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Thoughts on the direction of the church in America

‘How blessed is the man who(A)does not walk in the (B)counsel of the wicked,
Nor stand in the [a](C)path of sinners,
Nor (D)sit in the seat of scoffers!
2 But his (E)delight is (F)in the law of the LORD,
And in His law he meditates(G)day and (H)night.
3 He will be like (I)a tree firmly planted by [b]streams of water,
Which yields its fruit in its season
And its [c]leaf does not wither;
And [d]in whatever he does, (J)he prospers.’ Psalm 1: 1-3 NASB

I Will Not Sit In the Seat of Scoffers

Something has happened to us.
We have switched seats. We are in the wrong seats.
Something has happened to us.
Our hearts and minds have been captivated. Captivated by an idea of being brave and courageous. Captivated by dreams of ‘standing up for Jesus’ out in the open. No longer silently compliant to every evil and vulgar influence that we see drawing nearer and nearer to our lives, our homes, our children, our families.
Something has happened to those who follow Jesus, who proudly call out they are ‘little Christs’ to all and sundry who will high five them however virtually through twitter and facebook to ad nauseum.
Our ears are hot to hear the latest outrage, how our faith in a great God is being threatened by those who are vile and evil and in charge.
We clutch outrage to our bosom in the same way we used to cling to prophetic words breathed by the Holy Spirit to us in our early morning devotions. Somehow outrage ignites us to involvement as compassion no longer can.
For our compassion has been rationalized to be enabling and perpetuating and ‘the poor you have with you always.’ Our compassionate urges are resisted in a time of new information telling us that our compassion will bring us all to ruin, our freedoms taken away, our churches under siege by those who would try to make us all ‘the same.’ We are confused by compassionate thoughts and shake them off as yesterday’s weakness.
Something has happened to us. Not in a day, a week or a month. But in an era never before seen by mankind since the days of the Roman Empire. The age of information brings a bombardment of faces and voices and wars and causes and infringements and movements. Memes and tweets, posts and reposts. We are viral with a superhighway of inputs, our neurons firing in multitudinous directions at the same time. Where to look? Who is telling the truth? Slowly, as the proverbial frog in the pot of water that is slowly coming to the boil. Where will this boiling rage finally take us?

This for us should be easy. We follow the only One who ever said: I AM THE WAY. I AM THE TRUTH.
Come, follow Me. I will make you fishers of men. Feed my sheep. Whatever you do the least of these, you have done it unto me.

Something has happened to us. We have lost our seats. We are sitting in the wrong seats.
The widows and orphans and shut in’s and hungry in our communities sit and wait for help. They look to a government for that help because the church is not at their door. The church is very busy standing up for Jesus, through protesting and voting and being outraged together. It makes us feel strong for Jesus in a way we have not felt for a long time.
Something has happened to us, who follow the One who left everything and thought nothing of it. He became small, so we could be big. He became poor that we could be rich. He became humble and obedient to the most vile and demeaning death the society he lived in could dole out. Death on a cross.
Stripped naked, spat upon. Mocked and belittled. Humiliated and degraded. Yet. He was not outraged. He was not afraid. He did not hate. He beheld a joy in His pain and humiliation. The joy that God set before Him to help Him to bear the unbearable. We were the joy that was set before him. When he suffered on the cross He was still God. He knew the future and he saw generation after generation saved. Healed. Delivered from fear. It gave him the grace to endure that cross. To bear that terrible shame without protest.

He was the King of All Glory. His was the Name above All Names. By Him the world was created the by Him all things were made. There was not a day of the lives of his scoffers and tormenters that He did not already know. He knew their thoughts from afar off.
He was God. Creator. King. The Lion of Judah and the Most High God. With their spittle dribbling down his battered cheeks and their taunts in His ears.
He was the Overcomer of All Overcomers. He was saving His strength for the battle ahead. The battle over sin and fear. And death.
Oh death, where is thy sting?

Jesus Christ is the only One EVER who had the right to be angry. To be outraged at the lawless society which had cast Him out even as He healed their sick and their broken. He was the only One who has the right to feel betrayed.

We have lost our seats. In the middle of our following so great a Savior, we have lost the tone of His words, the meter of His sayings. We no longer quote Him to each other, but rather quote the latest outrages from our newsfeed.
‘Did you see??” “Did you hear?”

Have you not seen? Have you not heard?

When did we barter away the precious cargo of all of that love for the garments of political power and righteous indignation?

Something has happened to us.

I sure wish it would stop.

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