The Church Needs an Enema.
Last night I was at a Ladies Bible study and towards the end a visitor raised her hand and said she’d like to ask a question. As soon as she started to speak, without turning around, I could tell by her tone this was not going to be a positive thing…
She began questioning the speaker and trying to drive home what was obviously her doctrinal platform..
I groaned inside and thought, “Oh, grief! Here we go again!”
I’m not saying it’s wrong to ever have a differing opinion from someone else’… but for crying out loud do we have to be so downright nasty about it!! Some of the most vicious people I have ever met in my life are Christians (and especially women), who come out all fangs and claws when they’re trying to convince you they do indeed hold the monopoly on truth! Of course, all covered rather discreetly in a very nice pseudo spiritual cloak of sweetness and smiles.
On the way home I told my husband, “Man.. I am so tired of this in Christian circles! Seriously, give me some ex- drunk, drug abusing prostitute to worship Jesus Christ with any day over a women like that!” You can’t even worship with these people because they want to stand and first argue with you what genuine worship is all about. i.e. What version Bible you’re reading it from. What you’re wearing while doing it. And whether your hands are raised or in your pockets. And a ton of other stuff that makes my head spin just thinking of typing it out. The list is ENDLESS.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not trying to debate the issues I mentioned. For the record, I’ll tell you straight up that usually when worshiping collectively I’m reading the king james, wearing a skirt, and have my hands in my pockets. (or more realistically holding emma, or taping ben to sit still).
But being honestly raw here – I’m sick to death of feeling like if I’m not holding a kjv. wearing a skirt. or keeping my hands where they should be I’m smacked down faster than butter melts on a Arizona sidewalk!
To the church of America I want to say “Where’s the love people?”
Of course you mention love and alot of Christians flip out… “now we can’t go excusing sin!”
Let me say from my own observation that alot of what Christians get their panties in a wad over has nothing whatsoever to do with sin – it is personal preferences!
So, as I went to have my devotions this morning, I found myself still in quite a snit about all this. I started looking up Scriptures on love.. cross referencing.. writing notes. The faster I wrote the more passionate I became. “Yeah, this is what that women last night needs. This is what all these stuffed shirted Christians need…”
Suddenly though, in the midst of my rant I realized while one finger was pointing out to those I thought could use a emotional enema in their spiritual constipation, I realized four fingers were pointing straight back at me!
“But I am loving!” I argued with the Lord, “I’m one of the most loving people ever!” :) The Bible study lady flashed to mind, “Yeah, well.. she’s wacked!” I justified. I smile as the next thought came to mind. I could just see the Lord saying, “and don’t you think I know what it means to love some wacked people!!”
How often in judging others do I in turn find I’m guilty of the very thing on which I’m casting judgment! (ouch)
Okay, where’s that enema? :) I went back to Scripture with a new motive.. (isn’t it amazing how we can eat the Scriptures up when we’re looking for other people? But we’re not responsible to find the truths to change other’s lives – only God can reveal that. We have to make sure our Bible study times are about changing our OWN hearts! That needs to be what motivates us to delve into God’s Word).
… It’s interesting to me when you mention the word LOVE in most Christians circles it’s either met with a UNICEF embrace the world mentality, or a sarcastic Praise Jesus 700 Club type attitude. I don’t think we really understand what genuine love is all about. Or maybe I should take that down a notch and say, I don’t think I really understand what genuine love is all about.
But I want to.
I read tons of verses this morning. All of which most of us could probably quote from memory. I was going to type them out, but knew it would make this post twice as long. You can read them for yourself if you want. Jot down your own notes and what the Lord speaks to you. These were the ones that particulary hit home:: Jn. 13 :35; 3: 16 & 17; 15: 10 & 11 (tons in john) Eph. 3: 17-19; Matt. 5: 43 – 45; 22: 37 -40; 1Jn 13:35; 4:7-21;3: 16 &18 ::
and one I will write out because I don’t know if I ever really thought of it quite in this light before…
“Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. and the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.
On THESE TWO commandments hang all the law and prophets.”
~we focus on so many exterior things. but miss the very framework that holds every other principle of the Bible together! Like trying to hang a picture on a wall without a nail. It won’t stay and falls off over and over again and we can’t understand why!
This, combined with all the other Scriptures I listed led me to this conclusion (for my own life). Which actually might come across as a bunch of conglomerated thoughts. But it makes sense to me! :)
Love happens only one way, like any other thing in the Christian life – by faith. (Eph. 3: 17 – 19) Believing that God’s Word is true and that I should obey it, even when I don’t necessarily FEEL like it. Cause heaven knows, I certainly don’t FEEL like loving everyone I know. and I know some weird people. :) Yet, when I look to the truth of God’s Word and not my feelings to run my life according to, He empowers me with His spirit to do those things I never thought possible.
When I say, “I can’t love that person.” That’s right. I CAN’T. But God IN me can! We sell His power short by not allowing Him to prove the truth of His Word in our lives.
It is not in trying harder – but KNOWING Him more.
Until I am consumed by HIS love. Realizing I did not deserve it – and allowing the magnitude and significance of that truth to humble me – I will never be able to love others like He intended. I cannot love without faith. I cannot love apart from His spirit. And I cannot love until I humble myself (in my own mind). Esteeming others better doesn’t mean I sit around chanting, “I’m so bad. They’re so good.” Simply, that the same unconditional love I herald and celebrate and want for my own life is the same unconditional love God has for that person I’m struggling to love.
Bottom line – if what it’s all about is being molded to His image. Mirroring His life to others. Saying with our mouths we want to be Like Him – THEN, we should stick our actions where empty words fall and do as He did. As He does ~
Stick a enema in it – the living breathing powerful truth of His word – and let the love out!
(I liked this series of pictures for this post – it was a few wks back when we had all the snow and ice and we’d have to park at the bottom of our driveway and walk up when we couldn’t make it in the van. On this particular day I had walked ahead, with my arms full of grocery bags. At the top I turned back and saw Emma crying from being so frustrated trying to get up, slipping and falling every time. Kate ran back down and helped her… immediately Emma’s tears faded to smiles.
To me it was such a beautiful picture of how we can and should be as sisters and brothers in Christ! And how much easier those slippery slops are to climb when you have someone who loves you helping you along!)