some thoughts

Ever had one of those days where all day you feel like it’s all just too much and you are as likely to cry as to laugh. Today has been on...

Ever had one of those days where all day you feel like it’s all just too much and you are as likely to cry as to laugh. Today has been one of those days for me. There are a lot of reasons. For the first time in my life I can actually feel myself beginning to crack under the pressure of my life. Job, kids, money, church, Christian walk. All of this all the suddenly seems so overwhelming. I do not know if for the first time I am cracking under the pressure or for the first time in my adult life I actually have a decent grasp on the true pressures of my life. I guess the question is really irrelevant. Whining does not change it; it only gives the perception that you whine a lot.

The other night I watched a movie called religulous. It is a documentary by this guy Bill Maher. He is a jerk and the whole documentary was to demean the beliefs not only of Christians but of all people who have belief in a God or religion. At the end of the movie he goes on a tirade about how he thinks that religion is the root of all evil. How religion is what inevitably screws all the people involved in it up completely. It was a difficult movie to watch. Of course he went around and found many Christians who were completely clueless. He did not seek out any of the great scholars of our faith by any means. The thing that scares me the most is that he actually knew more about the bible than everyone he talked to. One was a relatively famous pastor. I was truly embarrassed. Not of whom you would think though. I was not embarrassed to be a Christian. I was simply embarrassed to be a pastor and a leader. I have to ask myself am I part of the problem. Am I part of the group of people who prefer to have a prom for Jesus or do I challenge people to know more about their faith. Do I condone the water downed stuff that we prefer? Do I condone yelling really loudly to get people excited as thought we are at some sort of prep rally for Jesus? What do I as a leader bring to the table? Am I a problem or part of a solution? That question is haunting me at the moment.

Add to me watching that movie I am right in the middle of reading the book of Hosea at length. I have avoided this book like the plague to be honest. My mentor has told me for years to be careful how far into that book I choose to delve because it will wreck my world. Thanks Shane!!

The third verse in this book says Hosea I want you to go and marry a promiscuous wife. This has destroyed me. When I read it I stopped cold. I could not think of anything else. I felt completely frozen. These words had run though me like ice cold water on a 10 degree day. I cried. I just sat there and wept. I wasn’t in the fettle position or anything but I was truly broken. For the first time in a long time. When I read this i thought this is basically what God has called Jesus to. He may not have used those words but when it was decided that Jesus would intervene on our behalf it was like God said go and marry a promiscuous wife. Go and intervene for these people that will cheat on you and destroy you and your name. They will defile your name and make a mockery of what church is suppose to be about. They will hurt each other and hate each other and do all this in your name. They will run from you and forget about you. They will simply not care of you existence and will question if you are what you claim to be. They will twist your words and kill you. Then when you arise they will keep doing it all over again. This will continue until I send you back. When they do all of this and more I want you to do one thing and one thing alone. Love them! Unconditionally!! No questions asked you are the one that will stand in their gap. They will hurt you and you would be better off without them but I want you to love them and take them back as often as they need. Jesus go and marry a promiscuous bride! Now if that does not do something inside your soul consider this. God knew before he created us how truly disgusting we would be. He knew what he would have to ask of His son. Yet here we are. He could have avoided us and avoided the pain but He simply adores us way too much for that path.

There was one question that Bill Maher kept asking everyone in the section of the movie that pertained to our faith. “If God is all powerful like we claim then why did He create or allow evil to exist?” No one and I mean no one had a decent answer for this question. I think the answer is far simpler than we acknowledge. Without evil there would be no choice and without choice there would be no concept of love. Without any concept of love then how could we ever be able to recognize the love the Father has for us? Evil is necessary for us to be able to see the greatest love the world has ever known. Without it we would just be zombies with no concept of what had to be done for is. God has created this incredible balance. I am not making the argument that evil is good, but if you were to ask me if I would rather not have evil or know at least a portion of God’s love then it is a no brainer for me. The concept that evil should never exist is what got us out of relationship with God and into religion of rules and laws that we have to follow to earn God’s love. Without evil we would not know goodness. Without all the crap in the world we would not be able to clearly see how good and great that God is. Without ugly you would have no true appreciation of beauty. Without the beauty and the goodness of God we would not our faith. Maybe for you that is ok, but I will take the ugly so I can
appreciate the beautiful. I will take the evil so that I can appreciate the goodness of God.

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