Monday, June 22, 2009

Today's musings...........

I ran into a lovely woman today, I used to go to church with her. She has gone through a lot since then. Abandoned by her husband, had to get on her feet and start to fend for herself and her kids. Anyway......things are hard for her, but God is good and faithful. He is the perfect provider and husband. He is faithful, even when all those around us, even christians and the 'church', can't possibly understand what we are going through. She said, they just don't know how to help grieving people. I think it's worse than that. I think THEY expect more of people than even God does. That is called LEGALISM!!! Holding up standards above the value of a person and what they can and can't handle. I shudder......
Often the church is looking at what the picture of life 'should' look like based on biblical standards, or at least their interpretation of them, rather than meeting the 'hurting' person, or 'messy' person right where they are at.(Kind of like Jesus always did.....) It's like, "well, we have compassion for you - BUT- you should be doing it this way, or that way, and YOU still have to hold up the standards held out in God's word." 
You know what, I just don't think God is like that. I don't think he puts 'His' standards above people and where they are at, and what they have faith for. Besides, He cancelled the standards the written code, that was against us, by the way. Funny though, that christians turn the New Testament into a 'new' sort of law. What happens when that is done, is that God becomes a employer type figure. NO, NO, NO, think of the Father in the story of the prodigal son. If that is a picture of the Father's heart, then CHURCHES/CHRISTIANS everywhere are missing the reality of who God really is, and how radical His grace really is. You see genuine relationship doesn't work like that. Genuine relationship starts when we see that the Father wants us desperately regardless of our choices in life. Regardless of our behavior. When we see His love is greater than our mistakes, we will trust Him. We won't fear Him, because His love is perfect. And we know that perfect love casts out fear. 
Besides, did Jesus really die and cancel the written code, take all our sin and our sin natures on himself at the cross, raise again so he could then place a 'new' moral law and standards over us? NO, He died to replace our old adamic nature with HIS very LIFE. All we do is believe, and receive a brand new life in Christ. When we receive His very life, we enter into a union with Him that is so much more than principles, it's all about life, freedom, love and acceptance. We are given a new life and begin to learn, by relationship with Him, how to live from the inside out. In other words, we learn to walk in newness of life, His life!! We walk by the spirit, that is within us as we get to know His heart. It can't be about standards and behavior, because that will never change us on the inside. Only Christ's life that has been given to all those who believe, can change us and transform us. Then and only then we will be able to live in a way that lines up with God's character and heart for us. And you know what? That looks kind of different for everyone. There is no cookie cutter model. Sorry, there just isn't. 
The thing is, I know this woman so desperately wanted to do the right thing in her life. She wanted to live with integrity before God. Her heart was in the right place, truly I believe that. Yet, she had to struggle to do what was best for her and her kids right where she was at in life even though the church didn't agree. She was given Ephesians 5 as her advice (the part about husbands and wives), when there are so many other Scriptures to evaluate as well. Such as, "if any man is caught in sin" and how to handle that.  The reality is, we can't always choose how someone else is going to behave (like her spouse did), and situations arise that people like this woman never in a million years would have asked for, let alone lived her life to lead to that. But, nonetheless, choices were made by her spouse and she was put in a position in which she had to protect herself. (And we are talking years of trying to work things through with no headway on her spouses part.)So the end result, looked messy. Looked,  "ungodly", perhaps. Looked like she disobeyed 'scripture', perhaps. And the care she got was mixed with fear for holding up standards. 
I truly believe God is WAY kinder than we know. When life dishes you out rotten apples, you don't have to eat them. God values each one of his precious children and he will not hold a gun to our heads to stay in a hurtful harmful situation just to be a martyr, because most christians interpretation of Scripture indicates we do so. In fact we only have to be a martyr, if we have the faith to be one, because we believe we are following God's call for our life. 
God is LOVE. He will love us just as we are, and just where we are at. There is no judgement, there is NO more law over us,  and no condemnation. All things ARE lawful, but not always beneficial. He is all about mending broken hearts and giving new starts!!! And it's by His very life in us that He will always renew us day by day, as we walk in total dependence on Him! Our hope is in His life working in and through us and for us!!! 

 Galatians 6

11-13Now, in these last sentences, I want to emphasize in the bold scrawls of my personal handwriting the immense importance of what I have written to you. These people who are attempting to force the ways of circumcision on you have only one motive: They want an easy way to look good before others, lacking the courage to live by a faith that shares Christ's suffering and death. All their talk about the law is gas. They themselves don't keep the law! And they are highly selective in the laws they do observe. They only want you to be circumcised so they can boast of their success in recruiting you to their side. That is contemptible!

 14-16For my part, I am going to boast about nothing but the Cross of our Master, Jesus Christ. Because of that Cross, I have been crucified in relation to the world, set free from the stifling atmosphere of pleasing others and fitting into the little patterns that they dictate. Can't you see the central issue in all this? It is not what you and I do—submit to circumcision, reject circumcision. It is what God is doing, and he is creating something totally new, a free life! All who walk by this standard are the true Israel of God—his chosen people. Peace and mercy on them!

 17Quite frankly, I don't want to be bothered anymore by these disputes. I have far more important things to do—the serious living of this faith. I bear in my body scars from my service to Jesus.

 18May what our Master Jesus Christ gives freely be deeply and personally yours, my friends. Oh, yes!

1 comment:

Jamie said...

YEOW! Good one, Lyds!!

Messy Christianity?!? Sounds like a book title...LOL