea; no one hears it, but the one who has the nature of the sea in him.”

Comforts of the world don’t call to me. At least not like they once did. Not like I might have imaged as brand new adult. Yes I’d like nicer place to live, I wouldn’t mind having more convent appliances in my house, and generally I have a list of things that could be great to have (or do) one day. But my thoughts and heart have been captured by the stories of people who think their life vain, their existence forgotten, their souls unseen, and yet in hearing the stories I hear Jesus. I see Jesus. I love them. But “how can I help?” is the ever begging question.

As I consider their plight, our hope, and perhaps our difficulties, I think of the words of Jesus. “Sell your possessions and give to the poor, then you will have treasure in heaven.” And it occurs to me, this verse is preached totally wrong. It isn’t about giving money to the poor, because you sold your possessions. It’s about getting rid of the things that are keeping you from giving yourself to those you consider “poor”. Your treasure in heaven is the brethren. It is the love of God you’ve taught your soul to wrap yourself in and identify yourself as. It’s being meek -that’s the treasure! Your treasure is beholding God.

If we don’t see God now, will we see him as God in heaven?

It always mystifies me how Jesus identifies himself, and who he identifies himself with. “The least of these my brethren”, “Saul, Saul why are you persecuting me?”, “whoever welcomes one of these little ones, welcomes me”, “I am the Good shepherd, my sheep hear my voice”

And yet, in the church buildings they teach about Jesus riding the white horse, Jesus the prince of peace, Jesus the king of glory, Jesus the conquer. …But it isn’t how Jesus describes himself, and I’m worried that we’ll miss him, if we don’t know who we’re looking for.

Sure, God can essential wear many hats or be known by many names, but there is something quintessentially important about how God describes himself.   And that important for me to know. I think there is a key to living the Christian life that is found in understanding who God describes himself to be, and as Christians that should go doubly for who Christ Jesus identifies himself as or identifies himself with.

I worry that to miss this is to miss being a Christian, or maybe it’s just to miss out on sainthood. I don’t know. But is seems so pivitiol, so compelling, so counter-culture that I feel sure God has left this evidence on purpose.  That call to “love one another, even as I have loved you”, the call of “no greater love has any man, than this, that he should lay down his life for his friend” these things compel me beyond the surety of how I’ve seen my own forefathers live. It calls me to move beyond modern Chrisitiandom.

It calls me to question love. Not if love is safe, but is it real? Is it worth risking ones own welling being to change the lives of others? Because if it’s not worth that, what exactly is it worth?  I’m afraid I don’t understand.

How can the comforts of a couch and cable outweigh the strong call of love? Even at the price of tears, it still seems like a bargain to choose love. To risk love. To find out if what God has created us to be is enough when we come together. My reality says its sufficient to start, and that’s how the kingdom of God is built.

Does anyone else in Christianity believe this stuff anymore? Does anyone hear and reply to the call of God? Or has Jesus become or moral sprinkles on our happy life? I fear a people who don’t want to know the God they say they serve. Who don’t want to look into his face and love him. Who don’t want to come together to help. Who think the government will legislate morality, feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit the sick, befriend the lonely.  I fear a people who don’t desire to do, because they so lavish themselves in “grace”.

The parable of the sheep and goats, scares the hell out of me, because the difference is so subtle that the people themselves didn’t know it. But it comes from the same man who said, “if you were children of Abraham (the father of faith) then you would act like it.”  It seems so easy. It seems so obvious. But are we paying attention? Are we willing? Or are we already so invested in the proper things, that we do not have time for extracurricular Jesus activities? But it’s not extracurricular, it’s essential core to life …a life of love. But are we a people who believe in the power of Love? …In our dark world?  Or do we only believe in love in our safe confines, and according to our modern day systems?

Can the love of God really change the world, just because Jesus believed in would? Does modern Christanity really believe in Jesus anymore? …Do we?

A Reply to the Living

To Write Love On Her Arms recently put up a controversial statement from a controversial man. It was not the statement itself that caused me to stop and mourn, it was the comments thereafter which I saw utter fruitlessness in.

Statements about those who “want” to die (sucide) will figure out a way to die regardless of access to a gun. Statements like modern “health care” includes “mental health” care.

When did needing new to be loved and cared for, needing to feel worth, fall under “mental health”? Are we now a people who believe so little in the spiritual matters that we don’t even consider ones soul? One’s fighting spirit? One’s natural need to be included in healthy community?  Are we so willing to hide ourselves from the concept of God that we sacrifice our children to prosperity?

Caring should never fall second place to any “solution” nor should one’s agenda be a guise for caring.  This is the most humiliating disgrace of believing that a system (whether government, church, non-profit, ect.) are the ones to “fix” things or to care for people everywhere as a whole. A system, a law, a program cannot replace a living being, a person, a caring friend.

What stops sucides are people. Not laws. Not difficult access to possibly deadly scenarios. Not cliches. Not a time-out rehab.

When we stop being people, death has already won. When we stop loving one another, isolation has already killed us. But we are not people who are dead; we are alive. We have opportunity to care, and therein we have opportunity to live as well.

I don’t want to save 2 out of 3 people. I want to love those who haven’t known the security of love. I want to befriend those who haven’t been established in the embrace of a tender home. It’s not about numbers. I don’t serve a God who looks for better statistics. I serve a God who knows each person by name.

I am not a number. I am not a satistic. And I will not treat others like they are.  This is real life not a number of a page in a story book. Reconsider responsibility.