Tag Archive: the rabbit hole


this issue has been brewing in me for a while now…bill-of-rights there are a host of difficult issues at play with the activation of the religious freedom act.

 FEAR

both sides of this issue have fear as a motivating factor.  for those that believe on one should be with-held services because of their sexual orientation through the lens of religious belief the fear could be placed at the feet of the question; “what’s next?  who are they going to bar next?  don’t i have the right to eat & sleep where i want?  isn’t this a free country where no one shall be unfairly judged or mistreated because of their nationality, creed, etc.?” the fear coming from the other side of the issue may sound like this; “if we, who morally object to this lifestyle, are forced to set aside our beliefs what’s next?  what will they take away next, our right to freely gather, our right to worship our God without mistreatment & persecution?” for the follower of Jesus the conversation, for me, begins in the wrong place. Jesus tells His disciples [and us] to not be afraid.  to let go of our fear, to trust in Him.  i kind of wonder, as one who is a follower of Christ, that our fear [Christ-followers] is a simple lack of faith that God has all things under His control.

 He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”

-mk.4:40

 something’s that at stake here for us all, is the answer to this question:  will you & i live in fear with what might happen if…? if we get under the surface at all that’s much of this is all about.

“are we headed back to segregation?”

“what will the government make us do next?”

“is this the end of religious freedom?”

“is this the end of my personal freedom?”

WORRY

are you, am i [as a follower of Christ], willing to trust in God that He has it under control? Jesus was very explicit that if we followed Him it would get tough [putting it lightly – He actually said we could die].  but that struggle, difficulty, persecution doesn’t mean that God had let go of the wheel & mayhem is on the loose.  it simply means that the struggle continues & government, no matter it’s form or goals, does not have the last word. “but what about the WORD of God standing tall?  don’t you want that?”   of course i  do.  but judgment is best reserved for God and God alone. accountability for actions is served best in the context of relationship.  picket lines & petitions don’t allow for any relationship & draw lines of one side against another; and i’m just not that interested in doing that.  i’m more interested in the love i show & how it reveals the work of Christ in me, broken & hypocritical as i can be.

 LOVE

as followers of Christ we are continually walking a thin line between demonstrating the love of Christ & doing whatever we want.  i saw a facebook post earlier this week from a friend when he simply reminded us that Jesus hung out with the prostitutes, tax collectors & those who partied too much.  and in the eyes of the religious elite, ruined His character. Jesus’ time here on earth was spent with those that the “church folk” didn’t want to have anything to do with.  and all Jesus does is spend time with them, offering them a chance to have a relationship with God. a God they may not have known. 1283-Indiana-Religious-Freedom-Restoration-Act-Frequently-asked-questions a God they may have felt abandoned by. a God they were not invited to know. we all have a tendency to get our rights all mixed up in all kinds of things.  as a follower of Jesus my rights take a back seat to the real call on my life; to love well.  Jesus tells us that how we love communicates whom we follow, so He says love others in the same way He has loved us.

 there is no fear in love. but perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. the one who fears is not made perfect in love.      

1jn.4:18

 so our worry & fear stand in the direct path of God’s working in the midst of the muddy, murky water of life.

 FINALLY

the whole truth of how this all plays out is yet to be determined, but i have said this for a long time.  i believe that it’ll be settled by the wallet & not much else. we like money more than we like almost anything.  and this decision will have a financial impact on indiana more than the religious or LGBT community. when our wallets are affected we become different people, almost entirely regardless of our beliefs & convictions.  we have placed a great deal of importance on money & the false security it provides…

…but that’s probably a topic for another time.

so in the mean time love well, in the manner that Jesus loved. lay your worry to rest; and don’t let you fear be your spokesperson.  that guy gets enough air time.

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getting past GOOD ENOUGH

recently, as i was thinking about what it means to give our best [our best time, energy, effort, money…] there was a question that rose up within me.

“what is the most detrimental thing to us giving our best?”

i think it may be the idea that it’s good enough, that it’s just enough to get by & even make it [whatever it is we’re doing] look pretty good.  and so this is the problem: when we do something & didn’t give out best effort, presence, time, energy; and it still comes off as “well, there were some problems, but that was pretty good” that has a carry-over into other areas.  that feeling of good enough’s stick with us, and becomes hard to shake.

there is a great deal of intention-ality in breaking free from the good enough’s.  and quite honestly, as churches, we’re not always real good at breaking free of things that we’ve always done; even the good enough’s.  there has to be a good deal of conversation & question asking, questions like: are we doing this because we really feel like this is the best use of our resources? [tough question because it requires us to examine why we’re doing what we’re doing] –  is this event, effort, service/worship gathering meeting the needs of those we’re trying to reach?  or are we just trying to make the givers of the church happy? [this was an actual conversation i witnessed with church leaders] – is this thing we’re spending money on, asking volunteers to spend time on reflective of the mission we’re pursuing? [sadly, many organizations/churches don’t know what their mission is & never ask this kind of question]

reasons why the good enough has a hold…

maybe we’re addicted to our free time & what we want to do.  & to raise the bar, do it better, put forth greater effort requires more work than we’ve been willing to give in the past.

maybe we don’t want to give up the little more money it would require to do “it” better.  this can be a tough one for us to hear; and this one comes from both the leadership of an organization right on down to our personal finances.  for many of us giving money toward something that directly benefits us, even if it’s a significant amount of money, is something that we just do.  some of us don’t even think about it…i know i don’t.  but when we’re confronted with things or options that seem a little more abstract or stretch us into places we’ve not been, our grip gets a little tighter.

the truth of this is that it begins with us.  we cannot expect that our church or organization will simply change if we are unwilling; weather we see ourselves as leaders or not.  the next time i’m confronted with an option of joining something or giving more of myself to something, a thing i believe in & want to be a part of, i’m praying that i might be reminded of God’s request for our very best.  when 1st century jews made sacrifices to God it was to be the best they had.  didn’t have to be the biggest in the neighborhood, didn’t have to be the world’s most valuable commodity it simply had to be the best that family had to offer.  it was a trust that God would provide in the future for what the family needed.  it meant that we believed that God had our best in mind no matter the circumstances.

working to get past the good enough’s

2nd 3rd waves of change

change is a hard thing to grab onto @ times.  it can challenge the way we’ve always done things, it can up-end plans that we’ve put into place, & it can disrupt a future we had in mind.

but, when we accept a change that’s been handed down to us, that is IF we accept said change, it can become incredibly freeing.  the thing about change & shift is that it has a theoretical portion to it & a practical “this is how it’s going to get done” portion.

when we talk about change & say “here it is, this is what we need to do.”  the data is presented, the discussion is had, the pro’s & con’s are weighed, opinions are heard.  here it’s all just talk.

then it takes some “doing”.  we get practical & we figure out schedules & how many hands we’re going to need to make this new thing happen & the wheels start to move.  it’s hard,  but we knew it would be.  there’s been some loss; there always is with new things being born.  but there’s some new life that’s realized too.  that also happens when the “new” is seen.

so none of this is new news to anyone.  this is what we know…

here’s something that we may know as well, that change comes in a couple of waves.  it’s not all instant & we didn’t know [up front] all of the possible shifts that would have to be made.  when one thing changes it will cause ripple affects in multiple places, that much we know.  what we don’t know & can never completely predict, is  how those other ripples will show up & what other things those ripples may reveal.

the question becomes this:

when the leader[s] projected the picture of this “new future/shift/idea/program” &  you decided to get on board…

…what was/is your commitment level to being a part of this new thing?

as a leader, unveiling the new vision…

…what is/was your commitment level to developing & nurturing whats been growing inside you?

the new project that we move toward is going to cause some ripples in places we never expected to see.  it’s going to cause some change in areas other than the one new thing we’re doing.  it will push us toward some people we may not be comfortable with.  it will almost certainly challenge some of our thoughts about God, how church is supposed to be done.  and it may challenge some of our theology.

the question then becomes, are you willing to see how deep the rabbit hole goes?

will you follow in the midst of questions?

will you lead all-the-while questions & doubts are hurled your way?

will you believe that God has brought you to a place where greater trust is needed in Him instead of our carefully laid out plans & schemes?

this sounds risky…

but then again, it probably should.