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
Christmas is a time to enjoy cozy lights, sweets, and Dutch “gezelligheid” – a wonderful word without pure translation, but roughly ‘nice/comfy/friendly/cozy-ness.’
Some think of “baby Jesus,” others of making everything “just right”, and still others wish to fast forward through the season. Holidays can be painful for some who’ve suffered so much, and I want to share a verse I’ve never heard at Christmastime which may give hope, especially to the oppressed. Or maybe just 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.
Remember Frollo? Another religious leader who lost his heart/mind/way…
(*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.
I started this post in Nov. 2016 before the first #MuslimBan, then #Charlottseville happened, and now #DACA (deporting children and young adults who grew up in, and contribute to America, because they were not born in the U.S.). Even now, the political developments are whirlwind-like.
The call to protect our people | our borders | our way of life | were fierce already before the election, but look at U.S. now…
When did two people getting married become a bad thing?
When did consenting adults committing to a life of love and faithfulness together become something to mobilize against– by people professing a doctrine founded on unconditional love??!
There’s much judgement and hate directed towards those with a homosexual or bisexual lifestyle, and those identifying as transgender have recently been called out of Armed Service, cruelly (e.g. via twitter), and without genuine cause, despite each of these people writing blank checks to Uncle Sam payable up and unto their very lives.
You want to watch these remarks from Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis to US soldiers deployed in Jordan.
Why doesn’t Lightning come down straight? It’s ferocious and 5x hotter than the sun, so shouldn’t it just, literally, charge down? I never gave lightning much thought untill I heard a Capital Kings track, Forever. One lyric line, “I feel Your Lightning in my veins,” touched something in my heart and I was inspired to find lightning for my phone wallpaper. As I admired, I realized how much lightening looks like our veins…
How can music banish a bad mood and transport us to a place where problems, cares, fear, sometimes even pain (and certainly time) don’t exist? For a moment there’s just that beat, or lyric line, or bass, or …plug in your own thing– it’s magic. I’ll be feeling down but if a song comes on that rocks, something changes–and even babies know the feeling:
Melodies can spark our spirits, balm our hearts, mirror something of our soul, and sometimes floor us. Who needs Ecstasy when some tracks are flat-out orgasmic?
And Music also heals Socially…
Just think: when we rock to the same jam, things like Race, Gender, ‘Status,’ etc., disappear. Love takes shape in a sea of people grooving. Unity, peace, joy, no fear, no shame, No Problem.
Remember Claude Frollo? That gypsy (foreigner)-hating, child-manipulating and emotionally-abusing, lust-possessed, uber-religious Judge from Disney’s Hunchback of Notre Dame? That man prayed. A Lot. Remember him pouring out his heart in the dark song “hell fire–desire”? (Yes, not all kids movies are for kids).
How many Frollo’s, to varying degrees, do you know? How many have we caught glimpse of since the US election?
If this election has done anything for us, it’s certainly put a magnifying glass on the blinding hate that can reside in hearts of those who wear crosses or call themselves Christian.
Maybe that’s why Jesus Himself is getting a new name (Revelation 3:12), and why he was the angriest in a Church, NOT some city square (Matthew 21:12).
Before the US election, I heard many Christian-identifying Americans say: “this is a difficult decision…”
How do we have the bible in every language and version (e.g. NIV, NKJV, ESV, NASB, …), study guides, teen/mom/soldier/woman/early reader styles, Comic Bibles…. and still miss the main message?
I didn’t know I owned so many bibles–granted, I’m a self-proclaimed recovering pharisee so I shouldn’t be surprised, but it wasn’t until a friend visited from a country where being Christian is a crime and her daughter longed for a bible, that I really got thinking.
If God really existed, why is the world so wrecked? And if *He is so “good,” how could He let those things happen to me…? (note: I use He/His as pronouns for God but fully recognize God with male and female ‘identity,’ for lack of a better word, as evidenced throughout the Bible and the human race. 2-pt post here if you like).
Just one look at the suffering and oppression in this world –not just against people, but all creation– and it’s hard not to stumble on belief in a good God. But blaming (or denying) Heaven for all the woe ignores our God-Given freedom to destroy everything just fine on our own.
Hands can hurt flesh, and mouths can speak death, yet we rarely see God grab someone mid sentence, or mid swing. And if He did intervene every time we exercised our freedom, would we really be free?