Cut and Run

There’s a million and one things I could and should be doing right now and I always feel guilty about the things I put first sometimes in my life, my writing, myself, something completely frivolous like watching my favorite show a bit too much.  I feel bad doing anything out of order and I guess I should to some extent.  I have been reckless.  I go through these seasons of feeling completely useless no matter what I do in real life, so sometimes I just throw all the rules up in the air for a time and live pretty badly, throwing caution to the wind, living by the absolute seat of my pants.  Am I terrible?  It might seem that way at first glance, but if you get to know me, you might see the bigger picture.  And those who want to see the bigger picture about others always will with no extra outside help to prod them to do so.  They find out.  They just do.  I am learning a few things today.  I have been pondering friendship for some time now, what it is, what it means to be a real friend.  What it means to be a Christian, a real Christian and a real friend at the same time.  I mean, what does it mean?  

And quantity sucks sometimes, too.  Being so desperate for friends that you just get caught in a trap with some crazy people is a real kicker.  And I know, we are all a little crazy, but I mean really crazy, bad crazy not good crazy.  Been there, might be there again, but I’m in a place now where I don’t know a lot of people just yet.  I don’t have to go down that path again although everything is still a risk.  This game of life, it’s all just one big, honking risk.  This whole dealing with people stuff, dealing with ourselves, getting to know people, feeling them out, trying to make friends, or, oh, wait, not so fast there, I’m not sure I want to be friends with you, this might go really bad.  But really, what does it mean to be a friend in the Christian world?  It’s all quite confusing to me.  I mean.  I’ve seen Christians rave about not being friends with the world, the people “in the world” as if they don’t live in this world, too.  Is that what I am supposed to do, not be anyone’s friend in this world who does not think or act or believe or say or do just like me?  Is that what being a friend really is?  

I get the fact that we have some things more in common with others and that we gravitate toward those people and that’s a part of life and fine, but marginalizing other people based on differences, holding them far away or worse, cutting them completely off based on those differences.  This is the way God wants us to behave towards others?  Well, I don’t think so.  And I can hear some people.  Where’s your verse, your bible verse, your proof, your, your...And for the record, I’ve been burnt out by people using the bible, I was fully immersed in the bible from birth and I’ve had to take a step back from it, from reading it so much, hearing it so much so I can gain a proper perspective.  

I need to clarify further as well, something I am very bad at doing in my writing apparently.  Close friends in some ways do need to respect and hold reverent the serious things we believe....they may not believe the same but they need to respect them, if they don’t then I see where it would be hard to be close friends.  But we decide what the deal breakers are. Maybe we are being flat out petty when dealing with people.   And maybe it’s not that easy, sometimes we have husbands, families and children to consider as well in all this.  I get that.  There needs to be a consideration for things that matter within the family, in the home.  But really if we were respecting one another, we are respecting one another’s choice of friendship as well, that goes with considering the family and those that matter.  All that in mind, we should decide what are real deal breakers when it comes to friendship or not and make those things really count.  I think we’d find ourselves x’ing out people way, way less and being more open to the wide world and it is extremely wide and seeing that openness pay off and it does, oh, does it.  

For the world of people at large I think “Christians” should love and speak with them all and have no reserve to care or help any kind or sort of people across the board or to befriend them.  I think, what is our purpose if we are not loving and caring and being available to people of all races, beliefs, creeds and the like?  It shouldn’t matter, but day to day close friendship, our go to people should indeed respect what we believe whether or not we agree and if not there may not be room for close friendship.  I do believe that Christians can be close friends with anyone if that is the understanding and practice of respecting issues and beliefs that matter.  

I come from a world of people in my past who cannot be in the same room with people that they differ from or disagree with.  I grew up shutting people out and cutting them off completely at some point or another based on what they did or did not believe or what they did or said.  I am still dealing with this small minded behavior today from other people, new people, old, destructive thinking.  It’s one small corner of life and should be, but it bugs the devil out of me.  I was quietly deleted by someone on big deal, right?  It really isn’t a big deal, but it is at the same time.  It’s not huge that I was deleted, but what is huge is that when this person was asked why I was deleted she couldn’t give a good answer and refused really to give a good answer or reason why she deleted me and I am pretty sure it was religiously based.  This sort of thing is prevalent from the world that I came from.  I used to do the same thing myself.  I admit shamefully that I used to play the game of x’ ing people out of my life for one reason or another.  I had the supposed line by line, everything’s covered in my mind kind of truth that I thought so many other people did not have, especially the ones that dared to disagree with me.   I was living a one sided, narrow minded, half-hearted life. Maybe she was just cleaning up her friends list...and no big deal.  Maybe I was just a little number in her crowd of numbers and that’s typical of facebook.  It’s normal and stupid and shouldn’t even be considered even a blip on the map of my day.  Although that could be true and just say it is.  Her action just reminds me how so many “Christians” behave.  The supposed “world” knows how to treat each other better I think in so many cases.  I have had more luck making friends with the “world” sometimes.  It makes me wonder who the real Christians really are.  I think we all might be a bit confused.  Maybe I need to stop being confused about what true friendship is.  

My daughter first started watching tv at two and her first favorite movie for some reason was lilo and stitch.  The girl was literally addicted to it for days.  Lilo, lilo, lilo she screamed and I let her have her way.  I know...I’m a bad mother.  She’s the baby and I blow it a lot over that baby.  Preach to me.  Go ahead.  One of the things they say in that movie I won’t ever forget.  Ohana means family and that means nobody gets left behind.  Friends are family and they don’t walk away unless there is a damn good, upfront and honest reason.  That’s as about as good as I can describe it.  Friends are family and they don’t leave you behind. 

It's Not All Covered Under the Blood

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 na├»ve 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!