It’s Not LOVE, But It’ll Do (I Guess)

I happened to catch Play Misty For Me on TV the other night.  It being an old Clint Eastwood flick, I was a big fan when I was a kid.  This one was pretty much a precursor for Fatal Attraction, which came out shortly after I graduated high school.  Play Misty was riveting and suspenseful, for its time.  And I considered how Avant-garde such a portrayal of acceptable (and thus unacceptable) behavior single people would engage in back in the early 1970’s.

Eastwood plays a radio DJ living a fast-paced, playboy lifestyle – juggling women – when a psychotic woman takes an unhealthy interest in him.  She cuts her own wrists in a jealous rage one moment, and he comforts her by snuggling with her on his bed through the night afterward.  Her psychotic manipulations seem to work … for a while.  And as I watched that scene, I thought to myself: It’s not love, but it’ll do (I guess).  I mean, just what does this woman expect?  She manipulates, controls, twists, and then butchers her way into what ever she wants, but it sure ain’t love.

It was just then that a strange thought crossed my mind: This seems like church to me.

Here’s the thing: As I look around this “Christian” town at all the churches we have on nearly every corner, I still have yet to find even one that takes the poor in off the streets.  Loving the poor… yeah.  That’s right there in the ink.  It’s not between the lines; you don’t have to extrapolate it from fancy doctrine or exegetical and theological analysis.  No.  It’s right there in the ink – perhaps most famously in Matthew 25… which says, in part, “when I was [homeless], you took me in”!

Did I say the church of Lubbock ignores these people?  No.  I did not.  For certainly, we feed them, which is an important part of loving them.  But then we offer them tents on the other side of the tracks.  And I gotta say: It’s not love, but it’ll do (I guess).

You may be reading here for the first time (unlikely really) and thinking, what does that have to do with a psychotic woman stalking you?

Well, that’s where the analogy gets stretched, but I am concerned that the real agenda at church is not merely to welcome homosexuals (which I am in favor of – as I fully believe Jesus wants), but in endorsing the homosexuality – AND DOING SO WHILE LEAVING JESUS TO LIVE IN A TENT ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE TRACKS!

Do I sound like a nut job?

I think maybe so.  I have worked very hard in accepting and affirming this church – even on this blog.  My rhetoric has cooled a lot.  I have not confronted any pastors recently.  I have not dragged any American Flags around any sanctuaries for a long time.  And instead, I have written about prayer, about foster kids, and even singing the praises of Vandelia Church (rather than criticizing) – all things that used to be out of range for this blog and this ministry!  And for what?  Who is listening?  Who cares?

For crying out loud, I wrote a post called “WHAT IS HOME?” seeking insight and discussion from my readers, but I only got 4 responses!

How is it that the church of Christ, the bride of God’s son, is more interested in finding “love” in anal sex than in loving the poor?  And how is it that we settle for that?

I guess I will be the one to break this to you: That ain’t LOVE!  And NO, it won’t do.  No.  Agape is not the same as two men giving each other the business up their bums!  Read your Bible!  Love covers a multitude of sins, but it does not claim that evil is good.  No matter how Avant-garde you think today’s acceptable behavior is, you won’t find Jesus engaged in it.  That is not a light in your tunnel of “love”; it’s a really ugly disappointment.

I join John the seer in calling the church to pull out of that whore! (Rev. 18:4).  That ain’t love, and it won’t do.

 

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5 comments

  1. Ronald S. Exum · July 20

    Meatloaf sang: “Two Outa Three Ain’t Bad.”

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  2. Bob Aldridge · July 20

    [Agent X], I share your concerns about the rampant spread of accepting homosexuals and transgender people into the church as saved and part of the body of Christ. My son-in-law recently posted a like to a FB video of a transgender minister. That concerns me greatly. Universalism seems to be taking over C of C’s at an alarming rate. Progressive C of C’s are now Community Churches on steroids. God bless you and the work you do for the homeless.

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  3. Agent X · July 20

    Response from email:

    Dear brother [Agent X},

    That’s not what we decided. We decided to agree to disagree, as that’s the only basis on which unity can occur. This issue is like so many in our past where “clear passages” were used to divide God’s people. As N___ said on July 10:

    We find ourselves, once again, in disagreement in the interpretation of scripture that has seemed crystal clear – with other honest, God-fearing, God-loving, bible-studying, constantly-praying brothers and sisters.

    So, what do we do?

    For a number of decades, this has been a place where it has been acceptable to honestly and openly disagree about very important issues – and still love each other in the midst of disagreement – and come together to keep our focus on Jesus as our redeemer and the One who unifies us.

    Our prayer is that Vandelia can continue to be that safe place. Those who left us could not in good conscience be a part of the discussion, and we must respect that. May God give those who remain the grace and love to seek His will together.

    [Special Agent D]

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    • Agent X · July 20

      Dear brother [Special Agent D],

      I think you know I love you on whole other grounds. Your friendship has been indispensable to me for years. and now it is with my dad too. And as far as I am concerned, that should not be in doubt now or in the future that I can tell.

      So… with that settled, I will just be honest even if it hurts. We did not agree to disagree, we endorse homosexuality under the guise of agreeing to disagree in your mind, but not in mine or in those I have shared with. In fact, it is remarkable the continuity of the experience I have had, I hear from others and seem to be seeing in others. I remember going to the elders and asking for a hearing and getting shut out. I have never been listened to yet (I know you secured something like a hearing in Bible class one time, but that is not what I asked for, nor was it very effective). No. I got stonewalled. And that is what I hear and think I see in others now too.

      S____ P____’s class was not fair and balanced at all – so I hear from those who attended. It was presented as if it were going to be, but that is not really what happened.

      “Love God with all your heart” is a “clear passage” a scripture that seems crystal clear, but the moment someone says “Yeah in all his expressions including my Harley Davidson” it does not merit the honesty, God-fearing, God-loving, Bible study you suggest. It is not a clear passage USED to divide God’s people. It is just ludicrous instead. And it is not the same as arguing over instrumental music, kitchens, orphanages or any other fad to strike the popular fancy. Bearing God’s image is our whole raison deter. God made us male and female in his image. To go against that is rebellion. This stuff is foundational. This stuff is not hifalutin theology alone, it is basic. Homosexuality is clearly condemned, and the only arguments that favor it rely on smoke and mirrors. And here we have a church endorsing just that rebellion. It is too late to say we just agree to disagree about something minor here. No. The church is fractured at the core (how can you call that agreement to disagree?), and it’s fractured because leadership there endorses sin.

      Agreement to disagree is not a basis for unity. St Paul does not tell the Philippians to agree to disagree; he tells them to be of one mind and hold each other’s interests as more important than their own. So … IF … If you could categorize this as a minor issue unworthy of taking a stand on, then why not drop the agenda? I suggest it is because homosexuality is a proud agenda that cannot take a back seat to other’s concerns, weak consciences, or the will of God! Meanwhile, the sucking sound from the vacuum is deafening! If I stay with Vandelia now, it is name only because most of the brothers and sisters that I have worshiped with over the years are gone. And to say that was unity is further delusion.

      Personally, I do not wish Vandelia to be a safe place, but I don’t believe we are anyway. I have stood up for the poor at that church and been ignored time and again…. not dealt with, ignored. Stonewalled and ignored. That was not love. That was not unity. It was standing up for the poor. Now we have some standing up for homosexuality, and those who disagree have tried to talk it out, but to no avail. The stiff arm is out. The wall is raised. And this agreement to disagree you speak of is practiced with exodus on a mass scale. That is not unity. And at the root of it (lately… for I experienced the same thing with other more pressing issues long ago) is sin.

      You are in leadership there now. You are one of the few left. I have your ear… I do not know how… But you are stonewalling me with talk of agreeing to disagree while the church crumbles around you.

      Agent X

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  4. feralthomist · July 21

    Look Bo,
    That was awesome. That’s a stupid word to use, but it was–clearly, you nailed it.

    As luck would have it, this is the first post of yours I’ve received, and you’ve hit the nail on the head. I’m a traditional, Latin Mass Catholic, and I’m consistently in trouble with both my own (traditional) and mainline Catholics over this issue’s heart: particularly in how we live with regard to our neighbor, why don’t we simply TAKE THE LORD AT HIS WORD? It’s like I’m preaching to the fish.

    PS. I just started a new blog since the old one got me in so much trouble that now I’ve downshifted. I’ve linked to yours, if that’s alright.

    Peace, brother.

    FT

    Like

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