(#HarryPotterBookNight this 6 Feb, I’m reading at Expeditie-E!)
I was leaving High School when the Harry Potter phenomena struck. The hype repelled me and some Christian background flagged “witchcraft” as skip.
Fast forward 20 years. My kids’ school sends a letter urging parents to mind “trends and hypes,” characters with magic or super powers like Elsa and Superman came under fire.
Is it just me? Sometimes disappointment, frustration, or fatigue keep banging on the door. You’ve got a project, dream, plan, but it’s stuck. You wonder: Is it me? My skills or vision? Do I lack proper education or experience? Is my heart really in it?
I read about some fisherman who may have thought the same. They worked all night with nothing to show.
Crap, another friend shared about getting kicked out of church. Arrgh. It’s painful, but sadly not rare– I have my own stories…
People can have different ideas, or giftings that don’t fit traditional parameters (e.g. gender/marital/parental status, etc.), and misunderstandings can be easy. But should talents or abilities cease the moment someone enters a church? Can we, especially those in church leadership, listen to someone if they aren’t preaching from the pulpit?
God has used a whale, worm, donkey and various plants to communicate throughout the Bible. How much more a fellow human? Click to Tweet
Did you ever visit a church and something rubbed your heart wrong? Or maybe you experienced something from someone identifying as a Christian–maybe it was gossip, deceit, or some form of oppression, or maybe flat-out hate, or abuse? Worst of all, it may have been done with the support of bible texts.
If you thought: This cant be God—and if it is I want nothing to do with *Him– you may have been right. Maybe it was People, not God.
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.
In Racer X like Jesus (Part 1), I shared how you can hear from God in unexpected places: timely counsel from a neighbor, that special song in the store, the wisdom of your kids, the breeze on your skin.. I got unexpected lessons from Frozen (5 Lessons I didn’t See Coming), so an encounter in Speed Racer should’ve been no surprise.
But once your spiritual antennae are up, movie dialogue touches deeper than simple script. Here were 6 gems I pulled: