Friday, January 29, 2010
I remember my first youth group experience was a Bible study that met at my youth pastors home. (Please don’t ask me what the subject was because I have no idea.) I do remember that it wasn’t so bad. I always had to sit through a long devotional that was way above my head, but in the end I got to hang out with my friends and eat some pretty good desserts. Unfortunately, it was also the place where I experienced for the first time the ugly side of Christianity. I had missed one of the meetings due to illness only to find out later that my youth pastor told everyone that I listened to rock music so I was not a person that they should be close friends with. BLACKLISTED IN SIXTH GRADE!!! OH! the humiliation. I was bad. Bad to the bone. I listened to Journey. Hide your sons and daughters! I jest now but this was the first wound in a long list of wounds that my heart and soul would sustain in the coming years.
A year or two after this incident my life was turned upside down one morning as I walked through the doors of my 7th grade classroom to find a prayer request written across the blackboard for me that read, “Eric’s dad has cancer.” What the heck are you talking about my dad doesn’t have cancer. Unfortunately, my parents had entrusted this bit of news to the wrong people and the shocking news was delivered to me prematurely. People who are expected to keep their word. People who are expected to do the right thing. People who should have served our family and honored my parents request for discretion rather than fulfilling a morbid desire to get the word out first. I’ll never forget coming home determined to prove this nasty rumor a fallacy only to have my world rocked to its very core. I still get worked up when I think about how my family handled this difficult situation and subsequent situations, but all I could do was hope that they were telling me the truth when they said he would be all right.
On February 21, 1982, I lost my dad, my mentor, and my friend. His death as bad as it was could have been so much worse than it was if I had decided to blame God. So much worse if I had turned my back on God, but I chose to really seek out this God that I had been hearing so much about the last couple years and this eternal life He was offering. Scripture had this bizarre calming effect on me even though I had no idea what it meant. (We were only allowed to use the King James Version back in the day.)
To Be Continued,
Monday, January 25, 2010
I am writing this blog for anyone who has been hurt by the church. I am writing this blog for anyone who has hurt another person because of the teachings of the church. I am writing to people in my past and present who have lost hope and have given up on religion, church, and ultimately on God. I am writing to you because I was you at one time. (yes, I am writing to myself) This blog is about hope. This blog is about Jesus. My prayer is that this blog will enable you to fall madly in love with Jesus as he really is and choose to follow Him with your one and only life. I also want this to be a tool that enables you to disciple others. Please keep your arms and legs in the car until the ride has come to a complete stop.
A fellow Red Letter Disciple,
A fellow Red Letter Disciple,
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
I put this comment on my status on Facebook one day, "The Shack is amazing. It is better than any theology book I have ever read." Little did I realize the comments that would come from the more conservative friends on my friends list. The very idea that I would make such a scandalous comment was absolutely unacceptable, and they were especially disturbed that I would put "The Shack" in the same category as a theology book and of course they assumed I was comparing it to the Bible which I was not doing by the way. It drives me crazy when people are so closed minded to the possibility that a book could be influenced by the workings of the Holy Spirit in the soul of the author. Am I saying that is absolute truth? No. Am I saying you should change your entire view of God from this book? No. I am saying give it a chance to capture the imagination and bring the BIG CONCEPTS of God and His nature down to a more manageable and realistic understanding of Him. We are always trying to figure God out with our head when the reality is we must live this life and follow God with our heart. The central theme of this book is love. God's love for us is eternal even in the most horrific circumstances. WOW! I know another book with the same theme. Keep an open mind people.