In all reality,
We are creatures of habit, we are creatures of pride and anxiety. Our bodies thrive off things like attention, drama, speculation, or even the incoherent objectivity of love.
You see, I’m a boy, 22, senior in college, and a guy God calls His son. In this world, we like to think of ourselves are superior, above, and quite frankly BETTER than everyone else. Actually if I’m being honest, everyone and everything else, we believe that our products and our actions are that above all things, even the creator. This is something that truly fascinates me in life and it probably didn’t resignate until God started working in my heart:
As many of you know, once my grandfather died, well my first grandfather that passed, it inspired me to better myself and become someone…who can truly say they live for God. Since that cold January morning where I left school in a split second to come to WV to be with my family, I have noticed that I really have begun to appreciate what life is and more importantly…what life resembles. I used to be like Thomas, the guy in the Bible is very cerebral and very thorough in his thoughts, but over time I’ve become much more simplistic in my faith with God. I’ve become…realistic and understanding with what the Bible lays out there for us to digest. In the past 18 months, I’ve become so cognoscente and understanding of the Bible that I am really at a loss for words, essentially because God has been blessing me beyond measures. God has been…wowing my for some time now, which is why I haven’t written in a long time. I’ve really “hibernated” my faith and spent so much time with God that…I can’t explain it. It’s almost like the stories with Moses just spending time with God, unbelievable amounts, it’s like I actually have longed God so much that…I am in constant prayer and contact.
I have read, understood, grasped, and grown my breadth of knowledge with what the Bible has to offer over some time, but until my other grandpa passed away this spring…I didn’t fully understand why my desire to be with the Lord was so strong, but now I get it. Now it’s like death has due (do) it’s part in my life, it’s like while others grieve, I grow closer to God. It’s like while I grow closer to God, everyone else distances themselves from me. It’s almost like I am alone at times, because I simply want to spend time with Christ, instead of “having a good time”. It’s as if God has placed this unbelievable gift of passion and patience in my life, so much so that I truly never grow weary nor bored. Over this extensive time, I’m much more diligent, obedient, and quicker to listen to God.
So I’ve said of a lot of facts, interesting thoughts, and altruistic ways to go about life, but here’s the key: My motivating actions. Yes, my motivation has actually been composed of actions or events that have occurred in my past, that has brought me to where I am today. The first is definitely growing up in a close-minded church, one that told me that it had to be “this way” or no way. Another would be meeting my future wife, knowing that I have to guide her and lead her for the rest of my life. The most fascinating event, aside from the deaths, would be an encounter with a preacher I have on campus, at school of course. We met for a solid three or four hours one fall evening. I remember walking on the track and talking scripture, I am blistering the man with questions and he looks at me and says, “I really like your fire, I like your desire, you’ll need that on those days it’s hard to open the Bible and work for the Lord”. You know, as a naïve, up and coming passionate believer, I laughed and chuckled saying that would NEVER be me. I would never be that guy who can’t open the Bible because I am tired or deaf to God’s ear. That response has been my driving motivation to become all I can be in this life. It’s been my driving motivation to begin to fully understand what God has in store for my life.
The next question you ask is….how has that worked out for you? Aside from my fiancé, I’m not sure anyone knows how deep I’ve been going into the Bible and just letting God pour His Word into my heart. Haha, every single one of you needs that experience, where you just give hours of days of weeks of months to God and let Him speak with you. I call it, “spiritual hibernation”, because I believe it accurately depicts what it is we go through in our alone time. What I’m learning is that life is much more about the acts of life, or dare I say the PREMISE of the acts of life. I faithfully and assuredly believe that the reason all the miracles happened in the BIble is solely because the people actually had 100% faith that God could perform them. They had so much faith that every single one PREPARED for their occurrences. With all that being said, I am going through all this time and experience to show my upmost respect for my passed grandfathers and for the respect of God giving me the opportunity to share with others. God has showed me that time: is of the essence, because once He stops breathing through you or I, it’s over, and we can’t get a moment back, so in life…the more time you spend pondering your past, the less time of the future you can fulfill God’s Will.
Now to the meat and the purpose of writing this massive blog:
I grew up in Church, we were the attendees that came a few times a month. I grew up close minded, sociologically blind to all the issues that the church has. But guess what? Nothing in life happens for no reason, the people you meet, the acts you do, the people you love, the church you attend, the friends you see, or even the vehicles you drive all happen for a reason. A reason that God only understands, but I’ve been blessed to see from God why I’ve experienced certain things throughout my life, God has cured my being narrow-mindedness and shown me that He capable of all things. So I have a few things that may be considered “controversial”, but certainly things that need to be said. Things that I have the upmost evidence in backing my stances and statements, for God has allowed me to see with clarity and compassion.
First: Church has become too routine
How? – Society treats church as a place for spiritual healing and an exclusive place where you can get this self-gratification for showing up and it’s a place to be appreciated for coming. It’s almost…calculated now, even to wear who wears the nicest clothing is recognized.
Not what you wanted to hear eh? – I heard a man preach in Luke 19 about the good Samaritan, which rang a bell, one that I experienced personally. Please, read this story with open-minded-ness, as I did not realize why I experienced this until now.
I, driving vehicle borrowed from a friend, was driving with my dad and sister to church one morning…yes, driving to church, then we get the dreaded flat tire. Now to give scriptural context for the relationship between the stories, guess where this person was in Luke 19? On the …..side of the road, waiting for one whom was compassionate, genuine, and a follower of Christ. Much like this man, we waited for some time, probably 30 minutes in 100 degree heat and our nice clothes. Everyone passed and stopped…only to say, “sorry, I have to get to church or I would help”. What do those people believe “Church” is? You see, here’s a massive flaw in what we’re teaching people today, instead of following Christ, let’s follow our Pastor. It’s a deadly, dangerous slippery slope, that people find it so much more important to be at Church, because they don’t believe they can experience Jesus away from that place. So that begs the question…Why aren’t we in church preaching to people…pray on your own, read the BIble, and come back at me with questions or suggestions? You see the good Samaritan story ends with Jesus saying the man is good and full of compassion, good translated to faithful in the New Testament. What’s more important….reflecting God’s grace (Our entire mission) or going to a sermon?
You tell me!
Let me bring this full-circle. It wasn’t until my grandfather passed away that I began to take the time to understand what being a Christian is actually about, aside from what I learned in Church. Well, actually, after I began digesting on my own, I learned that I didn’t learn too much in Church, besides a bunch of Biblical trivia. The truth of the matter is that I have been taught my entire life to live like Jesus, but was NEVER taught about how Jesus lived! So I took it upon myself to learn about exactly the sociological and political issues within the Church and found out what Jesus thinks of them. You see, something even as elaborate as denominations, play a role in our daily life, even so much so that people pick certain ones because they dislike one person who is one of the others. To put it all into laments terms: Every portion of my life has transpired into a revelation of what we can do to better the church, much less better the entirety of the body of Christ, and fulfill our ultimate goal…to get as many names in the Lambs Book of Life as Possible.
Enough talking, let’s do it!
1) You’re Methodist, I’m Baptist, we can’t stand each other as denominations, but like each other as people…yet our churches won’t work together or cooperate.
Plenty of issues here:
A) We’re all going to the same Heaven, we’re all fulfilling God’s Will, so if you believe in Salvation, let’s do this and rock this world upside down with some Christ like LOVE!
B) We are to LOVE everyone and all people as ourselves, Romans 12:19 says it pretty well, just as a Christian perspective.
C) Romans 12 should be our example of how to live, not your denomination: Here’s why, God’s Word trumps all people and all understanding, for God is above us, so believing something outside of what God has put in place for us is being disobedient and quite coincidentally that you would believe something of the church, that isn’t in the BIble. But hey! It happens, not the fault of the church, but a little more focus on the Bible would help.
D) Our Savior told us, because a woman asked, that we should always pray and thank for Heaven as if we’re preparing to go there, as it is our next destination and ultimately our permanent home. So doesn’t simply common sense say that….if we’re all going to the same place…(Because Jews and Gentiles are all equal like Ephesians says) that we should begin our chemistry on Earth and work to prepare for the perfection we will experience on Heaven?
I could honestly go on for a while for just a simple sentence or two, that honestly happens every single day in Churches today. If we’re ALL serving the same God and are all trying to live out God’s Will genuinely, then what does it matter who we affiliate ourselves with? Let’s jump on board and live for Christ, not the denomination.
Oh wait…instead we do the opposite and let our pride ruin valuable opportunities to be ONE for Christ, rather than look okay to the world. To that I said, I would rather have the Creator, rather than have all the people, as the Creator allowed them to be.
A lot of you are hating me right now, but hey, I hope it slaps you in the face because it’s reality.
Let me put this into perspective and why I believe that who God has made to me out to be is so overwhelmingly such a blessing.
Everyone knows Tiger Woods and knows Tiger Woods past, so much so that he has become a comic life at family reunions for his infidelities. Here’s the reality of the situation, Tiger and I have nothing in common aside from we both enjoy golf. Tiger is a different race, a different religion, and has an extremely different past than I do. But I pull for the man every single day in hopes that he one day sees God as the Creator and sees that Jesus, in fact, died to wash his sins aside and allow him to live with a clean white slate. You see, here’s where I’m going with this, if Tiger Woods did become saved and believe in Jesus…we would both go to Heaven. We would both have a similar rank job in Heaven as we are all equal in God’s eyes. You could put me on the lower end to a preacher, we are all equal. Romans 12 elaborates on that, no matter your job for God’s will, it is appreciated and respected, as we are all respected. We couldn’t have one without the other, so instead of putting Christians on pedestals….which Christians put themselves on, let’s lower that and realize that we’re all equal and have one simple goal: Reflect grace on others, realizing that doing so is much more important than attending every single service that your church has to offer. You see God rewards our actions, as long as the premise is genuine, in Heaven and will show us that He appreciates them.
Let me ask you…how do you think Jesus would’ve felt if He would’ve seen those many people turn down helping my helpless family for Church? Do you think that’s what God intended the church for? It’s a thought.
My point for all of this: Coincidence doesn’t exist, all of everything has made me who I am, and God has turned me into the man I have become. My experiences within Churches, deaths, pastors, friends, families, and everything have made to who I am today. My entire point is raise the simple thought that if we relinquish those connotations that the church has and actually start using the church as a place for reflecting grace…and getting the church back to the intentions of what it was meant to be…us, Christians, regardless of race, sex, denomination, language, or anything could finally take this world by storm and show non-Christians how awesome it is to be blessed by God. We could actually step in and show the world what God has to offer everyone! We could finally, together, unite as a body, and fulfill God’s Will to make fill that book, the Lambs Book of Life.
God bless and I love you all so graciously,