Sunday, August 30, 2015

LEFT Behind or STAY Behind?

It must be "rapture season". It seems like the theme of the day and not to be "left behind", as it were, I wanted to share that I was hit by a premillenial drive-by at the grocery store last night. A man simply walked up to me, reached in his shirt pocket, whipped out the small tract entitled "The Rapture" and kept on walking. Once i realized what had happened I tried to engage him but he never slowed down! Having teethed on this stuff all my life, I know exactly this man's sad mindset. In fact, I have family members who, too, have warned that my current state of mind and practice may cause me to miss the rapture. There was a time when that woulda scared the bejesus outta me. Now, however, I find myself more desirous of bidding a heartfelt adieu to those being raptured (should and when it happens), wishing them nothing but gluttonous and perhaps well-deserved glee around the table of the marriage supper of the Lamb. At this point, I think I would choose to "stay behind" to represent the One who himself chose to enter into the lives of the broken and abandoned to reveal what God is really like. I may die and wish I had held to a shallow theology of escapism, but by the Spirit of God, I seriously doubt it.

Six years and not counting!

Six years ago today I gave my final benediction to the church I had served for the previous 13 years and a career in professional ministry that spanned 25 years in 5 churches and four states. While this is a date I can recognize, it was actually a culmination of years in which I was evolving and simply recognized I didn't fit in not only the church I was serving but also the institution in general. My quitting was not so much a cessation but a continuation on the journey that God initiated and I had the courage to follow. I didn't leave the institutional church because I was hurt and frustrated (I was, undoubtedly) or because it was hard (I stayed as long as I did because it was hard!). I left because of my commitment to Jesus and the Way he exemplifies (present tense). I can honestly say that the current state of my journey seems healthier and stronger than ever. I'm less certain of anything but more sure of everything!