Saturday, March 30, 2013

"Woe To You"

This is on my personal blog as opposed to my more Bible-based one, despite it being based in Scriptures. The reason is because it is on a more "me" level than most of what would be on the other.
Call it anger, call it frustration, call it indignation, i don't care. When it comes to this, i'm mad. I'm furious about this kind of thing.

Let's start with how Jesus treated those who worked, served, and taught in the temples and synagogues.
Look at Matthew 23; there are seven times in this chapter where He says "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites!"
The entire chapter, Jesus is exclaiming His discernment against them, and even goes so far as to call them snakes and a brood of vipers.
"Righteous indignation" is what we call Jesus' anger. And it's often directed at the leaders of the temples, not those who worshiped there and brought forth offerings. He was angry at the elders, pastors, preachers, deacons, ushers, etc. Those who "direct" the places of worship.

Yet in 1 Timothy, we read that "The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honor, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching."

This is far from a contradiction. The wording most consistent through all the translations i've looked at has been this; "well". Not those who serve, but those who serve well. The ones who don't serve well, who serve crookedly . . . "Beware of the teachers of the law. They like to walk around in flowing robes and love to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces and have the most important seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at banquets. They devour widows’ houses and for a show make lengthy prayers. These men will be punished most severely."
Luke 20:46-47.
Let me repeat that, "These men will be punished most severely."

My point in all of this is to urge you to not settle for a church that is merely "decent" or "acceptable."
Find a church based in the Bible.
Find one where those who are chosen to serve there are held to ideals fitting for a temple.
Find one where the sick come to be healed. And i'll tell you right now, i've a list of maladies that could fill a book. But that's why i go; it's to be a hospital anyways.
Find one where the leaders are not a "brood of vipers."
In reading this, i'm brought back to a couple songs by a rather bold band called We As Human, specifically the song "Burning Satellites." He talks about tv preachers, then asks "How do you sleep at night, you filthy dogs, you sons of men?" and goes on to tell them they can change, and asks God to "help the scales fall from their eyes."
There's a lesson in that; if you find yourself in a church where those serving/working are loyal to self and tradition instead of God, pray that God helps the "scales" be removed. But make sure you don't have a plank in your own eye first.

I'm thankful there's a Godly church filled with sick people just like me, as well as healthy people who offer to help the sick, and where the preacher is genuine.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

"Framed Like A Picture" Flash Fiction

 Every story has a happy ending.

 That's what I'm told, at least. I'm not so sure that's a universal fact so much as a literary tool to make people think they're happy, when the truth is they're miserably incomplete from their first breath to their last. Winners die, losers live. Losers die, winners live. Which of these is the more tragic? The loss of greatness and prevalence of the mourning, or the perishing of those who know no joy? It's a matter of the “decrease [of] the surplus population”, or greatness being torn from someone. We're left with the age-old question, is it better to have loved and lost, or to have never loved at all?

 To have never loved; where's the happy ending in you?

 To have loved and lost, what elation rests in this?

 No, I'm convinced that neither is worthy of jubilation. Only the perfect, idealistic tales of love that end in “happily ever after” are the ones worth having. Yet even these are of mediocrity and generic nothingness. Love is not two who are happy with everything; that's ignorance and bliss. Love is two who fight through torrents and come out exhausted, but also stronger than before.

 Ours should have been lasting. Instead, it led to binding; chafing the wrists with coarse sisal.

 Love is pain. Whether lost, absent, or enduring, it is pain. Why should we strive for such a torment? What's there to gain in love, anyways?

 That may be the wrong question; what's there to maintain in the void of love? What's there to not lose in the perseverance of it?

 The answer is life. The answer is faith. The answer is truth. The answer is hope. The answer is everything.

 Even the most tragic of love, so long as it's true, is more triumphant than the most fulfilling lack of it.

 The voice beyond what I can see informs the gathered of my crimes.

 The rope around my neck tells me I die in vain.

 The heart in my chest says I lived in love.

 And no institution of man can diminish the hope in that.

 Framed like a picture, I'm waiting to fall and shatter.

 They have the wrong man.

 I loved her.

 I lo--

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

[Shameless Plug]

So, i've recently published another short story online.
It's free, and available in formats supported by a computer, Kindle, Nook, and other 'readers'.
Enjoy! =)