Assault and the Gospel

abuse I read a quote once, which read, "The Church is like a battered woman. The more bruises she has, the more make-up she puts on."

This is very common with those who are abused. In an attempt to protect the abuser, but more detrimentally, in an attempt to hide their obvious need for help, battered women will put on a lot of make-up in order to cover the scars and bruises.

Eventually these battered women start to look fake with all of this make-up. As these women hide things more and more, nobody realizes anything is wrong. Nobody cares about her. Why doesn't anyone care about this woman who is abused and battered? Because nobody realizes she is abused. Nobody can see a need for love, for care, for protection. She becomes fragile but artificial. Nobody takes the time to care for her. She covers her pain, but more importantly, she covers her need.

The church and God's people have become battered women who cover up their hurt, pain and reality with spiritual cosmetics. We all have wounds and pain, but we cover them up and keep anyone and everyone from seeing the reality of ourselves. In so doing, we have come to appear frighteningly fake and artificial. We become people who nobody wants to approach, because we aren't real. We are artificial, have-it-all-together, battered men and women whom deflect people who could be there to come alongside and help us heal the wounds we are inflicted with.

We have neutered the Gospel when we mask ourselves with spiritual cosmetics. We become a sect of people who deny our pain and wounds, and in so doing become people nobody wants to relate to. Humans know pain and relate to those who can come alongside each other in pain to heal. But we cover up our pain and our wounds, we appear naive. Humans do not desire to relate to anyone who is naive to pain.

The Gospel is one of a God who hurts when we hurt, and weeps over our wounds. We verbally believe a Gospel, which claims a belief in a God who created a people who would operate as a body. When a part of the body is wounded, it (the body) begins to heal. That is the body we were created to be...the body the Gospel rings of, but we neuter the Gospel when we cover our wounds. We don't' expose our wounds for the body to heal. We cover it up with make-up and keep anyone from seeing that the pain is real. When we hide ourselves and our wounds, we hide a Gospel we SAY we believe in. We hide a God we SAY we believe in. We also hide the Gospel and God not only from ourselves, but also from the needy around us.

Not like Jesus

The best part about artists and non-believers in general is their honesty.  Artists are specifically honest as you listen to their music...at least most of them are.  You listen and hear the honest struggle within each artist.  Those are the sorts of artists I love to listen to; the raw and exposed lyrics of honest writers.  This is a quality lost in most Christian music, which is a main reason I don't like it or listen to much of it.  These secular artists leave their reputations to the wind and write with ceaseless honesty about what goes on inside themselves.

Christians often lack this kind of honesty.  In most cases, our reputation is king.  So because of this, every piece of humanity or struggle that leaks out the holes in the mask are shocking and scandalous mostly because we never saw it coming.

As Derek Webb said in an interview, "We are all wrapped up in trying to look like Jesus instead of people who need Jesus."

We are so fearful that people will see us as we really are.  I want to live a life where I am not afraid of letting people see me as I really am.  Because truth of the matter is I'm NOT like Jesus...I don't look like Jesus...but I DO need him.

Without Jesus, I am absolutely lost and in the dark.  Alone, I am a man prone to being lost.  I have huge potential for being lost, but honestly I would rather people consistently see my potential lostness...my potential for being alone and broken...I would rather people see all of this instead of a pretty and shiny self-righteousness which I have a whole wardrobe full of to draw upon.  I would rather people see my brokenness and potential for straying because if all I ever show them is my righteous and confident garb they're going to be shocked when they find out I really am a ragamuffin, beat up, broken and bedraggled.

That's who I really am, Daddy's little boy who likes to get into everything (especially dirt), who is a little ragged but still looks to his Daddy with phenomenal awe.  That's who I really am, and I'd rather people just know that.

Repent to refuge

Apostasy is the exact opposite of repentance. It is the deliberate walking away from God where repentance is the deliberate walking away from sin toward GOD.

A REFUGE is somewhere you go to escape danger.

My God, I want to take refuge in your mercy, your grace, and your love to escape the danger of what my sins deserve. I want to escape the dangers of my own conscience and its bent toward shame and guilt. I want to take refuge in your love, mercy, grace, and hope to escape the things which would otherwise plague my heart, mind and soul.

REPENT TO REFUGE I turn away deliberately from sin and toward you and the refuge I can only find in you