Five Minute Friday: Silence

Along the Way @ mlsgregg.com

Gentle Reader,

Jeremiah. I just finished studying the book that bears his name. Now, I’m in the middle of Lamentations. That man walked a long, hard road. He preached destruction and repentance to a people who were in no way interested.

I love him.

Kate says: silence.

Go.

I have a new favorite phrase: “I’m not here for that.” Urban Dictionary (a most reliable source) tells me that this is what you say “when asked a question that is beneath you, or else confronted with a situation that you simply cannot care about.” I like that definition, but I prefer to use the phrase differently. After all, doesn’t postmodernism teach us that words are fluid? (FYI: I don’t actually believe this).

So.

I’m not here for the ongoing defense of sexual predators.

I’m not here for prioritizing power over holiness.

I’m not here for the abuse and twisting of Scripture.

I’m not here for willful ignorance.

I’m not here for speaking softly and kindly to false teachers.

I’m not here for overlooking sin and character flaws because we think that person might give us what we want.

I’m not here for turning a blind eye to injustice.

I’m not here for deceit.

WAKE UP.

American evangelicalism is burning to the ground and we’re the ones who lit the fire. Not some external, vaguely-defined cultural “force.” Not members of other religions. Not atheists. Us. We. You and me. Every time we talk about a Jesus who supports the “American dream.” Every time we preach prosperity over sacrifice. Every time we talk a great game and make no attempt to live it out.

I love the church. She does much good. But she can be better.

We can be better.

It’s not about programs or numbers. It’s not about websites or social media. All that stuff will fade away. It’s about us putting our lives where our mouth is. It’s about us actually doing this thing.

Read your Bible, people. Learn some theology. Ask God for the discernment to be able to recognize false teachers and manipulators before you’re in too deep. Ask Him to examine your heart and expose your idols. Then destroy them. Beat them into dust.

Because you know what?

For all the noise out there, for all our screaming, the silence of cowardice – the profound lack of ability or willingness to rage against the evil that’s all around, but especially the evil that’s within His Body, and weep, pleading for the grace to change – is really deafening.

And telling.

Stop.

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Photo Credit: Ben White
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14 thoughts on “Five Minute Friday: Silence

  1. Preach it, Sister! The church cannot love those outside the church until they learn to love those INSIDE the church. Evangelism does no good if we call them to a carping, messed-up house.

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    1. “…a carping, messed-up house.”

      Oh, yes.

      Like I said, I love the church. I really do. And I know that we’re never going to be perfect this side of eternity. I also know that we can do a whole lot better. Karen Swallow Prior tweeted a few weeks ago that our cultural idols are being exposed and it’s time for us to repent. I agree with her.

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  2. Great essay, Marie, and I agree with you completely. It seems that the American church has abandoned substance for sound bites,

    To be fair, it is reflecting society; you’re so right that the church is remade in our image, and as we drift away from God so that we’re seen as ‘tolerant’, we’re drifting in a very leaky lifeboat.

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    1. Ooo, that’s a good word. We are reflecting society. We’re very much going with the flow. My hope and prayer is that more and more will realize this. May God bring revival and reformation. May we be wise enough to submit to His leading.

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  3. Good words Marie. It’s really all about the Gospel isn’t it? The telling of the completed work of Christ on the cross– which is something that is slipping away even in our churches. When the Gospel is is preached and taught the Holy Spirit can draw the hearers to himself, that’s where people are changed isn’t it? Unfortunately we can’t be better without him,but people sure do try. In the 59 spot this week.

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    1. The Gospel is definitely what it’s all about. I pray that we (the collective we) will choose to repent and to disentangle ourselves from things that won’t last.

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  4. I love Jeremiah too… Sometimes don’t we feel like him? God has given us the gospel to preach and good news to speak and we wonder if anyone can hear it? And yet, He says….keep talking even if no one is listening. It burns… the truth of His word burns within us and we can’t help ourselves – it must come out of us. That’s why many of us write and speak when we feel like we should probably give up, but we just can’t stop. Maybe? Yes???
    Thanks, Marie! You challenge my socks off. Thanks for leaving me barefoot!

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    1. I needed to read this today, Lisa. I’m coming up on my tenth blogging anniversary and I find myself wondering if I’m making any difference, having any impact. But you’re write – the words have to get out. I have to teach. I have to glorify His Name.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Girl, I struggle with what to say and how and when. Unsure because I feel ill-informed, inexperienced. But then I read your empowering words and the responsibility to speak life and hope and put a darn foot down where silence is pandering to evil. Ty. Always.

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  6. This is so good! I feel the same way. The church in America has become more American than Christian. The church is looking, sounding and acting less like Christ every day. Praying we get to “better” sooner than later!

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