Adullams Cave

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Digressing from Dogma

I want to digress a bit.

I have been known, amongst the ever thinning Christian circles that I frequent, as the Grace Man. Many years a go I began to dump all religous dogma, the law and the letter to find a real vibrant and exciting relationship with the God of Grace, Jesus Christ. My journey has led me to camp outside the walls of the traditional church to embrace the church that has no walls - except perhaps the one wall that surrounds us all in love, which is God himself.

Yesterday I wrote about dogma, division and the way that Christ ended both of these things on the cross.

While I wrote my blog yesterday, I made a cynical joke about the Roman Catholic Church and the costumes the priests/bishops wear. I felt a couple of conscience stabs about it but still, I left it in because I am the 'Grace Man' and I am free, right? (I really love to make jokes. It is a big part of me, although some feel it is the unfunniest part of me... :( )

Anyway today I wrote the following comment on another post because, although really done in innocent fun, it had a link on it that I felt represented a very cynical and unloving attitude towards the Institutional Church by those of us who have been enlightened to it's inadequacies.

This is the comment I made:

"I think the reason the church started building walls, literally and metaphysically, is because a handful of people got a hold of a truth and then allowed it to become a wall of division between themselves and their other dear brothers and sisters. Someday we have to stop using the revelation we have been freely given by Gods grace to slam those who havent got it. All that we do with this type of cynical slagging of the church is erect a new church, complete with its own walls. I am a joke a minute type of guy and there is elements about this that truly are funny but I also feel a sadness about it. Whatever mistakes others have made, the have made genuinely and we must, when it comes to the IC, love, love, love with tender and gentle understanding that proves what we have is from God. There is much about the organised church that I dislike but I cannot deny the blessings I also recieved from it in all the years I drank from its wells. I certainly would not be here today without it and the very special beautiful people who still call it their home."

I think it is a very real and valid comment.

Then, when I went back to my own blog to see if anyone had left anymore comments on my blog from yesterday, the paragraph in which I made the cynical joke about the Roman Catholic Church jumped out and poked the 'Grace Man' in the eyes. He, he.

So, I removed it.

Then I thought, "Well how the hell come I have this atttitude!?". The answer for me is simple and it did not take me long to make the connection. When it comes to the RCC I still have hurts and unhealed pain in my life from some very serious offenses that were committed against me as a boy, by a catholic priest. Although the Lord has very gently, over time, healed the pain of those wounds, some hardness, maybe even some unforgiveness remains.

Hardness of heart from unresolved hurts and pain always results in cynicism - even if it manifests under the guise of humour.

I need to continue to allow the lord to sift and heal my heart of the pain I have suffered in organised church systems, even if the hurt is not so obvious.

Then, maybe I could one day become known not just as the Grace Man but as the Love Man.


At 4:37 PM, Blogger Karen said...

Uh, oh. Now the world knows. Simon is human. Cut yourself some slack, Jesus certainly does.
--And I'm sure I'm not the only one that saw myself in this post!

That's one of the things about blogging, Simon. We write one thing one day, then cringe at it the next. But isn't that a good thing? We don't get to review our spoken words nearly so often!

I am SO sorry about your experience in the RCC.

Many people are "recovering" Catholics, and many people are "recovering" Protestants. Most people I know that are now walking the "wall-less" church are working on forgiveness of many different types of woundings. And we can forgive, but forgetting is another thing...only Jesus can truly forget.
Sounds like you're way ahead of the game. :-)

At 4:45 PM, Blogger Tom Reindl said...

Isn't it amazing, Simon, how when we don't, can't or forget to forgive, we are the ones who carry the burden? Forgiveness sets us free, and I think that is what Jesus intended when he told Peter to forgive seventy times seven, etc.

At 5:03 PM, Blogger SteveW said...

As I read your post Simon I thought about Joseph who would be a fruitful bough who's branches would run over a wall. I then thought of The trees of life who's leaves are for the healing of the nations. One more thought came to me then that Jesus is the vine and we are the branches.

I hate to see others, bible pounders, use the scriptures of the old testament and the debates, commentaries and testimonies of the new testament as weapons to inflict pain in others deemed as unworthy. Religion does that a lot. But somehow, within all of the tampered with writings, with their questionable accuracy, I still believe that their is a wonderful revelation of our Lord one that needs to live through us to others with no prejudices.

The grace of God is so awesome. It always finds rest in those others see as unworthy and I guess that could work both ways.

I appreciate your heart Simon and maybe we all should consider that the wall can be breached from both sides. I always wondered about the branch reaching over the wall but thought of it in going out of the church to those outside. Maybe you have helped me to see another possibility that it might be meant to be just as fruitful going from with out to within the walls.

It will certainly have to be God because I too still have too many wounds but God has done some pretty amazing things in my heart in the past. Let His will be done.

Your post has been very thought provoking. Thanks bro.

At 5:14 PM, Blogger Bar Bar A said...

I agree with Karen about how periodically we write something that makes us cringe the next day. I have got up in the middle of the night to delete something that I wrote that evening!

As far at the RCC, I was also raised in it and had family friends and relatives who were/are priests nuns and although I never suffered abuse personally, I saw a side of Catholisim that caused me to be very confused as a child.

Mr. Grace, thanks for sharing your story. I don't think I can say antyhing loving at this point because I am too angry thinking about all the stories I have heard of priests, etc. taking advantage of and abusing children.

At 5:40 PM, Blogger BruceD said...

I think everything I write makes me cringe. But for the grace of God...

At 11:47 PM, Blogger Simon said...

Thanks Karen, Steve, Tom , Bruce and Barbara. I appreciate u all for encouraging me and showing me love and respect.

At 5:56 AM, Blogger Kansas Bob said...

"The Love Man" ... I share that desire. My journey from law to grace has been a painful one. I find that humility is not an option ... we either humble ourselves or He humbles us ... the latter many times looks like humiliation ... maybe that is because stubborness and hard-heartedness is also not an option.

At 7:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like it Simon.. grace and love..
wow.. what more could we ask for...



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