Tag Archives: poverty

A Christian Without a Religion

Broken Cross photo by Cantabrigian (deviantart.com)
Broken Cross photo by Cantabrigian (deviantart.com)

“For the last few years, Christians— particularly white evangelicals — continue to sing the words: “Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders …” but fail to realize the shameful irony that they’re largely responsible for refusing shelter and opportunity to some of the world’s most helpless and oppressed people.” –Thus begins a recent article by Stephen Mattson on Sojourner.com entitled “American ‘Christianity’ Has Failed”.

Thus is also a large part of the reason why I have no words. Why I can’t even…
The irony. The hypocrisy. The pride. The fear. The anger.

This is why we can’t have nice things. This is why I’ve recently deleted my Facebook account. This is why I said I’d written my last Spiritual Drift post.

But then again there’s nothing like a vow of finality to get the creative juices flowing.

My Own Hypocrisy

It’s becoming harder and harder these days to sit in the pews of church and stew in my own hypocrisy. When I hear offhand ‘jokes’ coming from the pulpit about a certain U.S. state being “the land of fruits and nuts”. When I hear fellow ‘Christians’ sitting around a men’s breakfast gathering, swapping stories about particularly touchy neighborhoods they used to patrol as former cops, including the homosexual community, spitting the word between clenched teeth then clarifying, “fags, we used to call ‘em” to nods of understanding and chuckles of solidarity.

I say “stew in my own hypocrisy” because the hypocrisy of the church has been on display for years now. Centuries even.

It’s not them, it’s me.  My own hypocrisy is in continuing to sit there. Numb. Dumb. Mute. Confused and angered. Unable or unwilling (fearful actually) to speak out.  Because apparently I’m the weird one. I’m the ‘no rules’ progressive. I’m the bleeding heart liberal. I’m the one practicing ‘hypergrace’. All accusations I’ve heard over the past months and years. Most all given in contempt with a dismissive wave of the hand if not all-out red-faced anger.

I guess those are supposed to be a bad thing. Continue reading A Christian Without a Religion

WednesDevotionals ~ Quote from “Life of Trust” by George Müller

I like this quote by Dr. E.N. Sawtell in a letter addressed to the editor of the book “Life of Trust” by George Müller.

This book recounts the life of extraordinary faith of Mr. Müller; a man who found it on his heart to open an orphanage in 19th century England and fund every aspect of its operation solely by prayer and faith in Christ alone.  He never solicited outside donors for money, relying on the providence of answered prayers and the will of God to move those with means to fund his organization which at its height included five different buildings in the Orphan House, housing over 1100 children, as well as the Scriptural Knowledge Institution of House and Abroad, a scriptural printing press and doctrinal distribution center.

“Now, may not Mr. Müller ’s experience on this vital and fundamental principle of our holy religion reveal to us the secret cause of our own weak faith?  We fold it up, as it were, in a napkin, lay  it carefully away, and treat it as a tender but foolish mother does her offspring; afraid of the open air, it will take cold; it must not walk out, it will fall and break its limbs; it must not take nutritious food, it is so delicate.  Thus the poor, unfortunate child never rises to the full strength and vigor of manhood.  So is it with that class of believers who do little else than to nurse and sing a kind of lullaby over their puny faith; it must never venture out of sight, or upon a stormy sea in a dark night, or, in other words, never trust God.  O, what a misnomer to call this faith! and what is it worth, even if it can be called faith?  So far as the wants of this perishing world are concerned, it is as worthless as the one talent buried in the earth, and if sufficient to save the soul, it can be saved ‘only as by fire’.”

For a free e-book copy of “Life of Trust”, click here.

For more information on George Müller, click here.

WednesDevotionals ~ To Be At Peace

A while ago, I was asked this question:

“[Although I’m not a Christian], I feel like I already have joy, comfort, and peace. So why do I need something else?”

To feel as though you have some measure of fulfillment in these areas is an amazing accomplishment, in my humble opinion. They’re truly not easy to come by, nor maintain. My thought on this is not so much that you need a “something else”, but to examine from where those feelings and that fulfillment originate:

  • Is it something wherein you have to put all the dominoes in place to achieve? In other words, is it something you work at?
  • Is it something you work at?  Or . . .
  • Is it something you’re just able to accept, regardless of situations, problems and worries? (Whether or not the dominoes are even out of the box).

Do you have these things despite or until  the day-to-day struggles?

If in fact you do, more power to you. I think that’s a great achievement. And, believe me when I say I’m not trying to express that Christians have the market cornered on this.  Nor that we’re consistently any good at it. But, to me anyway, it’s the difference between being able to say:

  • “Okay, if I can get (or do) A, and B, and C, then I’ll be able to relax and my mind will be at ease.”
  • Or, “Okay, I may not know what the future holds or how we’re going to get there, but I know God is in control and He’ll always work out what‘s best.”

When a person can look around at their present situation, totally at peace within it, and think, “Why I feel this way—this peace, this calm—makes absolutely no sense to me.  Yet, I’m glad I feel this way.”

Philippians 4: Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Looking to Him first allows you to be at peace with all you have (be it love, relationships, position, stuff).

More importantly, looking to Him first allows you to be at peace with all you don’t have.

Yes, “You Built It” . . . But Who Did You Build It For?

Well, it’s apparent after last week’s Republican National Convention
that the world (at least the world of red, white and blue) obviously admires individual success stories, especially in business.  The pulling-yourself-up-by-the-boot-straps-started-from-nothing-look-where-I-am-now-I-built-it-with-no-help-from-anybody kind of person.  The entrepreneur.  The successful businesswoman.  The self-made man.

There’s only one problem with that.

I think, after everything is said and done: If that’s truly what you’re proud of . . . your aim was too low.

Your focus is squarely on your own accomplishments.  Your own successes.  So basically . . . what YOU did.

Yay, you!

I only have one question.

~Now what? Continue reading Yes, “You Built It” . . . But Who Did You Build It For?