Tuesday, June 30, 2009

June 30, 2009

Kopp Disclosure
(John 3:19-21)



While there are a few folks in our family of faith who require a little more understanding than others, most of 'em really love Jesus and pray and labor to love like Him.

Sure, we've got our posers who prove tough times do not build character but rather expose it; but, much more than less, most of our folks make up for some of our folks who are total pains in the aspirations of Biblically Christocentric life and ministry.

So, yeah, I'm keepin' my head above the cesspools of life in our modern world and church.


Of course, people are more POed about more stuff than ever before.

My favorite devotional writer in Oklahoma wrote yesterday, "Never have I seen so many people stressed, troubled, and seeking answers as I am seeing lately. It would seem as though hell itself has come against many of us. Doubt, confusion, fear, and anxiety can cloud our minds, leaving us to feel as though we are groping in the dark."


That's an accurate diagnosis as far as I can see.


A former student of mine, the best preacher to ever pass through (aka survive) one of my classes as well as penetrate then persuade my noodle, wrote to me, "As you know, I definitely felt led of the Lord to come out here. Lately, however, I have seriously believed He is telling me to pack my bags. There is one family that has caused me a fair amount of grief. There is nothing unusual about that because you warned us that it's a problem inherent with the pastorate...Their charges: I eat in fancy restaurants. I tell them being a Christian is more important than being a Nazarene..."

A dear friend and recently retired pastor and college president wrote, "I'm glad I'm getting out. All people do in the church today is bitch, bitch, bitch. The bitchiness of the world has poisoned the church and nobody has the guts to do anything about it. I've served on ministerial committees for years and pastors are always blamed and end up paying the emotional cost at least...I've never seen a member held responsible for anything; and it's getting worse...I'll tell you, Bob, I'm glad I'm getting out."

Playing golf with one of my three or four closest friends last week, he admitted he'd get out if he could like 75% of all clergy who would quit today if they could.



I think things have gotten progressively much worse since 9/11/01; and if you've already forgotten what happened then, it ain't gonna be any help tryin' to bring you up to speed 'cause you're already too far down the wrong road.

Anyone with any modicum of discernment knows the anxieties attached to that event coupled with an unabated global war led by religious nutballs (aka Islamists), fainting economies, vocational insecurities, distrust in government, and all of the below inhibit life in today's world from being a hot fudge sundae and have caused an unraveling of personal and corporate strong calm sanity.

People are POed, freaked out, and looking for somebody to dump on to make 'em feel better about how awful they feel.

Even churchgoers who should know better are acting uncharacteristically these days; contradicting the peace, unity, and purity of intimacy with Him and transferring their pejorative pathologies to others to assuage/avoid personal pain.

Even people who say they love and trust Jesus are acting like any connection between them and Him is coincidental; coming unglued at the slightest sense of insensitivity to their preoccupations and divorcing themselves from other "believers" when service above self, a hallmark of discipleship, loses out to rationalized infidelities masquerading as fidelities.

Or something like that.


Maybe those hyper-Calvinists are right and we're just all so totally depraved since the garden despite Jesus that the only sanctuary is, uh, Jesus.



Getting back to my buddy on the links last week, I asked him for some thoughts on this increasing POedness in our world and church.

He wrote,

I think one of the reasons people are so crabby and out of
sorts these days is that we have lost the equilibrium of our
younger days.

The answer to everything now is to do more, do it longer,
do it harder, and do it better than anyone else.

It times of economic fear, especially after people worked
so hard..., our only response seems to be to either work harder
or give up and bitch about it.

It's my observation that people were less bitchy when I
was growing up...

Why were people less bitchy back then?

I think it is because we have fallen away from the way
God has made us. We are made to live in cycles,
and sometimes even in ruts or routines if you like...
seedtime and harvest...the Sabbath rest...

We have pushed ourselves into believing that we can
overcome and improve God's way of living by doing
more and working harder; when all we end up doing
is making ourselves tired and miserable.

So what should we do?

Instead of making school years longer,...let's make
them shorter; returning to a real summer vacation that
lasts from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Let's make
evenings times of rest; rather than running off to
one more meeting at the church...Let's make
weekends a time for family labors, fun, service
to the community, worship, and nothing else.
Let's refuse to cram our calendars with one more
game, meeting, obligation, errand...Let's take our
days off and our vacations, and really be off
and vacated.

If we do so, there is more time to recover the
equilibrium we have lost...We will save personal
energy that can be put in reserve for being patient
with crabby people who won't choose to do so.

And along the way, maybe we'll save our
families, our schools, our churches, our nation,
and our sanity.


BTW, the corpus of his comments will appear in my book about biker culture as metaphor and challenge to the church; which I expect to finish later this summer.


Getting back to my favorite devotional writer, she offered His cure after her diagnosis: "He is as close to you as He has ever been!...Even in the midst of all these dark clouds that rage against you, He is there!"

Specifically, "Trust Him! Take your cares and concerns to Him. And, even in the struggle, let your faith give you the quiet assurance that you can trust His heart. Rest your tired, confused, anxious heart on His breast. He is still with you and is still completely trustworthy. Trust His heart! You will find quiet strength and hope rebounding that you need so desperately."

She explained why: "Even when you can't see His face, you can still trust His heart...His heart towards you is tender and compassionate. Your concerns are His concerns. He is your wise, faithful Father who promised to never forsake you."

Instead of pulling away from Him and His during tough moments, it's time to move closer.


Blessings and Love!

Visit www.koppdisclosure.com for a rest.

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