I know how to hear a bible sermon. I don’t know if there is any other way to hear a sermon sometimes than the way I still hear them in my head. I have heard a lot of sermons in my life. Not as many in the last seven years, but quite a few thousand, maybe tens of thousands of sermons heard in my lifetime and that may not count all the sermons heard on the radio, on tape or CD. Sermon, sermon, sermon. I didn’t think I could get by without being a sermon glutton. I pity the person who tries to speak to me up on a platform from behind a pulpit for any reason these days. It’s hard for me to give them the attention they deserve without feeling the need to pick apart everything they say, a survival technique for me, a needful one for everyone. I always like those who came down off the platform and on the main floor without the podium to come talk to me. That always made a small impression on me.
But the sermons, they were endless and mostly about how to change or how to do better or how bad we all were or what a bunch of cowards we were for not doing this or that or what we didn’t do or should do or could be doing but didn’t or better yet, what we could achieve, the shiny golden image of what we could be achieving and how wonderful it would be if we would just... And everything in the sermons seemed to be based on behaviors that could only be seen with the visible eye at church. They were not usually about what people really were doing or achieving or feeling or thinking or living or whatever at home, day to day life. They were realities and worlds away from each other in one way or another for good or for bad, the sermons and real life that we all lived every day aside from church.
The spitting, the yelling or raising the voice or inflection with a certain tone, the persuasion, it could be five sense palatable sometimes, enough to drive you under and keep you there for many years or for some people, a lifetime, a lifelong time. The inescapable connections to people, the way they hang on to you when you listen to them and let go of you when you don’t, the whole wheel of manipulation and planned persuasion on all points of life being hurled at you week after week, month after month, year after year, as if you couldn’t make the slightest decision for good on your own with big, powerful God without their help.
One such point being pushed at me since I was a little baby is that those claiming to put faith in Christ Jesus for forgiveness of sins are now and always will be under God’s grace and covered under the blood of Christ no matter what. I can fully say now after much thought and prayer and consideration and life lessons and, and... what a bunch of boat loaded down, lying sack of dung from its heap! Saying that people, no matter what they do despite their confession of faith in Christ Jesus for forgiveness of sins are covered under the blood of Christ is nothing but a lie. And I believe in Christ’s death, burial and resurrection and I also believe that it should not be mocked by the light touch or spin or easy nature with which it is treated by this point.
This morning there was a mouse swimming in the dog’s water bowl. It could have easily been a rat or a pile of vermin. Not a welcome thing. Mice are cute but nobody wants a colony taking up residence in their homes, no one does or at least no one should and there are reasons for this on which I do not need to expound I don’t think. There are mice, maybe even rats in the water bowl, folks!
Jesus said by your fruits you will know them, meaning people. And no, it’s not just all covered under the blood no matter what. All meaning sin, the bad things we say and do, how we treat people, whether or not we live to manipulate and maneuver or to help and bless. What’s our track record for deceiving or manipulating people or willfully living opposite of clearly stated ways we are supposed to live? You don’t rob, cheat and steal from people or abuse them, passive aggressively or full on aggressively. You don’t withdraw love or help from others when they don’t do exactly what you say. There is no covering or forgiveness for actions in this life that don’t eventually stop and are never asked for forgiveness for.
And this is across the board, whether or not you are a believer in “Christ’s blood” or not. People talk incessantly about having grace for one another or forgiving one another. Oh, you just need to forgive him or her no matter what, that forgiveness is for you, not them. This can be dangerous thinking if it is not clarified further. Many times this general idea of forgiveness and grace can keep people from getting to the root of the problem in their lives, from really finding or sustaining change or even conjuring up the simple desire to even want to change in the first place, in fact, it may help them to think they are okay when they are not, that because they are forgiven or that they have grace then because of Christ they really don’t have to think too hard on how they are living or what they are doing. And the casualties across the board are vast if we cannot verify where people stand, who they really are by their actual fruits of living day to day life, who they are in their families at home by glossing over with the false sweetness of general grace and forgiveness.
And to free the people who have been systematically hurt or abused especially in church, by leaders or the church goers themselves, I will say boldly that their behavior is not forgiven or “under the blood”. If it continues to this day unbridled, God is not forgiving them and will not forgive them no matter how naïve or ignorant they may be. The power hungry, manipulating, suave crowd of church leaders and church goers will be doubly judged. Jesus blood is way more precious and pure than to turn a blind eye to the willful deceit and abuse that others commit spiritual or otherwise without end in His name. There will come a day of reckoning. I will not make a mockery out of it and say they are given grace by Holy God. I will not. This committing and covering over of manipulation and or abuse, sexual, emotional, physical, spiritual in church, God looks down in disgust and lack of forgiveness. There is no easy, peasy paint brush of forgiveness that is needed on our part and never will be. What I was told for so many years was simply not true. I was lied to. Lied to and lied to and lied to and I’ve had to spend my entire life sorting out all of the lies.
And what is needed? A calling out of what things and people really are. There’s a rat in the water bowl! There’s a rat in the water bowl! Don’t drink the water, don’t drink it! I had a friend post on facebook recently in so many words that if someone comes and says that they have a word from the Lord for you out the clear blue sky, hold your pocketbook tight and your private parts. Let there be a five year, getting to know you verification process of dealing with that person before you trust them. I’m sorry but there is a lot of truth to what he says! Let’s not become victims or parties to those claiming to be covered under the blood no matter what! And for those of us who already have become or used to be these victims, there is peace with the true Christ, He is on your side and is for you and has nothing to do with these rats in the water bowl!