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Wednesday, May 05, 2010

"Be ye warmed and filled."

There is a sad misconception about Christianity that permeates the fabric of our social pathos in this great country.  Somehow, there is this belief that if you're a Christian, there is a certain way to look, to carry yourself and that meeting need is something someone else does.  That it's the role of "those guys" who are "called" to that ministry. 

Christianity is not how you look, it is not even really what you say or in some cases, what you do.  We all fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3) but we have forgiveness and there exists within us a striving, a longing to be conformed into the image of the risen Son.  We are forgiven in spite of what we do, what we say and even how we look.  Of course, it begs the statement from Paul, "Shall we sin so grace may abound?  May it never be!"

But I do see so many people in need and I have seen so many people who have the means and ability to meet need but they don't because they feel their is someone else to handle that "problem."  I don't really understand that.  We are to meet need, as I understand Scripture, and simply let God sort out the rest.  We have no investment in the outcome for to do so, we brand ourselves as Pharisees (Mt. 23).

How does that mix with passages such as James 2:
If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, and one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? (v. 15, 16 - KJV)
 And then there's this sticky wicket in 1John 3:17:
But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? (KJV)
Meeting "need" can mean many things.  For example, what some people need is to simply shut up and listen to the voice of the Almighty (I include myself in that mix).  Some people need to hear the truth.  Some people need to be punished.  Some people also need to be loved and shown that they are of value and mean more than just what they wear and how they look.

Of course, we're in the political season right now and the news is flying fast and furious over how much candidate X has raised or how many doors have been knocked - all of which is necessary.  But really, it's fascinating to see this from people who clearly wear their Christianity on their sleeves in such a way that they present themselves as paragons of moral virtue and if we only vote for them, perhaps we can usher in the 2nd Coming and we'll live a debt-free, care-free life wherein all of our problems will fade off into the sunset...


Jesus warned us that we would have the poor with us always (Mt. 26:11) and to me, people in need are often invitations sent by the Father himself to a world we simply cannot fathom.  A place that is not Utopian, but rather wrought with trials and tribulations but in the midst of them, a solid, unwavering sense of peace that transcends all understanding.

Many of you already know that I am anything BUT the ideal Christian.  Quite the contrary.  I admit openly that I am one of the biggest failures the planet has ever seen.  I am not the kind of father I should or could have been, I am not the kind of husband I should or could have been and I'm not even a very good Christian.  But I'll tell you what:  If by my admitting my wrongs and encouraging others not to pull the stunts I have, then maybe - just maybe there is still hope.  Because if there's hope for a pile of human waste such as myself, there's hope for you.

No matter what you're wearing.  No matter where you work.  No matter whether you're a Republican or Democrat, liberal or conservative.  You see, faith transcends political party.  I know - tough to swallow during an election year.

I don't even know why I wrote this tonight.  Just needed to vent a little...