Passing one of our big churches today I ran across this significant slogan, calculated to impress the passing wayfarer: ‘We Will Go Out of Business. When? When Every Man in Detroit Has Been Won to Christ.’ Of course it is just a slogan and not to be taken too seriously, but the whole weakness of Protestantism is in it. Here we are living in a complex world in which thousands who have been ‘won to Christ’ haven’t the slightest notion how to live a happy life or how to live together with other people without making each other miserable .”
― Reinhold Niebuhr, Leaves from the Notebook of a Tamed Cynic
In writing this I have to admit that I am angry and I have been angry for quite a while. I admitted this to a couple of my adult children and it made them a little uncomfortable. I admitted this to my husband and he was not a bit surprised. I admitted to my best friend and she said “Me too!” I said it out loud to God for about 30 minutes in the car and he said nothing…I was not surprised.
But in saying it out loud and just being honest, I was met with a thought about hope. Yes, I am very angry but isn’t this anger a sign of hope. Would I be this angry at what I see if I didn’t believe there was another way and there was still hope to go that way. Consequently if I have hope, then wouldn’t my anger point to a love and a truth for not only Love and Truth, but for all of creation and it’s creatures, including my neighbors who seem to be trapped in a monoculture that has produced a consumer mentality that is completely disconnected from Truth and Love. And though this disconnection from Truth and Love is obvious, are we not asked (demanded) to believe that a disconnected person can be both enlightened and qualified to teach us how to choose right from wrong, good from bad and evil from not so evil (A good example of this would be piously uplifting a TV show like Little House of the Prairie rather than Queer Eye for teaching moral principals and correctly applying biblical truths.) But angrily I digress…
Over the years and through confrontations with my own self about believing a lie that allowed me to become a consumer, who worked very hard obsessively curating my very own “self-righteous” consumer lifestyle (a lifestyle that was validated and supported by the Christian industrial complex), I have been both humiliated and humbled by my ignorance and arrogance. Likewise, I have been confronted many times by everything that has come out of my big mouth when I thought I had found the right doctrine and the right church that proved I was thinking the right way about the right way to live and rightfully choosing the right things that would ultimately prove that I was right.
Right? Wrong! I was so wrong about what I thought was right and true and good. What happened after I was made aware of just how wrong I was and had been for so many years, and after I sat down and confessed and mourned my many many mistakes, is that I became angry. In fact, I became really angry and out of that anger I started writing and I haven’t stopped. It has now been a little over 10 years of writing and with each year I have continued to be confronted by deeper levels of ignorance and arrogance in my own self and, at the same time, in the monoculture in which all consumers live, move and have their being. At this point, my anger seems to be directed at the people who think they are “good” people and have no problem publicly saying so. Consequently, it is these good people who seem to continually pour the most gasoline on my fire.
No, they didn’t start the fire. I was set ablaze in my own crash and burn. It has been through the process of living wild and free, and by confronting the lies that my fire has grown. In fact, my fire now rages against the monoculture and it’s systems, lies, language, mentality and constructs that sustain it, and by the Christian industrial complex that sanctifies it. If I am being completely honest about who I am most angry with, then it is my “christian” brothers and sisters who blindly participate in the monoculture and regurgitate it’s foolish ways, “truths” and copy it’s gluttonous and idolatrous consumer lifestyle.
Over the last 7 years, I have used physical health to confront the lies that we all believe around diet and workouts with the hope of confronting the deeper lie. It has taken me a few years to get up the nerve to finally say what I believe to be the truth and that is We don’t love ourselves. This is the truth that if we can confess it, then we can kill the root cause of diet-related disease and sickness. I believe the reason why we don’t love ourselves is because we refuse the way to know who we are or how we are naturally designed to be healthy, whole, holy and human. As a result, we have forgotten that every single person is beautifully and wonderfully made and we avoid nourishing the most amazing gifts-our whole selves and each other. But by ignoring the Love and Truth who lives in us, we cannot be set free to be Love and Truth in thought, word and deed or to love our neighbors as ourselves.
And this makes me angry!
It makes me really angry to see 88% of Americans have some form of diet-related disease and sickness. I am not saying I don’t understand why this has happened, because I do. I wrote a whole book about it Fed A Lie. But more than that- I am really angry that we can’t talk about it and then we think we can correctly address and confront everything and everyone else.
In the south we say “You got a lot of nerve” and what usually follows is the confrontation of a person calling you out when they are everything and usually more of what they accuse of you. The Bible speaks of this in a parable about a log and a splinter. The old folks say this is the pot calling the kettle black. Hopefully, you understand the metaphors. The point I am trying to make is we “Christians” have got a lot of nerve talking about anything when we refuse to look at the one thing that contradicts everything we say- that is how we live. The Bible says “by their fruits we will be known.” So, what truths do our “christian” lives speak? I have some thoughts.
Join me in the new series I’m starting called “You got a lot of nerve.”