Thursday, March 12, 2015

The Cross

Someday, I'll probably write something that's worth really reading.
I have some insights on God and life and man.

Lately I've been talking about  churches, and dancing around the occasional spiritual abuses I've incurred. I was talking to a friend about them tonight. I was tired and I read an article that detailed the same types of things. People who are upset with what you're saying calling everyone but you... some one finally calling you trying to shut up the things that you said. The doomsday focal points.  Running down the line I related to so very much. Standing at a church function defending what I saw to be as scriptural to members of a leadership about an emphasis of mercy, when they confessed that what they were really trying to do was maneuver a man into a decision that they wanted him to come to... and not caring much about how they were losing him in the process.

This friend I was talking to, God bless him, started out with a question in the ball park of numbers 13. Admittedly, I'm tired, and I am also tired. It struck me how often in the Messianic movement that the subject of Nephilim would come around. I remarked, "Why can't people in the messianic movement study how to exemplify mercy to others. .. instead every one wants to talk about nephilim" half tongue in cheek.

I laughed at my own joke for a moment before it dawned on me how unfunny it is. When I am in Christian churches, there is a strong emphasis on the Cross... dying to self, the Grace of God, the Mercy of God... extending that Mercy and Grace to others. In many Messianic atmospheres, People want to talk about Angels doing it with the daughters of men, How many knots to tie on titzit. How a square beard on a mans face can make a pattern of the furnishings of the tabernacle.
When confronted about why so much time is spent on these things rather than the cross and the words of the Savior saying that we must pick it up and die... I have heard more than one person say " I've spent a lot of time studying the new testament and now I want to focus on the old testament"
The most important moment of the theology, the apex of the Savior's purpose for man, marginalized because it does not feed the intellectual "meatiness" of what they're looking for.
The emphasis then, became not on a ministry to help live like the Messiah, but instead a ministry to know things about the Messiah. The head vs heart dynamic is an important one. This isn't to say that these men were not without moments of Grace or Mercy, but the subtext was undeniable.

What is the point of church?

Are you there worship God with the body, and let your soul be bare with the trust and love of other believers? Is it an intellectual fact finding mission that fills them mind with so much informational trivia that even sharing who the Savior is and what he has done for us becomes a convoluted jumble of indecipherable madness? I'll tell you truthfully, that I have both seen and become the latter.
When trying to tell someone about the Sacrifice of Christ, a bunch of other things came spilling out that made me sound like a madman. Instead of the open truth that God has made a way for fellowship with people who have transgressed against him, a bunch of stuff about lambs, lions, threads and color meanings of threads, hyssop, incense, doorposts, the Sabbath, Shrimp and all kinds of things came rushing out.... in the span of only a few sentences. I used to hold a bible study that a friend of mine, a new believer had decided to come to. She had just started getting her life together and she had a zeal to now more about who this God is and how this Jesus fellow saved her soul and she craved his words. I had an older messianic lady show up and started talking about the tribes, linage, the land, the northern and southern kingdoms, revelation, and sticks. I kept trying to get to the structure of the passage in John that we were reading... but the mentality that this was somehow elementary made the information seem blase to this Messianic woman. Though with what I believe was pure hearted intentions, she instead managed to turn the essence of Victory over Sin in your life into some antiquated anecdote.

I've seen some men in every church cry crocodile tears and then stand before crowds and say they've received some deep revelation from God, and then I've seen them go on without their lives changing much. In the Christian church, I felt the power of God move upon me. One day stands out in particular. I do not remember the message of the sermon, I do not remember the songs for praise and worship, but I recall praying and singing. I was fading in and out of attentiveness when the voice that I recognize as God's spoke to me and he called me Son. He said that I was His son, and he is pleased with me. Truthfully, that knocked me on my ass and I wept openly and loudly for hours. I do believe that I took down half a box of tissues on blowing my nose alone. I left that service and I hung out with a few friends as we did every week. We'd hit up taco bell then headed over to someones house before night service when we'd all file back in. There was no message that night. Instead the entire service was going to be prayer. I sat in a seat near the back next to a friend. We were only two minutes in when I heard it again. God spoke as he did before and said " I love you Son, and I in you I am pleased" I didn't tell anyone what God had said, but people started walking up to me and laying hands on me, and began praying over me. I tried to hold back the tears because, you know... crying in public is weird frankly embarrassing. I'd like to have though that I could hold some of it together, until one of the people praying over me spoke up and said the words affirming "Let it out, God loves you and is proud of you" I wept as loudly as before and went through the other half of that box of tissues. By the end of the night I was dehydrated and overcome with a sense of peace.
I still carry that day with me. That day made me stronger.

I wanted to sleep at 4:30 in the morning after I finished talking to my friend about the subject of spiritual abuses but instead I prayed and It was impressed strongly on me to write this all down now before sleep takes my mind, while the words are fresh in my heart.

The Messianic movement is full of truth. In many cases it is the truth that the earth is round, when truth that you really need is that you've been shot, the doctor is prepping for surgery and  you need to hang in there because you're going to pull through. Describing the faucet or how water evaporates and turns into rain is truth, but it does not give drink to those who are dying of thirst.

We need more Christy Andersons. that have the balance of truth.

We need more Cross and empty grave because describing what type of sandals the Savior wore is not the same as bowing at His feet.

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