Better Left Alone?

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There are some things you can’t unsee.

There are those times when you feel this thing rise up in you. It’s distinct from a sort of bitter-anger that causes you to fall into a pit of depression mixed with deep resentment. It’s this kind of anger that moves on you to fight—to fight on somebody else’s behalf.

Even if they don’t think that they deserve it.

I have watched religion beat-up on the Bride of Christ like the proverbial abusive husband. Sometimes it’s physical abuse. Sometimes it’s verbal abuse. Sometimes it goes further.

It gets to the point where I go into a church worship service and hear the Beloved speaking absolute crap over herself like she’s some sort of horrible monster.

“God help me; I’m such a horrible sinner.”

The mantra.

What good, loving husband wants to hear his wife speaking that over herself? What good, loving husband wants to hear his wife call herself a worthless piece of _______? The Jesus that religion preaches is a far cry from the Jesus I know. The Jesus I know totally called me on my self-hatred and told me it was a load of bunk—and that I was WAY too hard on myself.

I’ve seen the scars and the bruises on the arms and the faces of women who have been trafficked. It isn’t too far off from the marks left on the hearts of the people who hear a message of “love Me or be tortured eternally by my sadist of a Father.” That’s the ugly face of religion, folks.

It isn’t the gospel.

Worship is not singing to the Lord about how bad and worthless of a person you are. That’s not worship; that’s spitting on the face of the Lord and denying the gospel. That’s taking the Lord’s name in vain—claiming to believe Him while spouting blatant unbelief in His ability to have accomplished a ________ thing on the cross. Pun-intended.

Worship more has to do with being overwhelmed with the goodness of God. Letting Him wash your feet and speak words of loving-kindness over you. Worship is believing and trusting in a Lover who treasures you beyond anything else in all creation. It’s about being thrown into a sheer ecstasy at the reality that God has forever joined you to Himself. Far from humiliating you, He has allowed Himself to be stripped bare in front of the whole of creation, declaring His love before the cosmos.

Selah on that, folks.

 

 

Too Far Gone? Oh, Really?

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I would like to dedicate this blog post to calling some crap for what it is.

Did you know that saying, “I am too far gone” is one of the most prideful and arrogant things a person can say?

You heard me.

With your very own limited cranial capacity, you have decided that you are doomed. Multiple resources are available. Information that you are not aware of. And yet . . . and yet, you have decided that you are basically as good as yesterday’s trash.

That’s just a mess of crazy right there!

One of my favorite bible verses is found in the Book of Revelation, which I actually believe to be one incredibly hopeful book—despite how I get the sense it has been radically misinterpreted by those determined to see an angry, vengeful god bent on whooping some butt. Revelation 22 talks about who’s inside the walls of Heaven’s gates and who’s outside. But Revelation 21 happens to mention this one very key fact: the gates are always open. What you got here is a walled city—with gates. Open gates. The walls are there to stop anyone who wants to ruin the party from ruining the party. But, let me reiterate: it’s got open gates.

The book closes with an invitation to come!

Come! Eat! Drink!

You want inside? Let go of that sad little declaration of self-rejection. Let go of crappy self-identifiers that totally under-describe how chock full of glory you are. Put on that new outfit of what God has to say about you! It’s basically a massive hug-tackle. Acceptance. A declaration of how completely legit you are in God’s eyes. Waves and waves of love that ever crash upon you.

Don’t be a petulant, whiny little thing with a stick up your rear. Come join the party!