Saturday, September 27, 2014

The Simple Truth

It’s been four years and four months (on Wednesday) since I started dating my wife. My life has slowed down recently, allowing the anger to creep back up. Four years! Things are still not as we would have them, are they improved? That’s hard to say for sure, we have had one pleasant interaction with my family, an Ohio trip, we are going out to eat with my parents for my birthday and we will probably get invited to at least Christmas, if not Thanksgiving. So on this scale it would appear that things are slightly improving. Will interactions be improved? Will my wife be included, will she be celebrated equally? And separately, do I want to participate? I recently realized, naturally I wouldn’t spend time around people similar to my family. As all of the last four years have unfolded I have become increasingly uncomfortable around the people I was raised near. The staunch fundamentalist culture that once was second nature to me has become something I am wary of, defensive against, and in general repulsed by. For a long time, I thought it was because “if they knew about my marriage, then they would continue the brow beating that began with my family.” And there is some truth to this, the culture that produced me and my family, that hurt and rejected me, would continue this self-preservation process and I didn’t/don’t want to be near it. As time has continued another truth has emerged, equally as strong and even truer still. I do not like this culture, this people! It is said that a culture is similar to a machine; it is designed to produce a certain product, a certain type of person. I don’t like this product, I don’t like the character that is promoted in that culture. I have found two dominant types of people that my culture produces. The first is the social butterfly of the church, knowing everybody, constantly sitting under “good” pastors yet remarkably staying untouched by the subversive calling of Jesus. In a word, pretentious. The second is the church’s own Winston Churchills,

we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches,
we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender.”

With this attitude they confront anything that is other from them condemning it as “sin” or “bad” or “lesser,” depending on the severity of the atrocity as they see it. These see themselves as the preservers of God’s truth, the defenders of the faith, the martyrs, the Israel that is within Israel. Unfortunately they miss the weightier things of the law, love, mercy, grace, justice, straining out a knat they have swallowed a camel. In the pursuit of defending “True Christianity” they have missed God’s voice, the Holy Spirit. They have substituted scripture for the Holy Spirit. They can tell you what God or Jesus said 2000+ years ago, but they can’t hear him today. I do not want either of these people near me. I do not like what they stand for, what they do, who they are (as people). Does this make me a bad person? I am working on loving them as Christ loves me, but I do not like them nor do I want them influencing those around me. Is it possible to have Christian love for those who you do not like? What is Christian Love? Is it synonymous with “like?” I do not believe so, but I am still on this journey and I can honestly say if they are synonymous then I’m in trouble. Because the simple fact is, there are people I don’t like, pure and simple.

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