Five Minute Friday: Once

Gentle Reader,

It’s incredibly cold here, because North Idaho seems to have forgotten that we’re closer to spring than we are winter.

One of the dogs Houdini’d her way out of the backyard the other day. Pretty sure she jumped the fence.

I have finished four books, started four others, and read multiple articles for seminary, and this is only the end of the fourth week.

I’m a little tired.

But I’m doing my best to make time for writing, so here I am. Droopy eyed, icicle toes, hair extra fluffy since I got it cut yesterday.

Kate, via Anita, says: once.

Go.

What if we actually lived as God calls us to live? What if we were the kind of people, the sort of community, that stands out against the backdrop of the surrounding world, in the best of ways?

We got into a lengthy discussion about this today in class. I couldn’t help getting hot under the collar. I am untangling my own flawed understanding of holiness – it’s not just about outward behavior – so I don’t want to get caught up in any sort of legalism, rigid rule-keeping. I don’t want the Church to emphasize crushing perfectionism and conformity.

But I do want the Church to stop providing shelter for unrepentant exploiters, users, abusers. I want the Church to stop being so afraid of looking at our history, of how we’ve been influenced by and even capitulated to cultural forces that are antithetical to the Gospel. I want us to stop refusing to have the difficult conversations. To stop justifying, ignoring, excusing. To stop avoiding repentance.

I want the Church to stop asking victims to continue bearing the weight of their victimizers, for fear of angering the victimizers. That is a power dynamic utterly foreign to the way of Christ.

For several years now I have believed that God is exposing the faults in God’s Bride as she is situated in the Western context in order that we might learn to let go of attitudes, beliefs, and actions that are not pleasing to God. And what if we did that? What if we let go of racism, sexism, classism, nationalism, denialism, all the isms, and grabbed onto the ethics of the Kingdom? Justice, mercy, humility, truth, love?

What if, once we did that, we discovered that Scripture really is true, and anything else we attached ourselves to is empty?

That God, and God’s way, really is what we need?

Stop.

GRACE AND PEACE ALONG THE WAY,
MARIE

7 thoughts on “Five Minute Friday: Once

  1. It seems it might be really great
    if we cast off all our -isms,
    and tied our souls unto the fate
    of the God, cruel-killed, then risen,
    but I wonder then, about the man
    whom Jesus placed His praise upon;
    what could have been intent and plan
    in affirming the Centurion?
    He did not tell this man of faith
    to put down his sword and pray;
    in point of fact did our God saith
    that we should all believe that way,
    defering to authority
    as part of life’s priority.

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  2. I can totally relate to your first line – Southern England (this is usually the warmest part of the country) also seems to have forgotten that we are closer to spring than winter and it has been snowing since Sunday, lol.
    “What if we actually lived as God calls us to live?” – a thought-provoking question; thank you for this post.

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  3. Yes! I’m jumping up and down over here, yelling, “Preach it, Sister!” It’s so much easier to focus on outward things–like rules. But Jesus didn’t call us to Easy Street.

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  4. It’s hard you know? I was reading this morning a victim of a catholic church abuse situation and seeing the amount in damages that she was seeking and feeling angry at her about that, at the same time as I was angry about the church fighting against admitting the abuse happened when they knew about it. The catholic church shouldn’t do such a thing, and yet victims shouldn’t want to bankrupt a church either. Neither is good.
    Visiting from FMF25

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  5. I’m not sure I have any insight to add to your post, but it did make me think about a book I just read about the Amish. It was interesting, mostly, to learn about how a group of believers (so different than my own) deal with sin inside and outside of their faith community. While I’m not becoming Amish anytime soon, I feel like I could learn some things that may help myself and other believers respond to difficulty in a Christlike manner.

    Amie, FMF #34

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  6. Everything here Marie. I resonate with every word. “What if we actually lived as God calls us to live? What if we were the kind of people, the sort of community, that stands out against the backdrop of the surrounding world, in the best of ways?” The early Church was so revolutionary in their way of life(no matter what the circumstances) that people wanted in. How did we get here?

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