Recently I have been watching a TV Program set in Tudor times. It was intriguing, shocking and eye opening for me. I never studied this period of history in school so was unaware of the ‘Reformation’ and the martyrs who were burned, ripped apart, tortured, buried alive and beheaded. What cruel times. The thing that shocked me the most was the individual story of one man who would not sign a document which he felt would condemn his soul to eternal damnation. He faced the prospect of prison, humiliation and death. A well respected man in the Kings Court with a large family and devoted wife begged him repeatedly to sign the document, as they had, to save his own life. The man went to his death believing that he was doing God a favour, his belief system couldn’t imagine a God who loved him and his family so much that He wanted them to dwell together in peace and have a blessed life! He gave his life for something that I feel God did not even register was worthy of any punishment, let alone a never ending torment in flames for a man who was a good family man and had lived a life of love and servitude to his King!
It could be argued that in those days there was less understanding of scripture? That the times and church were riddled with superstition and lack of true understanding of the same scripture we read today? I am just struck and horrified that an intelligent man/woman can be so muddled in their image of who God is, and what He requires from us. That we can be so mixed up in our belief that we make decisions and say or do things to our own detriment and our families in His name. What if God is a loving, merciful loving Father who loves us unconditionally and holds no grudge but whose main aim and desire is for us to live our lives full of joy and peace and be a blessing to others around us? The very thought that women felt that they were cursed by God for not producing a son or when suffering a miscarriage….
This stuff still goes on in church to this day, if you are sick perhaps you are in sin, or is it God’s way of punishing you? How disgusting and vile is this method of controlling the congregation from the pulpit. We were taught these things ourselves in our Pentecostal Church. It has taken time to rid ourselves of these lies, as has the unction to attend church or you will be known as a ‘Backslider’ or a ‘Trouble Maker.’ someone who is rebellious. People waiting for an answer from God on which decision to make in life – petty or trivial, it doesn’t matter. You wouldn’t want to invoke His wrath or make a decision that He wouldn’t agree with! What rot. I know many of us would have moved on from these unfounded lies of control that confine the church but what about the less obvious crippling lies we have all been infiltrated with? The man in the story – a real man – went to his death I feel unnecessarily!
I am concerned that in these days we may believe certain things to be true and cling on to them because we have been told that they are the irrefutable truth. What if they are not? What if scripture was tainted by the same unscrupulous people who sought to control subjects in Tudor times such as our man? Scripture was used to the oppressors advantage and twist peoples words and confessions in order to to maim and torture poor souls in the name of God! Have we got all the answers? Do we fully understand God? Do we understand who Jesus was? Do we understand our own thought patterns? Are we scared to rethink our preconceived ideas if they cause division or raise an eyebrow? There are a few thought patterns or unchallenged perceptions that I’m starting to sift through. I beg you all to be open to rethink and challenge yourselves if it seems that the God they portray is one who is looking for revenge and eternal damnation instead of one who loves ad cherishes you as His beloved!
Only a few years ago I was challenged and shocked when a good friend of ours told me on the telephone that it was God’s design that we were to truly enjoy our lives and find pleasure and joy every day. I remember being really challenged as I thought God required my full devotion and sacrifice and I fell short of that as the children and the business of family life just ‘got in the way’ of my prayerful devotion – so I always felt guilt at not being a ‘God chaser ‘ lol. It seems ridiculous to me now how much guilt I always felt. I am so grateful to you Benjamin Dunn – you dispersed the lie. I also would like to challenge something dear to my heart. I have a beautiful friend who has always been an animal lover just like me. She has a lovely home that she opens up to visitors, usually christians. I think I know the reason why a friend who was staying in her home challenged her one day on her keeping and enjoying her animals; “I just don’t get it,” she exclaimed. It was most likely because her friend had been conditioned to think that anything that can take your time or affection is a rival to God and to be seen as a distraction from the more meaningful things in life. Couldn’t it just be that loving and enjoying her pets was a godly spiritual experience for her and another avenue of Gods grace toward her to feel pleasure and contentment every day of her blessed life?
I am so grateful for people that have dared to go against the grain and searched their heart to challenge the norm. God bless you!! I want to thank everyone who is bold enough to be different and those who we call our friends, those who help us with the home in the Philippines and track with us, and those who party with us when the occasion arises. As our friends you are constantly in our thoughts and I love watching your lives and expressions of life on Facebook. I would like to say in memory also of Dr. Spock – live long and prosper peeps – God bless you all . x