Monday, January 16, 2012
Learning from TT and the Packers
While I'm wrong about many things, I've learned some things over time.
Don't get into tinkling contests with skunks.
Trying to be rational with the irrational is illogical.
Those two lessons have helped when dealing with "Christians" like me who embarrass Jesus every now and then by being so irascible, irregular, and irreconcilable.
While we shouldn't blame Jesus for some Christians who need some more Jesus in their lives, "they" do.
Most people who say they'd become Christians if it weren't for "Christians" aren't really serious; just rationalizing their infidelities.
Yet, as Mark Twain said, "The church is always trying to get other people to reform. It might not be a bad idea to reform itself a little by way of example."
And as His heart ached along with the hearts of His to see the "Christian" attack on TT, another Twainism comes to mind: "It takes your enemy and your friend, working together, to hurt you to the heart;
the one to slander you and the other to get the news to you."
My dad is a mid-octogenarian; and I'm so upset with him because he's so right about so much.
I think he'd make a great President.
God knows he wouldn't/couldn't be any worse than any of 'em currently in the run.
And here's one of the things from him that's really helped me to incarnate our Lord's counsel to "shake off the dust" when dealing with the aforementioned: "If people don't want me around, I don't come around. I don't play those games."
He's taught a lot to me about differentiating authenticity from posing.
There's such a big lie polluting too many churches.
"You can't tell if someone is a Christian!"
That's a lie hatched in hell.
Calvinists, despite their OCD with double predestination, talk about showing the signs/proof/evidence of salvation.
Lutherans, despite their OCD with grace apart from obedience, like to quote their sub-founder: "Good works don't make a person good; but a good person does good works."
They got it from Paul (e.g., Galatians 5:6; 16ff.).
They got it from Jesus (e.g., Matthew 5-7).
Where in the hell did that lie originate.
Oh, yeah, uh, again,...hell.
I can't get those "Christians" attacking TT out of my mind.
Actually, I can't get "Christians" out of my mind who think God really cares about who wins "games" when there's so many more important matters like keeping posers in "their" churches and joining authentics in His Church.
Yeah, we want the posers converted to authenticity; but anyone who knows anything about the parable of the sower (Matthew 13:1-23; 36-43) knows the condition of the soil has a lot to do with the germination of the seed.
The always excellent/efficacious Gospel seed doesn't always hit paydirt/hearts.
To the next somewhat related point.
I'm a Giants fan; and though I thought the Packers were on their way to the second of three consecutive Super Bowls, I kept thinking about 2008 as the game approached.
But, confessionally, I am taking little delight in Sunday's superficial-to-what's-really-important "win" because of the overwhelming/overarching-to-what's-really-important "loss" that the Packers experienced in the tragic death of a coach's son just days before kick-off.
I can't imagine "playing a game" when someone so close to the "team" suffered so much.
The Packers did not play like the Packers played all year; except for that aberration with the Chiefs.
The Packers were lifeless and listless and didn't look like they were into the, uh, game.
That's because it's hard to "play a game" when in the midst of something of much greater consequence.
Yeah, the Giants advance; but the Packers did not lose.
Their priorities would not allow them to "play a game" to the best of their athletic prowess because their hearts were aching so much.
No one can convince me that the Packers weren't the best team in all of 2011.
Really, I'd have some real questions about the condition of their hearts if they had played to the best of their athletic prowess; just as I have growing concerns about the "Christian" attack on TT for getting caught in prayer while not being so concerned about...
Well, I wrote enough about that in previous editions.
"Christians" can be as worldly as anyone else when it comes to shooting their wounded.
That's a big part of what's happened to TT at "their" infidelity's hand.
That's a big part of the criticism apart from the reality of what's really important that's being directed at the Packers for Sunday's dismal, uh, performance.
Yeah, I'm a Giants fan; but I take no pleasure in Sunday's results.
Yeah, I would have rooted for the Giants over the Broncos if...; but I'm so bummed out by the "Christian" attack on TT.
Maybe it's because I'm sometimes targeted by "Christians" who feel the need to hurt me to assuage their...
Maybe it's because I'm often witness to "Christians" who feel the need to hurt others to assuage their...
Maybe that's why I'm increasingly relentless in, as one of my former homiletics professors prescribed for the pulpit/teaching/caring, comforting the afflicted and afflicting the comfortable.
Maybe that's why I'm increasingly, uh, salty to those who must be stung to see their self-righteous arrogance that...
Maybe that's why I'm increasingly, uh, salving to those who've been stung by the pathetically pathological transferences of...
Maybe that's why I spend so much time thanking Jesus for saving me despite me; because one of the most horrifying things about me is knowing I can be seduced into mimicking "them" more than Him and being so much more like "them" than Him.
Let me put it another way.
Experiences over the years.
I had to tell one elder to confess, repent, and be restored or leave office because he didn't really believe in Jesus as Lord and Savior.
I had to tell another elder to confess, repent, and be restored or leave office because he hated everybody for everything but Christ's sake.
I had to tell another pastor to man up and enflesh reconciliation or lose all credibility for posing it in the pulpit.
I had to tell myself to...
Realities like that make me so glad that Jesus is my/our Savior and Lord.
Realities like that make me so glad to know He loves/saves me/us in spite of who I/we am/are and what I/we do eternally more than because of who I/we am/are and what I/we do.
Realities like that make me realize part of blasphemy against His Holy Spirit is committed by me/us when I/we fail to see "their" hypocrisies reflected in me/us; or as someone once said to me, "The difference between you and me is I know I'm a hypocrite."
TT is so much less hypocritical than the hypocrites who attack him; for, at least, he bows in honor to Him no matter who's watching.
The Packers aren't hypocritical in losing to the Giants; for, at least, their aching hearts wouldn't allow them to forget a grieving brother on the "team" to "win" a game.
I thank the Lord for what I/we can learn from TT and the Packers.
Life isn't a game.
Yesterday was great!
Today has been awful!
I just got a call from a pastor search committee asking if I'm interested in leaving Belvidere.
I said, "You called on a good day to ask; but, no, while interested because I'm on the receiving end of some darts, I'm called to stay for good - or, at least, the duration."
They called after I prayed about wanting to quit.
TT and the Packers were in my mind/spirit.
Blessings and Love!