Confessions of an Ex-Pacifist

20 Aug

I am a peace-maker naturally. I am not the type of person that likes to enter into debates. Usually, I do everything I can to avoid them. I am a pretty neutral person. I am a pacifist deep in my heart, I have always been. I guess it is sort of middle child syndrome combined with other things in my upbringing.

When it comes to this thing called Christianity, the thing that has driven me the most insane is the disagreements. Can’t we all just get along? I want to take the quarreling children and make them play together. I want the church to sit down and have a mocha and forget about the things that drive wedges between us.

While that is the heart of so many of us, and while God’s heart is definetely for unity, there are things that cannot be ignored.

Lately, my desire is for truth, not a facade of peace. I understand Jesus is the Prince of peace, yet I don’t think peace is everyone just getting a long. There are things I am seeing in the church that are blatantly anti- Jesus and I can’t just brush them aside anymore.

We want peace, but at what cost?

For so long, I was told, this is a battle. I saw that term abused and I saw a lot of casualties, not because of some immoral or political enemy, but because of being worn out from the war rhetoric and religion.

I am now seeing, that the battle we thought we are fighting has already been won.

We have access to God, we have the ability to conquer sin, we have everything we need- we are just not aware of it.

We are still trying to appease God through our petty sacrifices. We are still arguing about which mountain to go up to to find God, not seeing that out of us will flow rivers of living water. We are so inconsistent, so insecure,  so freakin schizophrenic in our view of God!

When two sides contradict each other, for example, the law and grace, we think we just need a balance between the two. Balance is a trendy word in the church, a word I’ve used so often when I couldn’t explain how the wrath of God meets the love of God, or how mercy  meets justice.

The past few weeks, God is opening up my eyes like crazy. The veil is being removed. Things are not what they seem. The rabbit hole runs deep.

But the freedom is immeasurable. The fruits of the spirit are suddenly becoming real in my life. Everything I have been searching for: love, joy, peace, patience, motivation, security, comfort, purpose, passion, creativity- THEY ARE ALL ALREADY IN ME!

Do we, or do we not have God’s spirit within us? We cannot have part of God! Could it be, we are just not aware of Him?  Could it be, that refusing just a little bit to accept his Grace brings condemnation and pulls a blinder back over our eyes?

This may seems crazy to most people, or you just have no idea what I am rambling about. That’s ok.

For so long I tried to make peace between ideas and doctrines that I thought could be mixed- like water and oil, or like new and old wine. Or like hot and cold water, producing luke-warm. For so long, I tried my hardest to “find balance” to justify these contradictions of faith in my head.

No more.

The gift of God is either completely free or it is not.

God either satisfied justice by Jesus dying on the cross, or He did not.

The need for blood to atone for sins was either satisfied in this ultimate sacrifice, or it did not.

There is no balance of the law and grace. They contradict each other.

Being under the law leads to death and having faith to live under grace brings life.

I am so sick of the church taking our eyes off of Jesus and obsessing with our own petty sins.

Like Jesus dying was not enough.

There are movements of thousand of young people beating themselves up, zealous people who love God, believing that their god still demands blood, even though they have accepted Jesus, it’s like the cross did nothing for them, or for history.

My heart is breaking, and it’s not because of the tax collectors and prostitutes of our age. They are actually closer to the kingdom, because they understand their need for God.

My heart is breaking because of the multitudes of people who are miserable, confused and taking great pain to appease God, because they are mixing the old covenant with the new.

Read the book of Galatians. Read Romans. Read what Jesus taught. Read the Gospel Paul preached, the only Gospel we are called to preach- the GOOD news!

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released,
that the blind will see,
that the oppressed will be set free,
and that the time of the Lord’s favor has come.”

He rolled up the scroll, handed it back to the attendant, and sat down. All eyes in the synagogue looked at him intently. Then he began to speak to them. “The Scripture you’ve just heard has been fulfilled this very day!”

(Luke 4:18-21 NLT)

It has been fulfilled!!!!! I am not going to try to justify thinking that makes light of the blood of Jesus.

There is no balance.

There is only Jesus, and He is only grace.

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2 Responses to “Confessions of an Ex-Pacifist”

  1. steve roy August 21, 2009 at 12:59 am #

    The “battle cry” of the Good Shepherd

    Ezekiel 34

    1AND THE word of the Lord came to me, saying,
    2Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel; prophesy and say to them, even to the [spiritual] shepherds, Thus says the Lord God: Woe to the [spiritual] shepherds of Israel who feed themselves! Should not the shepherds feed the sheep?

    3You eat the fat, you clothe yourselves with the wool, you kill the fatlings, but you do not feed the sheep.

    4The diseased and weak you have not strengthened, the sick you have not healed, the hurt and crippled you have not bandaged, those gone astray you have not brought back, the lost you have not sought to find, but with force and hardhearted harshness you have ruled them.

    5And they were scattered because there was no shepherd, and when they were scattered they became food for all the wild beasts of the field.

    6My sheep wandered through all the mountains and upon every high hill; yes, My sheep were scattered upon all the face of the earth and no one searched or sought for them.(A)

    7Therefore, you [spiritual] shepherds, hear the word of the Lord:

    8As I live, says the Lord God, surely because My sheep became a prey, and My sheep became food for every beast of the field because there was no shepherd–neither did My shepherds search for My sheep, but the shepherds fed themselves and fed not My sheep–

    9Therefore, O you [spiritual] shepherds, hear the word of the Lord:

    10Thus says the Lord God: Behold, I am against the shepherds, and I will require My sheep at their hand and cause them to cease feeding the sheep, neither shall the shepherds feed themselves any more. I will rescue My sheep from their mouths, that they may not be food for them.

    11For thus says the Lord God: Behold, I, I Myself, will search for My sheep and will seek them out.

    12As a shepherd seeks out his sheep in the day that he is among his flock that are scattered, so will I seek out My sheep; and I will rescue them out of all places where they have been scattered in the day of clouds and thick darkness.

    13And I will bring them out from the peoples and gather them from the countries and will bring them to their own land; and I will feed them upon the mountains of Israel, by the watercourses, and in all the inhabited places of the country.

    14I will feed them with good pasture, and upon the high mountains of Israel shall their fold be; there shall they lie down in a good fold, and in a fat pasture shall they feed upon the mountains of Israel.

    15I will feed My sheep and I will cause them to lie down, says the Lord God.

  2. Rick Frueh September 2, 2009 at 6:59 pm #

    Your thoughts are well framed in your literary talent.

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