I don’t know if anyone has even noticed, but I haven’t been blogging like I used to do. I’ve been writing regularly on this site for eight years, and I’ve always loved it, until recently. I’m sure some people have assumed I haven’t been as vocal because I’ve been busy working a pandemic as an ICU nurse, and while I have been swamped at the bedside, that’s just not the reason. It’s more disappointing than that.
I have always found joy in sharing the things that the Lord has laid upon my heart. Even when I received angry critiques, death threats, or online harassment, I laughed it off. I knew God had given me the gift and calling to write what I perceived the Holy Spirit was speaking. I never doubted that calling or that gift of knowledge and discernment. And I don’t doubt it now. Not sharing a word on this website has been like ending a relationship with a dear, longtime friend, yet despite the heartache, I simply have been too weary to pick it back up. In essence, as I told a family member recently, I have become disillusioned. This disappointment and awakening to reality has made sharing my thoughts so very hard.
Approximately a year ago it really came to a head. I’ve always heard that you can really see what you’re made of when the heat is turned up. Gosh, this is so true. 2020 really turned up the flame under our lives collectively, and I sadly started noticing what people were made of. It wasn’t the world at large that broke my heart; it was the Christian community. The “church,” the collection of those who claimed Jesus as their Savior, for a large part, were reacting to the heat in a way that did not reflect the character and example of Christ. I’ve always loved the verse that states you will know a tree by its fruit, or when Jesus himself said, “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another (John 13:35).”
I haven’t seen the love. In fact, I’ve seen quite the opposite. I always enjoyed sharing what God was teaching me and revealing to my heart. I never claimed to know it all, and I was always quick to say that I’m a work in progress. I learned that laying down pride and humbling myself daily to the Holy Spirit is so important, because in this posture He reveals His heart to ours. By listening to His direction in humble submission I can see where I have been wrong in the past. And boy, was I wrong.
You see, a large part of me enjoyed the accolades from my fellow Christians. I had not always been a Christian. I didn’t start reading scripture regularly and daily until my thirties. So, as a “newer” believer, I leaned heavily on the church and elders I respected to guide me. Approximately three or four years ago, when I committed to hours of Bible study and quiet time at least 4 days a week, I started to notice a disconnect between the scripture and the behavior of many religious people. In other words, the fruit wasn’t there. Again, this discernment wasn’t from a position of pride. It wasn’t like I thought, “gosh, look at all these church folks not following Jesus like me!” No, it wasn’t like that. More than anything, it was a sad revelation. I became aware of a religious heaviness and spiritual oppression that persisted in some areas. I could feel it. It was heartbreaking.
I continued my seeking daily of God’s will as the years went by. My family sold all our possessions. We went from having everything to basically having nothing. Nothing but each other and God, that is. In this season of casting off the world we found a deeper walk with the Lord. We found God’s priorities for our family. We discovered how to trust Him more deeply and depend completely on His leading. It was glorious!
Along our season of walking deeper with Jesus, came an awakening to the world around us. We became more aware of how we could please the Lord in our daily lives. We changed our actions and behavior based on scripture. We wanted to walk in the Fruits of the Spirit, at all times! Even when the heat got turned up, it seems.
In 2020 the whole world caught fire, but it seemed to me that it was the church that let themselves get burned the most. Not at first. At first everyone was very loving to their neighbor, but as it got hotter out there, the rotten fruit came out. Again, please understand this doesn’t come from a place of pride for me. This comes from a place of heartache for my brothers and sisters in Christ. I haven’t spoken because my heart hurts too much to have uttered a word.
Somewhere in the fire of lockdowns, sickness, and financial strain, my brothers and sisters became very angry. I didn’t have a problem with the anger. I mean, I got angry too. The problem was where the anger was projected.
The Christian community is quick to say “it’s not a battle of flesh and blood we fight, but a spiritual one against the forces of darkness. Like, every believer I’ve ever met will agree. So my question is, why have we been fighting flesh and blood?!
I do blame social media for a large part of the problem. We live in a sinful world, born with a sinful nature of this world, and social media has been more than happy to feed that fleshly character. I have seen blatant, political propaganda be slurped up happily like it was the Gospel, and in this vehicle of political and religious angst, I’ve seen the church derail. Instead of a battle of good and evil, where God always wins in the end, we’ve lost our Kingdom-view glasses, and we’ve started a battle of us against them.
Republicans versus Democrats
BLM versus All Lives Matter
Like, you can’t support the police and support justice and equality.
Somewhere along the way we labeled everything that didn’t fit into our box as unGodly and bad. Vaccines became bad. While they’ve always been a way to combat disease, they suddenly became a way to “take away freedom.” I’m not sure where this started, but it really took off! It became a trend that if you were a Christian you couldn’t get vaccinated. False information began to fly around. Some of the most ridiculous and false information I’ve ever seen. Suddenly the Covid vaccine contained baby parts and changed your DNA. Don’t even get me started on the magnets and chip discussions. But I digress.
I don’t want this post to be about the vaccine. You can love Jesus and decide not to get the Covid vaccine. That’s not the point of this. The point is, people began to widely accept unvalidated, false info. The point is, Christians started believing we were in a battle of flesh and blood, that the pharmaceutical companies (flesh, real men and women), that the Democrats (flesh, real men and women), that the president (flesh, a real man) was out to destroy them. Instead of putting faith in God, or trusting Him to fight our battles of a spiritual nature, we took to horses and chariots to fight the flesh of those who oppose us.
I have heard preachers state the Democrats are trying to attack the church and take away our freedom to worship. There’s no thought of the Lord fighting for us, but only how we must arm ourselves with rifles to keep them sinners out!
We don’t see people as children of God. We see them as the enemy.
Our fruits are not patience, peace, gentleness, kindness, and especially not self-control. The fruits of many Christians have become rage, judgment, selfishness, and the exact opposite of love.
Christians have been proclaiming “faith over fear” and wrongly assuming that getting a vaccine or wearing a mask is fear. Those things aren’t fear. They’re wise, selfless, scientifically proven ways to decrease virus transmission. The real fear is the fear of losing our man-made religion! The Bible states nothing can separate us from His love, yet we’re afraid of the democrats closing our church building! Doesn’t add up, guys. The real problem today is fear among Christians. The Bible states there is no fear in love, yet proclaimed Christians are afraid of governmental control, vaccine and mask mandates, and liberal lawmakers. That makes it seem like maybe love isn’t there, since fear is so prominent. I mean, the fruit isn’t speaking like we’re His disciples. Just saying.
When the Holy Spirit began speaking to my heart how to bear His fruit and be a disciple of His love, I tried sharing this with my Christian followers. The problem was, while my words were based on scriptural truth and the words of Jesus Christ, they didn’t coincide with the popular thoughts of the Christian Church (of this world) and religion. So, while my blog posts gave a WWJD, kingdom view, they upset the religious realm of this world. Therefore, my thoughts were met with anger. In fact, met with rage! I was vehemently persecuted like I was Satan himself. I was called a “baby murderer” when I questioned if the former president’s behavior was something a lover of Jesus could support. I was attacked in flesh and blood as if who held a political office was a kingdom matter that meant the tie-breaker for who won the spiritual battle at the end of times. Do we see the problem here?
I stopped writing because the deception that tells man that his religious practices and political affiliation will save him, was too deep for me to speak against. I stopped writing because the false narrative was so much more tasty for people to ingest than God’s truth according to scripture. I stopped writing because I became disillusioned with how people I had loved, trusted, and respected in the Christian community could treat other humans with so much hatred and disdain. It broke my heart to the point of paralyzing me to speak on it.
Will I write again after this post? I hope so. I write for God, and God is love, and sharing His love is my calling. I want to share His love here. I hope I can share it by modeling it. I hope I can model it by loving my enemy, by bearing good fruit, and by encouraging others to do the same. We can be disciples, but we will only ever be an exclusive club rather than His church and bride if we can’t draw people to His heart by love. Our politics won’t win souls to Jesus. Our anger, rage, and judgmental behavior of those who believe differently than us certainly will not. So, maybe I’ll start trying again to model that love. That love that knows no fear, that love that is patient and kind. That does not envy, boast, and is not proud. Love that does not dishonor others, and is not self-seeking, not easily angered, and keeps no record of wrongs. Love that does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. Love that always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres (1Corinthians 13). I will persevere.