Passion.

I want to talk about passion. Passion: “a strong feeling of enthusiasm or excitement for something or about doing something”-Webster dictionary. It seems as though our society frowns upon passion for things. The general lack of emotion and enthusiasm from our lobotomized society drives me insane. There are times in life where my heart leaps and jumps out of my chest in excitement and I want to express joy. There are times when I have deep compassion for others and I cry. There are times I pray for others and am down on my knees, flat on my face, begging God for his action. Then there are times when situations infuriate me and I want to fight for justice whether that be with my words or actual actions. It seems the first three situations I listed are o.k. with most people. It’s the third that makes some uncomfortable and squirmy. They point their fingers and call you “un Christlike.” I want to talk about this because the lack of understanding in this arena shows a general misunderstanding of who Christ/God (see https://girloutofthebox.com/2013/12/20/i-and-my-father-are-one/ ) is. Either that or it is a politically correct dogma that has crept into our society. Maybe a little bit of the “love and acceptance” doctrine that is slipping into our churches which tells us we have to accept everything under the sun as good. That we can’t judge because Jesus never judged. That we can’t be angry because Jesus was never angry. They -society- expect you to live in your own little bubble and not have an impact in anyone else’s life. You can’t even say anything to anyone anymore without humbly apologizing that you aren’t trying to be rude, please don’t take this wrong, etc. etc. because they’ll get so offended they won’t talk to you ever again. I must add, however, that it’s o.k. to say something “snarky” and add in a few jabs as long as your apologizing while you do it. In other words it goes something like this, “I am so sorry you feel that way because your an oversensitive, overbearing, and obnoxious person, and don’t take me wrong on that I am not trying to offend you AT ALL. I really don’t want to fight with you because you’re the one whose fueling this argument with your overzealous nature.” Don’t get me wrong but your politically correct bull makes me want to punch you in the face. Like I’m too STUPID to see that you are belittling me. Then when you are on Facebook all the other dimwits who read an argument attack the person whose actually being straight forward and honest while sheltering the person whose “jabbing you under the table” if you will. I don’t know about you but I would rather you tell it to me straight. Proverbs 27:6 “Faithful [are] the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy [are] deceitful.” Don’t try and kiss me while you stab me in the gut, because I might hit you harder than you would like. Call it self defense, not anger.

We are a stand offish, impersonal, and quite frankly unloving society and church fellowship because it’s not “christ like” to step in and impact someones life. Forget Proverbs 27:5,“Open rebuke [is] better than secret love.” Instead we stand off in the corner and take the, “I’ll pray about it” approach. That is all well and good until it’s time to ACT. Until it’s time to step out of your comfort zone and take action. There are leaders, world changers, and movers in this life and they took action because of passion. The Bible is FULL of passionate people in yet our churches are full of people who couldn’t be forced into action if their life depended on it. When action is necessary they simply leave the church and find somewhere else to “visit” for fulfillment. That isn’t what it is all about people! It’s about helping one another, encouraging one another, praying with one another, and admonishing one another in the name of becoming a better, stronger, more impactful people group. Instead we see a bunch of fighting and pointing fingers because we really don’t even know what “christ like” is, it’s just nice to say sometimes when your offended by someone else. We really don’t even want to know TOO much Bible because it’s attacking when you prove your point with Bible verses instead of opinion. Forget Proverbs 27:17: “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another,” because you whip out truth in scripture and people automatically assume your attacking them. People don’t WANT to learn, or better themselves in truth, so they retreat in offense.

Being “Christ Like” was the gospel, “pick up your cross and follow me,” but apathy seems to be the new gospel. People generally don’t care, and when you do care you’re over passionate and un Christlike. As if Christ was o.k. with letting atrocities go on around him without a word to be said, an action to be done. I’m not sure if some people of the church have even read the Bible. If they have I would like to know how offended they were at some of the tongue lashings Jesus gave not only the pharisees but his own followers. How offended they were when Jesus went into the temple and whipped the money changers (Matthew 21). How about when Jesus was ANGRY in Mark 3:5? Or what about in Revelation when Jesus comes back to…. to…. JUDGE (GASP).  I won’t even get into the Old Testament but lets not forget that Jesus = God, God = Jesus, Jesus and the Father/God are one. Don’t separate the two and act like there are two gospels. God is the “meany” and Jesus is the nice one. Let’s not forget that Jesus will come back as judge, so PLEASE don’t go around saying something ignorant like, “Jesus didn’t judge anyone” when he IS the Judge of the world. Even when Jesus was on earth, he wasn’t a complacent, non confrontational, wussy who buried his head in the sand. He pointed out what was wrong and he did it with full authority! The Bible teaches us to tackle situations head on. To go to a brother when he is in sin. To make righteous judgements. To take care of issues as they arise. Not to be complacent and sit in church Sunday after Sunday not questioning anything that comes out of the pastors mouth. If the Bible didn’t teach these things then Christ’s followers were in complete contradiction to His teachings! Paul handled situations and sometimes he was quite pushy about them. John the Baptist called out the King for his love affair with his brothers wife and was beheaded, but now days we would call that judging and we all know that’s wrong. So John the Baptist was beheaded I assume for something he shouldn’t have been doing in the first place, judging. Yea, mmm k. And let’s go back to Jesus real quick. The lady caught in adultery, yeah you know her, Jesus judged that she was in sin. You have to judge someone in sin before you can say, “go and sin no more.” Am I wrong? The difference is Jesus had the ability to forgive sin and showed her grace. As we should all show each other grace! I’m not saying that Jesus won’t come and forgive sin and show grace. I’m just saying that Jesus didn’t stand around and let people sin around him while he looked the other way and acted like everything was peachy. He called them out and said -paraphrased- “hey, I know you are doing this_____ (fill in the blank), but don’t do that anymore!” Most people when faced with “I know your doing ______, but the Bible says you shouldn’t do that anymore” retreat and are offended that you would DARE judge them. Let down your walls, let people come to you in love, and learn to take admonishment while gaining a brother. Matthew 18:15 sounds more like a command than a suggestion, “If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over.”

Ecclesiastes 3 shows that humans are more than one dimensional. Everything in it’s own time. So why do we act as robots, not getting passionate about anything. Not feeling, not caring, not acting on anything right or wrong. We can’t talk about religion or politics because it is offensive, so we talk about meaningless, moronic bull crap like television programs or sports broadcasts. Meanwhile the government is stripping away all of our rights in the name of separation of church and state (http://themattwalshblog.com/2014/02/06/america-was-built-on-a-belief-in-god-and-theres-just-no-way-to-deny-that-fact/), divorce is running rampant in the church, sexual immorality is rampant in the church, abortion rates are astonishingly high when statistics show in the black culture more babies were aborted than born in the city of NY (http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/michael-w-chapman/nyc-more-black-babies-killed-abortion-born), and  Christians keep their mouths shut because they don’t want to OFFEND anyone. Jesus OFFENDED a whole lot of people. So did Paul, so did most of the men in the Bible. Why do you think they died martyr deaths because they were loved and accepted by the masses?

In conclusion I’ll do the politically correct thing and say I’m sorry if I offended you by my strong wording choices, toughen up, fight for what is right, or fade away into meaninglessness (t.v., sports on t.v., social media, etc.). As for me I’d rather live with passion. If that means I speak out against abortion, government, sexual sin, murder, wrongs in the church (hello Martin Luther), or even self defense in a bold manner I don’t want to be told I’m being un Christlike, because that is far from the truth. It’s not all about sin though, with this same passion I’ll pray for people in need, I’ll get on my knees when someone on Facebook asks for prayer (instead of just typing that I’ll do it), I’ll help people in need with my time and possessions, I’ll talk with people who need someone to talk to with little care to my own time, I’ll forgive people who have done things to me in wrong, and I’ll love people no matter where they are in their walk in life. Honestly I feel like both statements are needed for the entire gospel to be fulfilled. As Ecclesiastes 3 puts it:

Ecclesiastes 3:

3 For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:

2 a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
3 a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
4 a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
5 a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
6 a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
7 a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
8 a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.

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