Post # 227
The reason I blog, is to record the wanderings of my brain. Sometimes I think about what was, sometime about how things are, occasionally it’s how I believe things should be.
On occasion I have caught an episode of Judge Judy, or similar TV judge. Sometimes the complainants are so hilarious I wonder if they are not actors! But being the Judge is so interesting, getting to determine the right and wrong of things.
My thoughts were re-awakened the other day, to a time 40 years ago, back to 1974. It was at this point, with first child on the way, I became interested, or enlightened about my faith. It was the day that I chose to drive the stake in the ground that became the starting point of my new life. From that moment on, I began devouring the words of the Old and occasionally the New Testament. I relished in the ability to lead small groups and generate significant thought provoking discussions.
As we moved from town to town, state to state and church to church, I was always amazed at how unenlightened most of the people were, and yet hungry for THE knowledge, without sensing how to obtain it. Many a time, the right and wrong, I believed, were clearly outlined, and more often than not, edified by me. I had become the Judge of things. Not JUST judging, but THE Judge. Through my studying, and what I was absorbing from various leaders, I learned the ability to “plug into” the gospel, right where you were, in your distinct, individual walk (as long as you followed the rules as I understood them).
We were searching for a quality church, with sound and family principles immediately following a transfer. We decided to attend a conservative church, seemingly right down my alley. You couldn’t imagine my uneasiness to find I was no longer the Judge, but the defendant! I was quickly corrected that the Bible was not place to learn to walk WITH Christ, but to be minutely manipulated by God “as interpreted by these church leaders”. This seat didn’t feel very good. It was not long before we were shown the error of our ways as well as the door.
In this mobile country, there has been such a significant inter-mingling of Anglican, Reformed, and Lutherans that certain foundations in faith that created their separations appear to have been blurred. Once in a while we get to rub elbows with each other as well as Catholics, Jehovah Witnesses, Pentecostal and Easter Orthodox followers. If everyone can keep their heads and check their pride, theological discussions can be quite enlightening and informative. It’s at this time of a “cross pollination” of ideas, however, that I can recognize how churches as well as our society no longer look toward expanding understanding or common ground. Hence the birth of the Emergent Church. There are many within the church whether knowingly or unknowingly to become THE judge and determined to pass judgment upon the error of my understanding.
Forty years after I placed my stake in the ground and identified my beliefs, I find it unsettling to learn that now it’s my time to be judged. Judged today, as I was judging 40 years ago. There have been some recently which clearly express their dissatisfaction with my lack of biblical understanding, believing theirs is such a clear and correct path to follow.
I am thankful to have grown enough to realize that the judgment passed down by these that Judge me, will have no bearing upon my final outcome.