This is Janette…ikz speaking about something very close to my heart. And clearly close to hers too. If you’re anything like me, you won’t be able to tear your eyes or ears away. (Thanks to The Resurgence for the heads up.)
Wait with me.[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=igCj3jsbcqs]
OUTSTANDING. Both convicting and encouraging at the same time. Thanks for this.
My best friend sent this to me not even a fortnight ago…Resurgence… THAT’s where she nicked it from.
Yeah it hits and is really good. I have a lot of girls I want to keep passing it along to!
I also love this style of poetry. 🙂
that is just awesome. absolutly touching!
Barry, thanks for this. God led me here and to it at just the right time. 🙂
She says it so simply…yet, it is still so hard to wait. Every year that goes by, God has been faithful to show me just how much waiting is totally and completely worthwhile and that his plan (even unrevealed) is far better than any hope or dream I may ever consider.
Amen, SGB. And the secret of contentment (as Paul puts it in Philippians) is something that eludes married people just as much as it does single people. Perhaps (earthly) marriage is less important to our contentment than we usually think.
Can find this preaching to the converted neither inspiring nor challenging. Yes, I am that cliche – an angry ex-Christian. No doubt almost everything I now write will be filtered through your perception of me as “lost” and “blinded by Satan’s lies”.
Nevertheless, thought I would share with you the major reason why I had my “deconversion” (or “backsliding” as no doubt many of my erstwhile Christian peers would have it) from Christianity (and most especially Evangelical Christianity) a few years ago. You appear to be more literate, articulate and educated than is the norm for such apologists and so I like to think that something I write might get through to you. Perhaps it might even go some way to explain why certain people (myself included, obviously) are so angry about the religious faith to which you adhere.
The idea of worshipping a deity who presides over a universal system where those who do not agree with his dogmatic ideas about morality, or do not even believe in his existence are sent after death to some cosmic concentration camp or some terrible vast “Guantanamo Bay” in the sky (or wherever) is simply obscene. I think of all the kind gays, atheists, Moslems, Jews, agnostics etc who make far more of an effort to live what they believe to be a “good life” than many of the complacent “I’m saved and you’re not” Christians I’ve met over the years and the mind boggles that anyone could wish to subscibe to such an illogical, medieval idea of “justice” as right-wing Evangelical Christianity.
No amount of crying out that “God so loved the world that He sent his only Son…” etc, or trendy references to contemporary popular culture or sentimental appeals to an imaginary future where “justified sinners” are rewarded for their travails in this veil of tears are enough to conceal the political implications of such a world view. Let it never be forgot that members of Billy Graham’s family were spiritual advisors to that warmongering monster and war criminal George W.Bush during his terms in office. This is the same Billy Graham whose name is a rallying beacon to most Evangelicals I’ve ever met.
Please forgive me then if I do not share the sentiments of many of the others who leave comments on your otherwise professional and slickly produced blog.
You raise several important issues, RWAC, and I’m grateful you wrote. I’m also very sorry for the experiences you’ve had with some Christians.
Like you, I know a number of kind gays, atheists, Muslims, Jews, and agnostics. Some of them do indeed seem to make more of an effort to live a “good life” than some Christians I know.
My question for you would be this: What has led you to the conclusion that God accepts any of us on the grounds of our kindness or goodness?
Thanks for having the courtesy to get bavk to me Barry. you re clearly a cut above many of the All Souls types that were around in my time. I do not believe in God, and if I did I would hope that any supreme being or creator/deity would be far more rational in His/Her governing of the universe that the God who offers a “substitutionary atonement” as the only lifeboat for His doomed creation man. If forgiveness was so important to Him why would he not just forgive? Why all the dependence on death, blood and suffering? Is God really so impotent that He is forced to resort to blood as the sole payment for redemption like some primitive tribal deity? My own answer to this is that Christianity for all its civilised trappings is a death cult appealing more to the emotions than the intellect, similar in this respect to many of the religions which came before and after it. The idea of hell is just the most extreme expression of its deathly nature. Fortunately I believe that the hell in this world is the worst that it gets. Gandhi in hell? Buddha in hell? Jews tortured then gassed to death in Nazi concentration camps in hell? If this is God’s justice than I want no part of it.Especially when heaven is supposedly to be shared with the likes of President Bush and his vile supporters. Sorry, Barry, you’re clearly a nice person, but kindness and patience with the likes of me is not enough and I cannot accept your belief system. I hope you can at least understand why I might be angry about it…
Thanks for taking the time to express that, RWAC. I appreciate the chance to explore this with you and learn from what you’re saying.
I’d be interested in knowing your own views on justice, as it’s a theme that you return to in both your posts. Do you believe that justice is, generally speaking, a good thing? And if so, on what grounds do you decide what is just, and what is unjust?
(Given the limitations of this medium and the fact that we’re both headed somewhat “off-topic”, I wonder if you would be willing to email me directly so that we can continue our dialogue?)
Hi Barry, I appreciate the courteous way you respond to Rebel with a cause. And RWAC, you expressed your thoughts in a respectful way, thank you for that! You raise important questions which are clearly essential to you. Perhaps many Christians don’t think about these difficult issues, probably because there are Christian leaders who don’t go deep. But these questions are very important and they can bring you to the heart of God. Understanding his holiness – as far as we can with our limited minds – is necessary in order to worship God not only with emotions but also with your mind. I am a Christian myself and pray that you may find God in the really is by being open to what he says about himself. Blessings, Dirk