So often in life I feel answers are required of me that I don’t have. More often than not these questions or problems don’t go away. They sit patiently, sometimes not so patiently, waiting for me to make a move. As I am growing into being a self-sustained, independent adult I realize that if I don’t possess an answer I better get off my duff and find otherwise this problem is going to get a lot worse.
Sadly, we rarely corral our critical thinking and when we are programmed into thinking and responding a certain way in a certain situation it leaks over into the other areas of decision making. It easily becomes our go to response when we don’t know something. Find the answer or make one up!
This is never a good thing but when leadership holds to this controlling fear of unknowing things can get messy. How often do you hear a pastor or politician (yes, I put those 2 together) say, “I don’t know the answer to that.” I’ve heard this a few times but never with that phrasing. It usually comes across as, “Well what do you say to this? Hmm?” or “How do you explain this away?” or even better “You know I think you’re wrong but it really is a mystery.” These are almost direct quotes from leadership concerning things that they didn’t know but couldn’t concede the point.
To avoid spiritual abuse and mishandling of leadership authority let’s be careful to not always feel the pressure to come up with answer. If there is no food in the fridge and the kids are hungry figure something out, now. However, if it’s a mystery that concerns the Holy One, try sitting on it for awhile. We don’t always need to know everything, we never will anyway so why try now? Give God a chance to visit with the Spirit of Wisdom and Revelation. If all else fails simply respond with, “I don’t know about that one.” It won’t hurt too bad, I promise.
In a world of control freedom is becoming more and more muddled. A heart, free of agenda and spin, is eventually going to ask, “What is real freedom?”
I laugh to myself as I write this recalling a conversation I overheard some months ago. Two people were speaking of the state of affairs in the United States and one of them said, “Just because this is a free country doesn’t mean you can just allow any religion!” I chortled and had to excuse myself from the conversation for fear of inciting the anger of yet another ultra-conservative, arrogant, racist.
Everyone in the evangelical circles seem so concerned with the liberal agenda, the Muslim agenda, the homosexual agenda, and the media agenda. There are so many agendas to keep track of! We fight so many things because we think that we are on the defensive. We think that the pinnacle of holiness and sanctity is behind us instead of before and we’re constantly fighting to get back to that. When this ideology of “We have to get back to our roots!” takes over we hold to what has already happened as the highest standard for our future.
Now don’t get me wrong, I love history, I spend much of my time reading history and I think many of the keys and strategies for the future are hidden in the past. However, I don’t hold that as my ultimate goal which is what many do. I look to history as my base, the place I am starting from. This is why history is so important. It’s crucial to realize the heritage that is behind us and forerunners who have set the bar high. Their ceiling has become our floor.
What I am speaking of is this seeming worship of colonial America and its founding fathers. I don’t have any lack of respect for the way things were back then but we must look forward. Memo to conservatives everywhere; we’re never going back to 1776. That ship has sailed. No amount of campaigning, belligerent talk show hosts, propaganda, books, and protests are going to get us there. I guarantee it. The truth is we’re fighting back at a shadow, something we’ll never catch. The future is forward, not backward.
“Well how are we supposed to stop liberalism/Muslims/homosexuality/abortion from taking over this country?” you may ask.
“The only thing needed for evil to succeed is for good men to do nothing!” you may quote.
A good question with a simple answer. Have something better to offer.
The reality of the Kingdom is God is not on the defensive. He’s never been worried about the state of our country. He’s not overly concerned with tightening gun laws or gay marriage. What I think He is primarily concerned with is a weak, uncreative, and defensive Church. His primary tool for affecting restoration on the earth is pulling their hair out over little teeny tiny government legislation while forgetting the government that we carry. In our minds the highest form of influence is either the government or Hollywood, both of which we claim are completely depraved. Instead of having a top down perspective we surround ourselves with small thinking people, leaders, and material, all of which are incapable of seeing the big picture.
This stems from a mistaken identity. Instead of realizing we are the kings in the land, we take aim at those we think have the power and bend to their will. Identity comes from intimacy with Jesus and in a church culture where doing is valued over being this is lost as well.
Look at this handy flow chart!
We aren’t taught how to commune with God so we don’t know what he is like
From this we don’t know who we are and the power and influence that we hold as kings and queens
We fight and see from the bottom up, this makes us crabby, defensive, and mean
We get nowhere.
The truth of the matter is Christ, throughout all of eternity, has let everyone around Him make their own choices. Even His top angel He allowed to make choices that would result in the destruction of millions and millions of lives. He knew the incalculable suffering Lucifer’s choice would create but He allowed him freedom. God always releases, never constricts. Always loves, never controls. Is it any wonder that we can find little to no reference of Jesus reprimanding sinners? It’s clear that He spent the majority of His time with the low-life’s of His day. It’s curious that we rarely ever see Him say anything about their lack of holiness.
I picture in my mind a flamboyant homosexual coming to Jesus armed with all the rhetoric and verbal ammunition he can muster. He berates Jesus for 15 minutes straight without coming up for air, informing Him of all the errors of His close-minded beliefs and old-fashioned views. I see Jesus smile the most genuine, heart warming smile imaginable. I see Him step close and say, just above a whisper, “You be you and I’ll be Me, and we’ll see who wins.”
I feel like this is what Christ is pleading with us to do, to become Him. The cry has gone out for centuries for a love that is all encompassing. We as the Enlightened don’t even understand it. This is why you don’t see us giving it away. We want a love that surpasses our failures and short-comings. We need someone to love us deeper and farther than our blackest sin.
This is what the 18 year old mother is looking for, she’s not really looking for an abortion, she’s looking for love, she’s looking for Freedom.
This is what the Islamic Jihadist is looking for, a cause. A mission on which to waste his life. He’s looking for Freedom.
This is what the activist is looking for. Equality for all. Freedom for everyone.
This is the cry of the earth. Fill our need! Solve our problems! Feed our bellies! Love our broken hearts free!
But we’re missing it. We’re not full of the Love we claim we are. We’re not a loving family waiting with open arms to receive a baby that was born inconveniently. We’re too afraid to look a bomb-strapped terrorist in the eye and say, “You want a mission? You want paradise? You want devotion? Well there is Someone who has a higher devotion than you could ever dream.” We don’t realize that the activist has taken up a call that the church dropped decades ago. The call for equality. As such it’s been distorted. Instead of finding level ground in the heart of a loving Daddy it’s a battle for a perverted freedom.
So we fight their distorted freedom but offering nothing in return. We just want them to stop their “bad” activities and be “good people” like us. There must be a better prize. There must be a higher goal. There must be a stronger drink, a deeper love, a cheaper grace, and a more freeing message if we ever hope to change the world. There must be a fire in our bellies to release love. We’ve tried everything else and it’s clear it’s not working. We have to come to a point where, from the heart of the Father, we can say with all sincerity… “You be you and I’ll be me and we’ll see who wins.”