Fourth of July, Freedom. Let’s Celebrate!
Chewing on what freedom means yesterday, as we celebrated our independence, gots me to thinking about my family’s life outside the institutional church system, and how being free from it is so wonderful (because now I can see Christ much clearer now).
In conjunction with the 4th, here are four things that sent me packing on a field trip to the post-institutional church wilderness… Oh the freedom!
First, I just could not stand being characterized and lumped into being part of “the Religious Right” anymore. Just because I attended a gathering to BE the church and to seek Christ, did not make me this “let’s kill the left” machine. Most circles of people, within the institutional bubble, talked about the evil of the other side and how the world is coming to an end, both politically and theologically, and it was our call and duty to stop the evil left.
Gimme a freaking break.
I am done looking to the extreme right, and done looking to the extreme left. I do not want to venture into those legalistic ends of the spectrum. I want to focus on a different direction. Above (Christ), and then forward (growth in Him). We need both sides of the spectrum to come to the middle and work together (they both have a lot to contribute, you know). When the focus becomes the middle, Christ is involved, not man.
Speaking of legalism, this brings in my second reason I dashed for the door.
As for the church “system”, one thing I learned was that people preferred to live by a list of rules (why do you think the sermons are usually a list of 5 things to do to be a better “Christian”, because people love lists!)
Yep, good old legalism. A word that is not even in the bible, but gets talked about all the time, and I think taught without even knowing it. I think legalism is a deadly disease that is slowly killing the local church, just like the story of the frog in the kettle. Don’t know the story… look it up.
We all have a strong tendency to want to live by a list of rules, that is what makes legalism so appealing. If you want to be holy, becoming a “legalist” makes holiness a manageable goal. It is really tough to have your heart totally devoted to God Himself, so writing up a list of rules that we can cope with helps us feel better. So, legalism makes holiness achievable.
Well, no more list of rules for this old chap … just freedom in Christ. (Now do not get me wrong, the other end of the spectrum with extreme liberty is a problem too, but I do not feel at liberty to discuss right now … hahaha)
The third reason I ran to the exit is just the general mistreatment of others that I witnessed (regardless if the person is inside or outside the organization). I just grew tired on how people would treat their brothers and sisters in Christ. The judging of others motives. Condemning, slandering, and especially gossiping about them. (You know they created prayer requests just so they could justify gossiping about other people).
I always thought that to act as Christ is to treat others in the same manner as you would want to be treated.
Well, sorry to say, after being in the “Christian” bubble for many years, people treat each other in such shitty ways. You have to be just like us to be accepted … haha … screw that.
This is one of the main reasons I do not like to even associate myself as a “Christian” sometimes. Many people cannot stand Christians, because they do not show the love of Christ (they focus on their own personal agendas). It is like many people get a disease called “Jesus Deficit Disorder”. (Must be from sharing pews together).
Lastly, well not really, I could list a ton more if I wanted to, but I will spare anymore more ranting.
I cannot stand when certain “sins” are elevated above certain “sins” that others commit. And then turn around and justify their own sins.
In the bible there is no separation ever between the sinner and sin. You cannot separate them out. It is impossible. If you love someone (and you should love everyone), you cannot hate how they are to themselves. If you do, you are judging. Stop it already. Just love them!
The post-institutional wilderness is a great place to celebrate my families independence from a load of man-made bullshit. FREEDOM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I think I am done with blogging… later…