Judging by the lack of hits measured on the counter for this blog this year, it appears you are just about the last and only (not quite) person reading here. And since this is such a lonely place to offer public words, I figure it is a secure place to share private shameful things. No one will see it.
As long as I am dealing in such matters, I think I will just say that I sense strongly that I am being punished for sticking with Jesus. I looked up in God’s Word how to behave as his people and saw where the church I belong to is betraying his directives. So I spoke up about it to them, and in return they claimed I was being “unloving”.
Yes, I confronted church leaders with God’s Word on our misdeeds, and rather than repent OR, alternatively, show me (from God’s Word, or otherwise even) how I was mistaken about these things, they came around to tell me I was “unloving”. So I showed them again from God’s Word the misdeeds we engage in and promote, and now I am shunned.
It is lonely standing here with Jesus.
I write about it, publish these writings (protecting the identities of the guilty while I am at it), and it’s just you, me, and the crickets out here…. or so it seems.
(You are getting this… right?)
(I mean, if you don’t read this, then… Wow!)
So, anyway, this may come off as a pity party. Maybe it is. I don’t really think so, I am not overly invested in defending against that… so if you want to argue it is, then I will just surrender the point.
But I will say this:
There is a price to be paid following Jesus. A cost of discipleship. And I tell you it hurts. It sucks that my brothers and sisters don’t talk to me anymore. It hurts that they all just run off and back out on me without a word. Loneliness hurts.
The American Church isn’t much interested in paying a price – except for the entrance fee… maybe a tithe or purchase of a book, a club membership, and what not… Oh, and get your prayer shawl, your blessed Holy Water, and your handsome, leather-bound Purpose Driven Journal or your Left Behind family board game. But wait, there’s more! Be sure to act now and receive this complimentary latte at our coffee bar! Yet losing all your friends, or worse actually getting crucified… things like that, hold no interest nor do they show up on the radar.
(That part sounds like a pity party. (Psalm 88 anyone???))
However, Tom, for your eyes only (and for any lonely freak out there still reading (yeah, if you are still reading, you are a freak)), you have the pleasure to witness God move through THIS dead and scorned ministry. This ministry with barely any followers or readers or contributors… This ministry with nary a pulse… This ministry with practically no budget or reputation to speak of – unless you count the regard it’s held in by leadership in the American church as represented in Lubbock, Texas.
Yeah… IF you are still reading, and IF you care at all, then you are in a very good place to witness God move in the dead.
And THAT, I think, is right at the core of Matthew’s, Mark’s, Luke’s, and John’s Gospel accounts. THAT is not a pity party. (Psalm 88 in light of the Gospel… anyone???)