Wednesday, July 25, 2007


Rachel says that (if we meet certain conditions) I can name a child of ours "Utinni" (as in what the Jawas say).

That rocks.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Widowed by the Church

So, last week at jOURney, we looked at Acts chapter six. We looked at how the early church took care of their widows, and we asked who the modern day widows are that we need to look after. I suggested those who have been "widowed by the Church". Those people who no longer feel welcome as a part of the body of believers because of an action, inaction, attitude, or words of someone acting (knowingly or not) as a representative of the Church and of Jesus.

This week, we looked at Acts chapter seven. We looked at the final speech of Stephen's life, and Trevor asked "why do bad things happen to good people". This seems to be a common theological question debated ... well, probably since before Moses. More specifically, he asked us to ponder why certain people die at times where it seems as if they had more to offer, more to give, more ... life.

One suggestion offered is the answer that "we're all deserving of death, no one is really that good". Before I continue, let me say that I understand the theology behind this. Romans, we are all sinners, worthy of death, no one is good, etc. I get the theology.

But this line of thinking is exactly how someone becomes a "widow of the Church".

It's perhaps the easiest way to get someone there.

Think about it. A young woman just lost her husband in a car accident. A mother lost her 22-year old son at war. A two-year old loses a battle with cancer.

And the people affected, The young widow, the hurting mom, the confused family ... they go to the Church, or to someone who represents Jesus, and they ask them about their tragedy. It could be as simple as "why", or "how could a 'loving' God allow this to happen", or any form variant.

And imagine the reaction you get when you answer the question with "everyone deserves to die. no one is actually a good person. we all sin. want to pray and accept Jesus as your savior?"

Now, I can't speak for you, but I would not want to be associated with the person who gave me that response at all. And I certainly wouldn't want to worship the same God they do, nor would I want to hold on to the hope they hold on to. Anyone who ever associated themselves with that "Jesus" would always bring back bad memories, and possibly even repulse me. This person has effectively been widowed by the Church, no longer feeling welcome, or loved.

(As a tangent, do people with this point of view feel hypocritical when they talk about abortion? My experience teaches me that most folks with the above point of view, where we all just deserve to die because God is perfect and we sin, are also anti-abortion. But, if that living being that is a fetus is just a sinner (original sin, right?), then what tragedy is there if it dies? It's just there to die, so there's no tragedy right?)

Are we (and I'm including myself here, I know I've said dumb, hurtful things in the past, and done so when representing Jesus) so ignorant as to never realize the impact of our words to a hurting person, to a person in need, to a person we are to love? Are we unaware of how we widow people away from us?

The flood of emotion I get from this sort of behavior and thinking is a wide range. There's anger, confusion, embarrassment, and so many others. Why do we get so focused on the eternal, that we lose sight of the here and now. Why do we get so focused on "winning people for Jesus", that we lose sight of loving them. And not just loving them because Jesus says to, but loving them because that's what they need, and what we'd want if we were them.

I'm rambling now ... hard to do when you're typing and not talking, but I'm doing it. So, I guess I'll cut this off now, but might add another post on it later.