This has been an extra hard post to write and share. The danger in revealing something of your heart is it becomes open for ridicule, but it can also spark hope in someone– do people know how loved they are!? So I write knowing some identifying as Christian will dispute, just like I dispute the Nashville Statement – please don’t think that speaks for me, other humans, or those identifying as “Christian”, or even God *Himself
Religion can steal/steel compassion and common sense, resulting in misinformed, cruel statements, actions, policies. But bible verses have always been used against fellow man, woman, child, even the environment.
Even the devil quoted scriptures.
(*I use He and His as simple pronouns for God but fully recognize God with male and female “identity” -for lack of a better word- as demonstrated throughout the bible and blatantly through humanity. Related post here.)
So for those not wanting anything to do with God or “Christians” because of those calling themselves “Christian,” and to stand (or, ahem, #takeaknee) with rebel Christians who’ve been persecuted and pushed out of churches for thinking, doing, or flat-out being something “different,”
And for every child, woman, or man that heard your voice doesn’t matter because of your age, skin color, gender, marital or parental status, anything external, and for every creature and all nature that was abused under the notion that those made “in the image of God” are superior, this is for You.
REBEL CHRISTIAN MANIFESTO, or APOLOGY
Dear Children, little brothers and little sisters, You are the Mightiest Warriors of all.
Your heart, ideas, dreams and very life matter, not because of anything you do, but simply because: You Are. We are humbled by you. You’ve gone through fire because of the grave failings of our own adult hearts (Proverbs 17:3), and our grief is bottomless. (What are these tears God wipes in heaven if there are no more tears there? Maybe the ones we cry when we see just how much you’ve endured on our behalf…)
All heaven will bow before you. Thank you for your willingness to exist in this time with us.
Dear Women, Sisters, “Equal but with separate/different roles” was a lie spoken over you like “separate but equal” was spoken over those with darker skin color before you. You ARE equal to your brothers and your value rests not in your (in)ability to birth or raise children, to cook or clean… Your “role” was never meant to be defined by society, culture, the church, or anyone. God has always challenged our perception and understanding of identity and contrary to popular belief/practice, your giftings and talents were never supposed to be checked at the door when you came to a church service.
Dear Creatures and Planet Earth, the breath, love, care, wonder, adventure and special teacher of God, we’ve acted superior rather than humble like our mutual Maker. Worst of all we still have not mastered sharing, so despite your abundance half of all humanity lives in severe lack. We’ve destroyed eachother in your presence and there’s more blood and tears in the ground than can be fathomed.
To those in the LGBTQA+ community, you are Loved and Belong. Unconditionally. No hidden agenda. Many of us fell in the religious trap and lost Love. You’ve been persecuted and oppressed and when rights were shared with you, some Christians were outraged. Natural disasters were blamed on you, funerals were protested, and some churches became places for petitions. And if the lovelessness, aka non-Christianness wasn’t clear enough, there are people who would rather see a child alone or orphaned rather than in a home with two loving moms or loving dads. Please forgive us for losing our minds/ hearts/humanity!
To the poor, homeless, hungry, oppressed— how many times did we look away, or try to appease rather than change the system? And to every prisoner I say: You are Not Forgotten. You are Not a Failure. And you NEVER deserved to lose your right to vote!
ARE WE HUMAN??!!
To everyone everywhere, regardless of race, skin color, country of origin, language, belief, crime, Whatever: You are my flesh and blood.
Finally, to those who suffered sexual abuse–and I call this out expressly because so many victims have been children and have not been believed because they were children, and so many still suffer today–many of us didn’t know, others didn’t want to acknowledge, and all of it was wrong. May we never forget God is a Lion and that children are worthy of the Highest protection and care. We must get informed and be bold to act on these deepest dark issues.
To every corrupt system, perverse court, to every gap in protection in every institution where children are present: Your Time is Up…
Children, we will see you and stand up for you. We will honor and esteem you as highest, worthy of protection and love–just as one enjoys and insures jewels, how much more care and precaution should be taken with you!
Women, Men, People, please don’t fit into some “role” but rather be whoever God made you to be! None of us is greater than the other, we are all designed to live and breathe in love, humility, care and fun together!
Creatures and Nature, we acknowledge and thank you for being a source of wonder, fun and wisdom, not just sustenance. And as much as we live, so do you, and we will do our best to be more aware of your presence (Acts 17:28), and keep you safe too.
I cannot cover everything and do not know everything, but I believe Everything and Everyone is loved. We are swimming in it as surely as we swim through air molecules we can’t see. Because of the rainbows after a storm, I keep hope that God will one day right every wrong, set every captive free, and bring all sorrows to dancing, and everything awesome, Forever.
Whoever thinks Heaven is going to be boring never experienced a NYC subway after the 9-5, or heard #GodSingsBieber… And whoever learned Heaven and God was about rules and religion, don’t believe it: We were born to be Free!
Does any of this resonate with you? Leave a comment, or sign on to the manifesto.