Benders.

 When I was little, I would never cuss around my mom or any adults, I just thought it would bring me something I wasn’t looking forward to — a spanking!! Everyday when I got to school I would turn on the cussing just to impress those around me, truth be told, I was hoping no adults would hear me, just in case they told my mom. As time went on, I began (without knowing it) creating a duplicitous lifestyle where I would hide certain aspects of my personality just to feel accepted. Just to be loved (sound familiar?). And you know what, it worked!! Now, I am learning to undo this kind of double life. It is not fair to me or to other people. You see, to the Jews of the first century and the Hebrews before that, there was no division between the spiritual and the physical world, it was all held together by the same power. There were never terms like sacred and secular or christian and non-christian. there was just living everyday life and doing that was itself a spiritual act. We almost live our lives as if we are under some kind of curse thinking we have to behave in a certain manner to receive praise and some golden trophy (some know this as a crown), you see that belief in and of itself creates the curse life, a life where we have come to believe we need to do and say certain things with certain cliches’ to actually be acceptable to God and to others around us. Phrases like ‘Amen’, ‘Sinners Prayer’ (again, man-made), and ‘Let Go and Let God’ (which aren’t bad in and of themselves) must not be so overused that they lose their meaning (unfortunately, we are already at that point). And if we live our lives as if we are still under some kind of ethereal curse, what does that do for Pauls words in Galatians 3:13 where He says Christ became the curse so we wouldn’t have to. We have created a Christianity that was never meant to exist. A Christianity that even seems duplicitous to a world who doesn’t want to believe because of the two-way life we have learned to live. We must began dismantling church practices that have been man-made (and that, unfortunately, is alot of Christianity (which at this point is nothing more than man-made religion)) . Some may read what I am saying and think that I might say that all of Christianity is wrong and irrelevant, and this is not what I am saying at all, I am dealing with the modern-day pharasaic order of the church — the practices and language that have now become so irrevelant and stale that even believers are walking away from the church (noticed I lowercased the ‘C’, most of these believers aren’t walking away from the the movement of the Church, but the local expression of church (if it stays the way it is) will end up dying if we do not do something drastic. It is okay to not use words like “sanctification” and “redemption”, it is okay to live out a life of sanctification and redemption, there is a stark contrast I am making here, one is words based on a lifestyle that can’t perfectly match up and another is a lifestyle based on attempts made only in grace and the knowledge that God always makes the first move toward us becoming more like Christ (which initially might mean “anointed”, but when delved into deeper, Christ really means, “who we were meant to be”-the ultimate human–yes, He was also divine). We must be people who are change agents for the Church (people), we can no longer find ourselves folding hands in churches, we must find ourselves outside church walls and touching people, folding our hands is no longer an option. Instead of praying for prayers to be answered, be the prayer that needs answering. We no longer need to follow a history of faith, we longer have the luxury of following a history of faith, rather we must become followers and history makers within our faith…this is the calling, this the path….the gauntlet has been set…make your move and be the curse breakers and culture benders we were meant to be…live it up!!!

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