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It all started when…
It all started for me several years ago when the publicity surrounding the horrific tragedy of the Syrian Refugee Crisis became something on the nightly news. I was mostly oblivious to the suffering of the Syrian people at the hands of their own government and aided by the Russians. The pictures were horrible, but all of a sudden, what I heard on the evening news was somehow able to work its way through my happy, churchey, conservative, evangelical, republican mindset ... and what I heard was that this great country ... America the Beautiful, the Land of the Free, the Home of the Brave, the land of Lady Liberty saying "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!" ... that Land was instead saying "NO, We will not take you in! Because we are afraid that one of you might be a bad person and might hurt us" Seriously, how horrible and how diametrically opposite that way of thinking is for an American to say after all that we have said we were for so long. But what was even worse for me at that time was to see and hear the church ... pretty much the whole American evangelical church all across this "great" land, choosing to stand up and agree with these politicians who were acting so very unAmerican. The church was standing in lock-step with them and it made me sick.
As I came to realize how terribly wrong that was and how I could no longer stand in the same line with that way of thinking, I wondered what else the church ... no, let me back up, the Americanized, GOP, Conservative version of the church, which I had been aligned with for years, I wondered what other social issues the church had compromised on and used its influence in order to keep itself powerful and comfortable instead of acting in the way Jesus had acted in the gospels, and which I am convinced He is still calling us to act today. So in that moment, I began to reexamine everything ... I began to look at all the things that seemed to not line up with the Jesus of the Red Letters in the Bible ... and there are lots of things that don't line up. So, that's where I am today. That's how I've gotten to where I am. I'm certainly not all the way there yet ... There are still things that the years of selfish programming has deeply latched into my life. But I will not stop searching. I will continue to pursue the call of God to His service and to the service of the least of these. If you'd like, I'd love for you to take this journey with me, but be prepared. When you are confronting something that has been deeply engrained in your being for so long, the extricating of it is often painful.