If you live across cultures you can stumble on language quirks– words your brain hears or sees differently than intended simply because you’re not a native speaker.
Last time I flagged Vote/Stem/Stemmen/Tuning –where “Stem” is Dutch for “vote,” and multiple votes is the equivalent of the English “tuning.” Our votes should thus “tune” the instruments in power. (but how many Listen?).
For anyone who thought “I want nothing to do with God, or “Christians” because of what they do, say, put into policy” (read: USA, White House), or for any who had the bible used against them, for outcasts not “good enough” for “Church,” or who asked too many questions, or had too many ideas, or just didn’t fit. To all who wonder if unconditional love is real, if God cares, or if there are better things to come… This if for you. <3
Imagine a city so loaded with gold and gems they become standard building materials. Add other precious metals and stones to the mix and just marvel. It’d be palatial, decadent, … God-like?
“Streets of gold” is a phrase probably rooted in a bible passage on heaven: “… The great street of the city was of gold, as pure as transparent glass…” (Revelation 21:21)
But I don’t care if it’s true or not. The real question for me is: What good is all that Gold??
The gospel can be cut so many ways. “Good news” for a woman begging is different than for a rich Westerner, or trafficked boy. But concepts like unconditional love and freedom keep me busy.
I’ve heard many Christians stress about people needing to “convert” or “be saved” to avoid hell. Was it similar thinking that sparked the convert-or-die theology of the Crusades?
Christmas is a time to enjoy cozy lights, sweet treats, and Dutch gezelligheid – a wonderful word without pure translation, but roughly: nice/comfy/friendly/cozy- ness.
Some think of “baby Jesus,” or making everything just right, and still others wish to fast forward through the season. Holidays can be painful for some so I want to share a verse I’ve never heard at Christmastime which may give hope, especially to any who’ve ever been oppressed. Or maybe it gives more perspective beyond the baby in a manger.
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.
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