Tag Archives: authentic

Angry Christians Versus Faking It

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Not supposed to happen. Not supposed to exist. Not, us!

(I hear it everywhere…)

Denial.

“Tut-tut… shame-shame… don’t talk about it. Behave yourself… or please shut up!”

We’ve gotten so good at faking it.

Why do we in the Church think that trying to pretend to be something you are (quite obviously) not, is the way to go?

It’s everywhere, but then, so are angry Christians.

(Those crazy birds don’t have anything on us!)

Some of us are angry at the Church, the society we live in, and some of us, are really just good-and-ticked-off at ourselves. And, “Oh-my-oh-my!” some of us, are Mt. Vesuvius, ready to explode all over any poor soul who unfortunately gets a little too close!

It’s an angry world these days. Workplace violence, road rage, domestic violence in our homes, crazies attacking our kids at school, or the zealots who just plain lose it and gun folks down in our workplaces, shopping malls, and airports…

Why do we try to act like there are no angry Christians?

Is God unaware of our inner battles and angry frustrations?

(Of course not.)

Is the world?

(Not likely!)

I think they see and hear just fine.

So, why in heaven’s name, do we pretend like the problem doesn’t exist with us as well?

The bible says, “…be angry, but don’t sin.” [Ephesians 4:26] It does not say, “Pretend like you’re not angry, even when you really are, and everybody else knows it.” The bible admonishes us to deal with it quickly. Don’t let it last more than a day.

Doesn’t denial simply prolong our anger?

Personally, I think our anger goes on and on, because we continually try to deny it, bury it, or excuse it away, as something else. Let’s face it, there is a lot in this world to be angry about. I can totally relate to Jesus going into the temple, blowing His top, and overturning the money-changers tables. (The money-changers are alive and well in today’s church.) Perhaps we should, get a little more hot under the collar, when it comes to the pretense and phony posturing we see. Hypocrisy should make us angry, especially our own! Sin should make us angry.

Sins involving the exploitation of the innocent, bloodthirsty brutality, or the blatant evil we see all around us. These are the things that make God angry. The pain of the exploited and innocent. These are the things that should propel us to righteous behavior and righteous choices.

People? Especially the ones we dislike or disagree with? God valued them so much, He sent His only Son to die for them!

So, (if we are angry) perhaps we should ask ourselves some pointed questions like:

  • What am I angry at?
  • Or, who?
  • Or, why?

And, where am I pointing my anger? And, what will be the consequences of my anger? Will this anger of mine “…work the righteousness of God?” [James 1:20]

Or…

“Will I be numbered among the foolish goats?”

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The DREAM-MAKER’S Promise:

“When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory.  All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats.  And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left.  Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:  for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in;  I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’

 “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink?  When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You?  Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.'” Matthew 25:31-40 NKJV

The Caterpillar’s Prayer:

Abba, help me to be angry about the things that make You angry. Give me the strength to let go of the stuff that is simply “the anger of fools” lest I be numbered among the foolish.

LORD, open my eyes to every opportunity You give me to make a difference in this world before You return for us. Forgive me for every time I’ve missed it… missed You, and what You wanted to do, and blown it BIG TIME!

Holy Spirit, give me wisdom to take every “talent” I’ve got and invest it for the Kingdom’s sake, for You, and for others. Lord help me see, betrayal is a huge boat, and I am not in that boat alone.

Preaching To The Choir

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How we love to sing our own praises.

(Don’t we?)

Much of the “Christian” stuff I read nowadays is just filled with super-sweet-fluff, talking, talking, blah, blah, blah… about how “spiritual” we in the church are.

Really?

I shake my head and think to myself, “Have you read the latest statistics about how there is little difference between how we “the church” live, and our current society?

(Those of us who are talking to, and coming clean, to the pollsters anyway.)

We have just as many serious problems in the church as those out. We struggle with the same demons “the worldly” do. Sexual promiscuity, sexual abuse, pornography, addictions, not to mention the “little” stuff, like gluttony, gossip, and marital meanderings. Hang out on any given Sunday listening carefully to the casual conversations among church-goers about the politicians, radicals, and the anti-church folk, not to mention, those worldly sinners who are going to hell in a handbasket, and you will get an ear full! (But doubtful you would call it loving.)

When I read most of the stuff… (not all to be fair) but most, of what passes for Christian? I think, “Who are we fooling?” And when will we be honest enough, or brave enough, or just plain Christian enough, to tell the world who we really are?

I guarantee they are hip to our act!

If we really want to save the world… which surely we should all want, (for we are the ones who are supposed to know where this whole thing is headed!) then maybe we could lose the plastic Jesus routine, with all our pretenses and pretending, and just get real with people.

Starting with ourselves maybe?

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Should there be any such thing as homeless, in a country with this many churches, and bank accounts such as ours? Should there be any such thing as an unwanted child, here or abroad, in a country claiming this many Christian Believers?

I think if I read one more blog, or hear one more sermon, on “glorious grace” I shall vomit!

Of course the grace of God is glorious. I am not saying it isn’t…

What I am purposing is that we first—stop abusing it!

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Do not tell me you actually care about “saving” the world, while people are starving, believers are murdered for their faith, women and children are being “trafficked” as sexual merchandise to any  pervert with a few bucks, and you are planning on taking another “Christian cruise” at a price tag of $1500.00 to $4500.00 a pop!

Nope.

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We love to trumpet the word values don’t we?

Blowing our own horns about what we say we believe?

So where are our values?

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Look carefully at your bank statement and you will have a crystal-clear picture, of what and who you value. Check your schedule. Where is your time spent? And with who?

That’s where your heart is.

We in the Western Church like to talk a good game… but living it?

Doesn’t the word of God say, that when He begins to clean up this planet He will begin first with us, those in His church?

I guess I am suggesting we clean up our own backyards, and start living-grace to the broken, downtrodden, and fallen all around us. Not to mention behave in a more loving manner to those who vociferously disagree with us!

Jesus, who was the epitome of grace, and is our only and true model of grace (not ourselves) led by example. And we all know the kind of people he hung out with, spoke to, and oh my goodness, actually loved!

Is this grace we love to sing and talk about just for ourselves alone?

How about a few less sugary blogs for the choir… and instead, a more consistent redeemed-reality-walk for ourselves? Being Jesus to a desperate and hurting world, instead of just regurgitating our own tired rhetoric, endlessly singing the praises of ourselves, to ourselves.

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Or, we could just keep doing what we’re doing…

(Yeah, that’s really working.)

On the choir, for sure.

The DREAM-MAKER’S Promise:

“And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write, ‘These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God:  “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked—  I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see.  As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent.” Revelation 3:14-19 NKJV 

The Caterpillar’s Prayer:

Abba, my prayer is simple: Unstop our ears, open our eyes… before it’s too late.

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A CLOSER WALK: Be Yourself

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I have to admit one of my greatest struggles has been this business of being myself.
Affirmation was in short supply in the home I grew up in, and that created (at least in me) a very unhealthy dynamic. I learned early on that if I could discover what someone expected from me, and deliver on that expectation, I could easily recieve the acceptance and love I hungered for. The problem wasn’t in finding out what people wanted. I became very adept at that. No, my problem soon became deciding what to do, or how to react, when someone else’s expectations conflicted with my own expectations for myself and what I knew in my heart was the “right thing” for me. I’m sorry to admit this, but too often, my desire to please someone I deeply cared for, won out over my own sense of what may, or may not, have been right for me.
Pop psychologists call this “people-pleasing” as though it were some terrible dread disease. Personally, I don’t think it is wrong in all instances, when we are faced with a choice, to choose to please someone else rather than ourselves. People who consistantly choose to please no one BUT themselves, soon earn the title of selfish, and rightly so since self comes first in each of their choices.
Finding the balance. There’s been the challenge! Knowing when to say, “When!”
Learning to do this has been a real uphill battle for me, but I should add, a very necessary one. The bible is quick to admonish us to think of others before ourselves. To serve rather than be served. Jesus Himself modeled this for His followers. Laying aside His Rabbi’s robes, He picked up a towel, and bending down, He washed His disciples feet. He took the place of the lowest servant in the house. He was wanting to give all of us a “word picture” that we would need to remember. One of willing servanthood.
Let’s face it, it’s a lot easier to be the guy getting your feet washed, than being the guy with the basin and towel. We all like it when people seek to please us rather than expecting us to please them. So when is it right to please others? And, when is it right to please ourselves, because let’s face it, sometimes our foot-washing and people-pleasing, can get way out of balance in our relationships.
When is it time, and I might add healthy to say, “when”?
This can require some real, deep down, soul-searching.
There are times in our relationships (I believe) when it is entirely necessary and appropriate to stand up, and be true to yourself, and say, “Not this time.” To be yourself should be a freedom that is granted in every loving and healthy relationship.
Sometimes our no is more loving than our yes. When we our not free to say no?
Perhaps we’ve unconciously exchanged our servanthood for a doormat.

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BE YOURSELF

We’re not going to do this the way it’s always been done.
I want you to listen to Me. We are partners, you and I. You will not have to break down doors. You will not have to be clever, or glib, or false. We haven’t come all this way to get bogged down in that nonsense.
I want you to be yourself.
Yourself.
You are the only you I’ve made. People, even well meaning people, will try to convince you that “being you” won’t work.
Forget them. Hold your ground. (In peace.) Listen to their ideas, but bring everything to Me. We will decide together how to proceed.
(This is a true partnership.)
Remember always sow good seed, in good ground. Give to others and give generously. Credit. Wisdom. Love. (Above all love.) I will multiply it in My own time and My own way.
Do not say “Yes.” to eveything. Sort through the good, get down to the best, then choose the excellent! (I’ll help.) There is only one you. Remember you are finite in strength. Use what you have wisely. I will always provide what you need, so don’t be afraid to give much away.
Have I not promised to give you much so that you may give much away?
Always be generous, then you shall always have what you need.
Strive to keep your life simple. (I have given you clear direction on this matter.) You know what to do. Just do it.
I bless you child. Now go, and bless others.
“I will guard and support you…” Isaiah 42:6