THIS

This is what God would want those who claim his name to hear today. Like really today. Right here in the reality that is whatever day it is right now when you’re reading this. Don’t worry, I’m not claiming to have some “prophetic word” for y’all. Although maybe more people would pay attention if I did. And send me some seed money! Yeah. . .

Allow I to start over . . .

So, I have this prophetic word that God asked me to pass along to y’all. (Click here to make your donation today.) Now, this here is a powerful message I’ve been entrusted with.  I’m just repeating things God has told me will be heard and understood by those who put trust in his word and know the one who is the way the truth and the life. (OK, what really happened was I read the bible. You know, like all the stuff in between the 50 verses you can use to win an argument. And this is what I got from it. And obviously I think you should agree with me.)

Before I move on to the body of this here prophetic word, may I take a moment to remind you that while God allows you to enjoy the food from his table freely, it’s always a good idea to do what you can to help him offset the costs associated with an operation like this. (Yes, I know that makes no sense. The less sense you make when asking for money in God’s name, the more money people will send you. And I need a car.)

Click here to make your donation today. I’m not sure how it will work on your taxes, so I won’t come right out and say that it’s tax deductible, but I’m pretty sure any decent tax guy can find a way to make it work.

Now, on to this here prophetic word. (Which sounds best when being read by the intense, commanding voice in your head, btw.) :

God is God. God needs nothing from us. He takes no satisfaction in seeing people willing to make any sacrifice imaginable to protect their understanding of the Christian faith but are unmoved by the site of despair all around them. He’s not interested in hearing our explanations for why our way really is loving, no matter how much our neighbors say that it hurts.

What kind of father is happy that his kid swept the floor while he’s listening to his other son being beat with the broom? What kind of Father do you think we serve? One who doesn’t give a crap about one of his children just so long as his orders are followed? One who elevates service to him above any other concern? If that’s what you think, either you are under the mistaken impression that God is far less good than you are or I feel sorry for your kids.

It’s like that “anything you can do, God can do better” ditty that I just bastardized to make my point. Whenever we think love looks like, it’s not good enough. That you would waste time defending your understanding of love in the face of suffering is hardly impressive to God. God knows better ways to love than anything we have ever come close to. Might as well take it a step further than you think you should go. Better to be the sheep that the Shepard has to go rescue than the goat that stayed with the herd.

God has proclaimed us innocent and is not impressed by our devotion to keeping his laws. Jesus already fulfilled the law. How does it honor him to refuse to believe that when he said, “it is finished”, he meant it? And that he was right.

So what if we see only disasters everywhere. Isn’t that what faith is? Trusting in what we do not see? And yes, we’re going to make mistakes. That just means lots of opportunities to learn. Or to look like assholes as we refuse to admit when there is a problem. Your choice.

God finds nothing to commend about people who would watch as a child of his is driven to despair and destruction, and decide that for perfectly good (in their eyes) reasons, God himself would do no more than join in shaking his head sadly in regret. As if Jesus didn’t save us by the path of the cross, but sat safely in heaven shouting out instructions and good advice.

What right do we have to tell the Father that a human being doesn’t rightfully belong to Him and so, must not be accepted as they are? As if our own acceptance into the family of God was dependent on anything we have done or any prayers we have said.

Today is the day to decide if you are going to realize that you have something to learn before the party begins. There might be a dance step or two you can use to impress everyone with. Or you can carry on like you always have; tending to the graveyards and shouting to the outer darkness to stay back. But one day, it will dawn on you what a damn fool you’ve been, thinking that God is less good than he is. Believing that he needs your help in keeping back the dark.

It only takes baby steps to walk the narrow path. You stay on it by following love at every turn. Whatever you think love is, it’s not good enough. Want to know what good enough is? Listen to the people you have reason to judge and wait until you understand their despair for yourself. God is close to the broken hearted. Learn to recognize a broken heart and learn to see how God is at work in them. Even when you think they are wrong. Keep listening. When your heart has been properly broken, you will know how to love your neighbor as yourself. You didn’t think Jesus was kidding about the cost of following him, did you?

Many blessings to you all. And don’t forget to get your own copy of my book The Upside Down World ~ A Book of Wisdom in Progress today!

So what d’yall think? Do I have what it takes to make it in the ministry? 😛

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4 thoughts on “THIS

  1. What interesting piece of rhetoric! But it really is just that. What is sad about this article is that it seems far more interested in lashing out to those that disagree with your twisted theology as if they don’t care about those who are suffering. We do. I personally support an orphanage in the Congo. I wonder what the kids are doing this right…hopefully smiling…and learning…and eating and drinking. It is shameful to use something as serious as caring about others as rhetoric designed to sway your readers away from others. Very sad indeed Rebecca. If you want to draw attention to someone in need, you can do that without using it to bash your opponents. And if you want to discuss a theological issue, you can do that without accusing others of not caring about people because they care about the truth. The fact is, we care about both. It is a false dichotomy and shameful move on your part. I have addressed your views on hell at reformed reasons and also posted about the subject of being a Christian. It has a specific and narrow meaning in the world of Christ.

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    • Aw, I am a student of rhetoric and highly skilled in it; thank you for noticing! Now, allow me to explain the particular rhetorical method that got you all in a huff. What I do is remove anything from my argument except it’s bare core. I say things that are true, but don’t attach them to any specific group, event, or cultural issue. That way, I can make sure my underlying argument is solid even if my opinions of groups, people, events or cultural issues is imperfect (which they always are. Only God knows those things perfectly).

      In addition to allowing me to construct solid arguments, this rhetorical method has an added benefit; it tends to get through people’s defenses. Because I’ve stripped away any thing but the core truth, I leave room for readers to superimpose their own assumptions on what I write. Which is what people always do, but by simply stating truth, inevitably the errors in their thinking/behavior start to get exposed. They are reading along, enjoying the idea that I’m ripping on those they disapprove of and while their defenses are down, a bit of truth slips through and hits too close to home.

      Or you can start with the assumption that I’m critisizing you, determined not to fall for it and looking for the weak spot. But since I’m not actually critisizing any particular person, group, even or specific cultural issue and am simply saying things that are true (albeit arranged in novel ways), there’s not much to grasp onto. (It’s why you keep leaving these sputtering messages that are not really connected with what I write. You’re like a shark with a beachball; there’s just nothing to grab hold of.) You are responding to your own assumptions rather than to anything I say. Your response reveals a great deal about you, but the connection between what you are saying and what I wrote is tenuous at best. So, for those who are defensive and determined not to fall for my (supposed) nonsense, this rhetorical method causes my writing to act as a mirror. You are so defensive, you might have a hard time seeing what you look like in the mirror, but the rest of us can. So it’s helpful to those who might otherwise be hesitant to accept what I write to see what lurks in the heart of those who would reject it. Whether you ever wake up is really not my concern. God has you in his perfect care. But it’s useful to the rest of us.

      Anyways, getting back to the topic of rhetoric, do you know who was a master at it? Jesus. I’ve learned a great deal from closely studying how he structures his arguments, uses scripture, responds to challenges and the like. I started realizing this while reading the New Testament theologian Kenneth Bailey’s book The Poet and The Peasant. (It’s dry, academic stuff that I don’t recommend unless you’re really interested in excruciating details.) In it he demonstrates that Jesus’ parables and public speeches follow the forms and patterns of Jewish poetry. I’m a student of poetry as well as rhetoric and as I looked at the underlying structure as well as the strategic choices that make Jesus’ words what they are, I was astounded at the skill and talent on display. We miss it because we are not familiar with Jewish literary forms and we’re using translations, but these are some of the most skillfully constructed, meaningful and enjoyable bits of writing/speech/poetry/story telling that I’ve ever encountered. Jesus had skillz. Mad skillz.

      Anyhow, thanks for noticing my rhetorical skills. Better luck finding something of substance to react to next time. BTW, I notice that you still haven’t put any backlinks to my writing on your blog. It allows you to cherry pick in order to create a false impression of what I say without being found out. It also make it unlikely that those who read your work will ever read mine so they can evaluate the quality of your own arguments against mine. But that’s fine. It’s your blog and you are free to do whatever you like there. It’s just that criticizing someone’s work in that way is one of those dishonest tactics that gives rhetoric a bad name.

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  2. Sometimes there’s a certain crowd that feels very insecure in a world where God is bigger than they are and he doesn’t take the rules as serious as they want Him to. They too are compassionately forgiven. Love first, get let’s get out ducks in a row later. Let God win, give him the credit. Submit to a greater power, the true manager of the universe, and be at peace.

    29 And he answering said to his father, Lo, these many years do I serve thee, neither transgressed I at any time thy commandment: and yet thou never gavest me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends:

    30 But as soon as this thy son was come, which hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf.

    31 And he said unto him, Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine.

    32 It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found.

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