For those who lament the lack of church discipline, the rebellion of wives, the authoritarians who say such unkind things to me sometimes, those who blame women for all the ills of the world, those who try to create Christ in their own image, harsh, judgmental, controlling, ready to pounce and punish us all…
I wonder however, how do you not see the tangled nature of it all, the symbiosis at play? Feminism and militant atheism for example, not something that just sprung up out of a vacuum, but an emotional response to what was often unjust church discipline. The way all those beautiful scriptures about marriage and submission, were perverted and used against women to justify abuse. All those who preached chastity from the pulpit on Sunday morning…. and yet raped our children. Those who continue to this day to shriek about whores and Jezebels and rebellion….but cannot even see their own.
We did not listen to the least of these, which means we did not listen to Him.
Oh, and speak to me of the prosperity ministers on TV with their private jets, those flying the rainbow flag high above the cross, and those who have edited Christ out of the church entirely, least He cause offense.
Or those who preach racism and hatred and pervert my beautiful scriptures..
I don’t know how you fix it all, but I watch us swing from one extreme to another, the love of Christ all but forgotten in many quarters, until I am uncertain I even want to be standing near a church when He returns.
I fear very little these days, but that I do fear, standing too close to those who do not know the love of Christ, those who misappropriate scripture. That fear does not surprise me but what does surprise me is the vast unchurched church that seems to share my fears, those believers who claim nature is their church, those stunning views more comforting cathedrals than a little building with people in it. Christ’s people. They fear standing too close to Christ’s people! I wish that truth weighed heavier on our hearts.
I think too much, I care too much, I analyze these things like a scientist, always wanting to collect the data so we can get about the business of fixing a broken world. Last week someone led a prayer for wisdom and I laughed wryly, oh be careful what you pray for, ask and you shall receive, seek and you shall find…..but you won’t always like it! Wisdom is a heavy burden to bear indeed, because the knowing is not the same as the doing. There is a special kind of torment in seeing and understanding….and yet still being powerless to do anything at all except standby and watch helplessly. They didn’t call Jeremiah the Weeping Prophet for nothing.
These days I don’t pray for wisdom, I pray for the bliss of ignorance, for the freedom to enjoy the simple things, and in His kindness He often grants me exactly that, moments of rest for my soul.
And yet eventually He always calls me back, that still quiet voice whispering urgently, Listen to Me…..Make them Listen to Me…
I do not know how to speak to deaf ears, how to show eyes that cannot see, how to speak to a world that will not listen, and time marches on without mercy, closing in on us all. Time is of the essence, there is an urgency here, a deadline that will not be met.
These are the things that weigh heavy on my soul as we enter into all hallows eve, the high holiday of the dark things, all twisted up in frivolity and light heartedness, that odd merging of sexuality, death, and violence that is so often seductive, the sexy vampires and dolled up zombies, and the more serious gathering of witches, wiccans, and outright satanists right here in the 9th circuit of hell.
I am such a wet blanket these days, what should be a parade of silly of zombies is actually everyday life with meth and heroin addicts, the sores, the wasting away, the falling out teeth. I pass zombies on the street everyday and take little joy in them. And the vampires, the emotional and spiritual ones, as well as those who do drink blood, they are repulsive, not endearing.
All in good humor however, there is a half constructed dead body in my living room, yet another uncompleted project abandoned by my child. Surely my daughter, I taught you better than this! One simply does not leave their dead bodies laying about the house where others may trip over them….
Listen to Me, He whispers, lighten up and do not let the melancholy roll in like the gloomy drizzle and overcast. Do not despair, I got this thing. He does you know. He’s got this thing. All that is required of me is to be a sweet and pleasing fragrance unto Him, that soft whisper that reminds one of lily of the valley.
Those who insist on trying to perceive me as the enemy, don’t even understand the nature of the war.