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Saturday, November 1, 2008

He is mine, you can't have Him...

Has the Church missed the mark? I think that the Church is an amazing thing and helps so many people find redemption, but I'm not sure it is exactly what God had in mind. I know too many Christians that are in an incredible amount of pain.

I am not even remotely implying that being a Christian makes you somehow immune to this life, but why isn't there more of a difference between Christians and Non-Christians? I recently had an interesting conversation with a friend. He said that a group has been studying things like divorce, bankruptcy, suicide, etc., for past couple of decades and that statistically there was no difference in the percentages if you were a Christian than if you weren't.

I was wondering how that could be. I haven't done any big study on this, but I was reading someone's story in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous. She was one of the first women ever in A.A. She loved the program of
Alcoholics Anonymous, but couldn't get past the 'Higher Power' thing. One day she became very angry with some people and decided to show them by getting drunk again. This was when she had her spiritual awakening. In that moment she says that it made perfect sense to her. It wasn't about Religion. It was about freedom. Freedom to live.

Isn't that why Jesus came? Not so that I could be Evangelical Free and you could be Catholic, Methodist, Assembly of God, or Pentecostal. He came so that we could be free. I believe that the goal is to get back to that perfect relationship with God that existed in the Garden. I don't recall a lot of rules for Adam and Eve. Actually, there was just one. As soon as they broke that one rule God had a plan to get us back there; back to perfect communion with Him.

I'm always amazed at how an Alcoholic that has had no relationship with God, ever, gets it so much quicker than a "Christian" does. Maybe it is the desperation involved. However, I think that it revolves around maybe the greatest phrase in
Alcoholics Anonymous, "The God of your understanding." I have a friend that said to me, "This is my God, you can't have Him. Find your own." He actually said it like a child with his favorite toy in hand. It really offended me, but later I understood what he was saying. Why would I want to worship the God of my friend's understanding? I have had a different life. I have been through different things. And, don't forget that God wants a unique, personal relationship with me. I guess that is why we are all so different, isn't it?

My Dad is a pastor and he gets a little fidgety when we start talking about "Higher Power" and "God of your understanding". The thing to remember is that I grew up knowing my Dad's God, not mine. I grew up understanding someone else's God and I ended up a drunk because that God couldn't possibly love me. He could forgive me, but only because he had too, not because he loved me.

James 4:8 tells us to draw close to God and He will draw close to us. It is personal. It is unique.
The Big Book of A.A. says that if you draw near to God that he will reveal Himself to you. Now, who would you rather hear it from; God or me?

I since have found the God of my understanding. He is the God of the Bible that sent his son to die for me, but He is mine. You can't have Him. Go find Him for yourself.

Stay strong,


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1 comment:

The Blainemonster said...

Wow that's excellent. You said, "I'm always amazed at how an Alcoholic that has had no relationship with God, ever, gets it so much quicker than a "Christian" does."
I've had friends who came out of homosexuality, serious abuse, what have you, and they do "get it", while so many who have been "churchified" just don't. It's like they're glazed over or something. The ones that do "get it" remind me of the sinful woman in Luke 7 . . . forgiven much, loves much.