Sunday, March 25, 2012

Apathists.

I've been a part of three sets of faiths thus far in my life. They have all ascribed to the God of the Bible so that never changed too much, really the separation is in the details. I started in apathy. I believed that there was God. not just any God, but I have always believed in the christian God. I believed, but as  many Christians, I didn't know much about him or really care to. Life was life, and I didn't have much of a drive to investigate the need of God, or who He is.  As time went on and my world shook, and cracked, broke and crumbled down bit by bit.

I don't know... I'm pretty sure none of that had to do with what I was thinking about.

I was thinking about love.

All the facets that pertain to such a vast and formless idea.
Love is something sought after and coveted by every single person ( and probably animal) that has graced God's (relatively) green earth.

I was going somewhere in that into. After apathy I transitioned into full blown Christianity. There I sought out God.
Who was this author of love. Who was this one who placed the longing for it into man? What does love look like.
I spent a long time on that subject. What does it mean to love God, and what does it mean to love each other?
And what about things like Grace, and Mercy. These were the most exemplary tools of love that I could fathom. In my days as an apathist  I saw a lot of ugliness. A lot of it perpetuated by my own selfish fallen nature. This mercy and grace in regards to how God loves us was revolutionary to who I was. It was so... not petty. It was too good. It was ... better than fresh baked cookies, or clean laundry... better than puppies and sunshine. This stuff is real.  God loves a broken people.

I should stop now, because the rest of the words that I throw down on the page will all be pointing back to that point.

I think there is a huge deficiency of love in this world.
I think that we as a people ( I'm referring in greatest part to believers here )  suck at the loving part. I think we suck at loving God, and I know we suck a tremendous deal at loving others. We definitely do not love them as we love ourselves ( on a greater scale ) As a Christian, I knew that much of the thrust of Christianity was to love like Jesus. Love like the savior... love because you were loved.  Reach people because he reached out for you. Sacrifice because you were sacrificed for.  That was the message.  That was the mission.
A lot of the people do this.

why would someone leave that place?

I started really reading and trying to understand the bible. I know that isn't a popular concept beyond the guidelines of  pastoral sheltering.  It is their job to study the bible. They get paid to do it. They should know it through and through right. We pay them to help us not get our doctrine out of line. They help keep us within the guides of faith, because lets face it... the bible is a weapon and in untrained hands, a person can hurt themselves with it.

But...   who is making sure that these guys are teaching the right things?  Who is reading their bibles enough to really provide checks and balances in the scriptures? Who is making sure that doctrine is lining up with the biblical text? I had questions about why we did things or didn't do things This caused me to scour the scriptures. This lit a fire under me to know the word of God. And I did. This lead me to the Messianic movement.

The greater collective of the Messianic movement is a group of "Former" Christians, who really began to study the bible and felt a sense of betrayal when the doctrine that they had been fed was not as biblically sound as they once believed. These people ascribe to the belief that once you are saved, as a response to salvation, a person should follow as many of the commands of God as they are able to. They say this because they want to stop sinning.
That is a noble and worthy aspiration, as we are commanded to be holy.
I wonder though if to rid ourselves of sin is the right motive for adherence to the commands of God. What is the focus of the Torah? Isn't it to point to the messiah? What did the Messiah do ( aside from die for the sins of all men). He loved. He loved people and He loved God.We are called to do this same thing.  This is a command that is touted and repeated throughout Messianic communities and congregations pretty much weekly.

Love God, and love your neighbor as yourself.

I hate to sound like a pessimist... I really really do... but, I have to say in all honesty, standing in the Messianic movement, we suck the most at this. I find that such a curious thing. In our haste to surrender everything from system that we came from because of broken doctrine, have we thrown out love too? I mean, sure we talk a big game about love one another... but what is love without sacrifice? I've said it before and I presume that my voice comes across as a needy child... but I see something greatly missing.

God loves a broken people.  Why is that so difficult for us? It would appear that as we started following commands, and purging sin from our lives... we see the sin and " paganism" in everything and we just " can't" love those people. Not in those places. not as they are. Our actions speak the loudest when they say, Clean everything that you are, and become perfect, and then I will love you.  Personally I don't see that as a representation of the love of God. I sin. I'm not even going to try and pretend that I don't. If any of you reading this are really honest with yourselves, i think you will come to that same conclusion.  What was I like before God found me, and started cleaning me up and changing my life through his spirit? I was an ugly hearted good for nothing petty manipulative angry beast steeped in greed and malice. God spoke into my life and he said, walk with me.

Walk with me.

He didn't say, when you get your crap together, then meet me at the destination. He said come with me. He loved me as I am. he accepted me. he loved me. he probably looked forward to where i am now and saw how much of who I was is now dead, and as he looks forward to the future sees how much of who I am now will be gone.

So why can't we as believers see that in people? Why is it that we have such a difficult time loving broken people?
We're broken. I think that if we are honest, we'll admit that too. IS it because we get so hung up trying to pretend that we are not broken? That we don't sin? Are we  consumed with the appearance of holiness and the illusion that we have it together?  Why? Are we selling a faith?

Are we selling a lie?

Sure faith is rewarding. Absolutely it is life more abundantly. Yet it is also a life that guarantees suffering and strife.
I wonder honestly how many of us are still secret apathists, when it comes to the application of God's love.
Are we afraid to be vulnerable? To share with a brother your burdens and your shortcomings, in a sense, is to allow them knowledge of your shame. Maybe that is something. We don't trust each other. how can we love those outside the church, when we have difficulty trusting those within it? When we have difficulty loving those in it?


I feel like I see stuff that, I assume everyone else sees but they don't want to talk about.
If out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks, then is the silent mouth a stingy heart? is it lacking? Is it lacking love, is it lacking care?

Are we too silent?

Are we too silent on behalf of others?

1 comment:

  1. He said walk with me.

    ^ That part hit me.

    xo,
    Jessica

    p.s. still laughing at your survey

    ReplyDelete