Monday, May 3, 2010

The Fall of a Christian Religion and The Rise of Authentic Living



I have stopped and pondered where this world is headed with all the current events happening all around us. I think I see the beginning of life start to take shape in and amongst people across our nation. If I didn’t know any better than I do now, I would be among several Christians who are tied to their box of religion in hopes to help it not collapse, and pray in fear that it won’t. Though these days, I have a different view. I sense the beginning is near, where we will begin to see more people leave organized religious groups and reach out for real life outside of the norm. Where church is no longer a building with a pastor or elders, but where we begin to realize that we the people as individuals come together and love each other anywhere at any time and that defines the church on more of a real level than anything else. Where we begin to shed the mask of our lives and thrive on authenticity and begin to be real with others about whose we are. I think Grace will play a much bigger role in relationships and people will step out of the fear mongering mode and move to a place that love and grace is abundant and there we will see astonishing and valuable things take place.

An event that has taken place recently that has utterly shaken the religious Christian shell has been Jennifer Knapp coming out as a lesbian and still proclaiming to love the Lord. Articles and interviews I have watched and read have really opened my eyes even more too how narrow-minded, even closed minded people have become when the issue of love is on the line and how they don’t see how their method of condemnation and judgments is not the way to win over people. Though, I am not surprised, it’s these events that have opened the eyes and really makes one stop and think, maybe we are really missing something here.

I’m excited to see grace and love win over pride and arrogance of trying to make something work that’s obviously not! And the cool thing is, I don’t even have to preach to people about this to convince them about love and grace, when I think the Spirit of God is doing that in and amongst hearts across this planet.

For me personally, I no longer feel the need to push my beliefs on others and find that love in action really opens the doors to freedom and learning to love people where they are, even when it’s Christians who don’t agree or see eye to eye with me. Even though I have in the past, I’ve learned that it doesn’t work. Loving people and meeting them where they are with no ulterior motives is something I have found to be impressively remarkable and affective in being real and authentic.


13 comments:

Anonymous said...

I have stopped and pondered where this world is headed with all the current events happening all around us. I think I see the beginning of life start to take shape in and amongst people across our nation. If I didn’t know any better than I do now, I would be among several Christians who are tied to their box of religion in hopes to help it not collapse, and pray in fear that it won’t. Though these days, I have a different view. I sense the beginning is near, where we will begin to see more people leave organized religious groups and reach out for real life outside of the norm. Where church is no longer a building with a pastor or elders, but where we begin to realize that we the people as individuals come together and love each other anywhere at any time and that defines the church on more of a real level than anything else.

[DO YOU MEAN TO TELL US THAT EPH.4:11 IS OUTDATED? ARE YOU SAYING THAT YOU HAVE A REVELATION THAT SUPERSEDES THE WORD OF GOD? WHERE IN GOD'S WORD DO YOU FIND WHAT YOU HAVE IS HAPPENING AND IS IN ACCORD WITH THE WILL OF GOD? ALSO, WHERE IS YOUR “LOVE FOR THOSE WHO DISAGREE WITH YOU. ALL I SEE IN SO MANY OF YOUR WRITINGS IS THE VERY SAME JUDGEMENT YOU ARE CRITICAL OF BEING DONE TO THOSE WHO THINKING IS NOT IN LINE WITH YOURS. YOU HAVE EVERY RIGHT TO DISAGREE BUT MAINTAIN THE SAME STANDARD AND PLAYING FIELD FOR YOURSELF THAT YOU PUT AND CALL FOR IN OTHERS. THINGS TO THINK ABOUT.]


Where we begin to shed the mask of our lives and thrive on authenticity and begin to be real with others about whose we are. I think Grace will play a much bigger role in relationships and people will step out of the fear mongering mode and move to a place that love and grace is abundant and there we will see astonishing and valuable things take place.

An event that has taken place recently that has utterly shaken the religious Christian shell has been Jennifer Knapp coming out as a lesbian and still proclaiming to love the Lord. Articles and interviews I have watched and read have really opened my eyes even more too how narrow-minded, even closed minded people have become when the issue of love is on the line and how they don’t they see how their method of condemnation and judgments is not the way to win over people.


YES. TO JUDGE WITH NO OPENNESS TO HELPING THE FALLEN ONE IS WRONG. DO YOU BELIEVE THAT WHEN SOMEONE OPENLY VIOLATES THE WORD OF GOD THAT THIS IS NOT SIN? ANY AND ALL OF US HAVE DONE THAT AT ONE TIME OR ANOTHER IN ONE WAY OR ANOTHER. AND YES, WE ARE "COMMANDED" TO LOVE ONE ANOTHER AND IF WE SEE ONE FALL TO MAKE EVERY EFFORT TO SEE THAT ONE RESTORED. [Gal 6:1-3 -- Live creatively, friends. If someone falls into sin, forgivingly restore him, saving your critical comments for yourself. You might be needing forgiveness before the day's out. 2 Stoop down and reach out to those who are oppressed. Share their burdens, and so complete Christ's law. 3 If you think you are too good for that, you are badly deceived. [THE MESSAGE]

Anonymous said...

NICOLE, IN YOUR EMPHASING THE NEED FOR US TO LOVE YOU HAVE TRULY MISSED A VERY VITAL POINT CONCERNING LOVE ITSELF. YES, LOVE IS TO BE SHOWN TO THE SINNER. YOU DO BELIEVE THAT HOMOSEXUALITY IS A SIN? THAT HOMOSEXUALITY IS A VIOLATION OF GOD’S CLEARLY STATED WORD? WHILE GOD’S WORD CLEARLY STATES THAT IT IS A SIN, IT MUST BE REMEMBERED THT IT’S NOT THE UNPARDONABLE SIN. BUT, IT IS SIN NONE THE LESS. I DIDN’T SAY THAT. GOD IN HIS INERRANT AND ETERNAL WORD DID! BUT, WHILE LOVE AND GRACE ARE TO BE EXTENDED TO THE SINNER, IT MUST BE KEPT IN MIND THAT (LOVE) does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth –[1 Cor 13:6]. LOVE RECOGNIZES SIN FOR WHAT IT IS AND DOES NOT GLOSS OVER IT OR DIMINISH IT FOR WHAT IT REALLY IS. NEITHER DOES IT IDLY STAND BY AND MAKE NO ATTEMPT TO HELP ONE WHO HAS FALLEN INTO IT – THAT THING (SIN) WHOSE ONLY WAGE IS DEATH (ROM.6:23; JMS.1:13-15] YOU DO BELIEVE THE WORD OF GOD – DON’T YOU? I TRUST THAT IF I WERE CROSSING THE STREET AND FAILED TO LOOK AND LISTEN AS I SHOULD THAT YOU WOULD MAKE WHATEVER EFFORT NEEDED TO KEEP ME FROM BEING HIT AND SERIOUSLY INJURED OR KILLED. I WOULD HOPE THAT YOU WOULD NOT JUST STAND THERE AND “LOVE ME TO DEATH”. THE LORD GOD HIMSELF LOVES JENNIFER KNAPP EVEN IN HER SIN. WHAT’S AMAZING IS THAT THE LORD GOD HIMSELF LOVES US FROM THE “BACK END” OF OUR LIVES. BY THAT I MEAN, HE KNOWS THE END FROM THE BEGINNING. WE TEND TO LOVE EACH OTHER BASED UPON WHAT WE KNOW ABOUT EACH OTHER UP TO NOW (IE. – THE “FRONT END”). BUT, WHEN WE MISS THE MARK OR FAIL TO COME UP TO THE EXPECTATIONS OF OTHERS THAT LOVE THAT WE ONCE SHOWED AND JOYFULLY EXPERIENCED BEGINS TO WANE, OR GREATLY DIMINISH, OR EVEN SEIZE TO CONTINUE. BUT, THE LORD OUR GOD LOVES US EVEN KNOWING ALL THE MESS UPS WE ARE YET TO DO. WOW! WHAT MANNER OF LOVE IS THAT? PRAISE THE NAME OF OUR LORD AND SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST FOREVER. KNOWING THAT, THE FATHER LOVES JENNIFER SO MUCH THAT HE GAVE HIS ONLY AND UNIQUELY BEGOTTEN SON AS THE ONLY OFFERING SUFFICIENT TO CLEANSE HER, YOU, AND ME OF ALL OUR SIN. BUT, HE ALSO KNOWS THAT TO CONTINUE IN IT IS MOST DESTRUCTIVE AND ROBS US OF GOD’S VERY BEST FOR US. A “BEST” HE SO LONGS FOR US TO KNOW AND EXPERIENCE.

Anonymous said...

Though, I am not surprised, it’s these events that have opened the eyes and really makes one stop and think, maybe we are really missing something here.

I’m excited to see grace and love win over pride and arrogance of trying to make something work that’s obviously not!

HERE IS A POINT IN WHICH I DO AGREE WITH WHAT YOU ARE SAYING – AT LEAST TO A VERY IMPORTANT DEGREE. [For judgment is without mercy to the one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment. (James 2:13).] MERCY, GRACE, & LOVE ARE TO BE SHOWN TO JENNIFER KNAPP. GOD HAVE MERCY ON US IF WE SHOW NONE TO HER. BUT, IN SO DOING IT MUST BE SHOWN IN SUCH A WAY THAT JENNIFER CAN BE HELPED IN REALIZING WHERE SHE IS COMING SHORT IN GOD’S WILL FOR HER LIFE, AND HOW THAT THE LORD OUR GOD IS MOST WILLING TO FORGIVE AND DELIVER HER FROM THAT WHICH IS CONTRARY TO HIS WILL AND WHICH CAN DAMAGE THE ONE WHOM HE SO GREATLY LOVES AND PAID THE HIGHEST PRICE TO SAVE. BECAUSE SOME MAY NOT FULLY UNDERSTAND WHAT IT IS TO SHOW SUCH MERCY AND GRACE DOES NOT MEAN ALL WHO ARE A PART OF THE CHURCH (AS YOU HAVE OFTEN DESCRIBED IT) ARE MERCILESS AND IGNORANT OF THE MERCY AND GRACE YOU DESIRE TO SEE SHOWN TO JENNIFER. NICOLE, THINK ABOUT IT. WHATEVER YOUR RACE MAY BE (WHITE, BLACK, RED, BROWN, YELLOW) THERE ARE THOSE WHO WOULD SAY ALL PEOPLE OF YOUR RACE ARE MESSED UP – EITHER BECAUSE SOMEONE TOLD THEM THAT WAS TRUE OR BECAUSE OF SOME BAD EXPERIENCE THEY HAD WITH SOMEONE OF YOUR RACE. WE CALL THAT PREJUDICE – THE LUMPING OF EVERYONE OF A PARTICULAR RACE INTO ONE MOLD. PLEASE STOP AND CONSIDER THAT YOUR LUMPING ALL CHURCH-GOING CHRISTIANS INTO ONE MOLD IS NO LESS THAN THAT OF PREJUDICE. I DON’T SAY THAT TO BE CRITICAL OF YOU, BUT IN THE HOPE THAT YOU WILL MORE DISCERNINGLY LOOK AT WHAT YOU WRITE.


And the cool thing is, I don’t even have to preach to people about this to convince them about love and grace, when I think the Spirit of God is doing that in and amongst hearts across this planet.
For me personally, I no longer feel the need to push my beliefs on others and find that love in action really opens the doors to freedom and learning to love people where they are, even when it’s Christians who don’t agree or see eye to eye with me.

[AMEN!]

Even though I have in the past, I’ve learned that it doesn’t work.

[ME TOO, SISTER. I HANG MY HEAD IN SHAME FOR THE TIMES I HAVE DONE THAT. GOD FORGIVE ME. HE HAS. BUT, I STILL REGRET HAVING DONE IT.]

Loving people and meeting them where they are with no interior motives [I MAY BE WRONG, BUT I THINK YOU MAY HAVE MEANT – ULTERIOR MOTIVES] is something I have found to be impressively remarkable and affective in being real and authentic.

ONE FINAL WORD. OBVIOUSLY FROM THE ABOVE STATEMENT AT ONE TIME IN YOUR LIFE YOU DIDN’T KNOW WHAT YOU NOW KNOW. CORRECT? AT SOME POINT IN TIME YOU CAME TO UNDERSTAND THE IMPORTANCE OF SHOWING MERCY AND GRACE. GOD WAS VERY PATIENT WITH YOU. AS YOU HAVE FREELY RECEIVED OF HIS PATIENCE WITH YOU, I ASK YOU TO BE LIKEWISE PATIENT WITH OTHERS AND TO SHOW THEM THE MERCY AND GRACE YOU NOW KNOW TO BE OF SUCH IMPORTANCE. SOMETHING FOR ALL OF US TO THINK ABOUT. I PRAY OUR LORD’S BEST BE TO YOU AND TO YOURS.

Nicole said...

Hi Anonymous Critic... Welcome back! You must love my blog, you keep coming back!

I'm impressed. You had a lot to say here. Though, why does it seem like you are YELLING at me the whole time? That doesn't make me want to engage in a conversation with you, and correcting me every step of the way. Interesting...

If only everyone thought the same, wouldn't life be a much better place? I think I would get bored, so I welcome you. But, if I didn't you would probably label me narrow minded and that I only like to hear things from people who agree with me!

Let me tell you something...
I'm a human. I don't have everything figured out. I love to write. I am as messed up as they come. I'm a sinner. I say things that are in my head and heart to say. I am a critic too. And I am learning how to love and be loved by God. You have pointed out all the flaws in my writing, something that a parent of mine would do. So, not sure who you think you are in my life, but I will tell you one thing. I will stop and think, think about what Father is doing in my life and keep writing. Regardless if it lines up with what you believe or not! I am not afraid of you, or what you think of me. If I am wrong, then so be it. Though to me that is not what I am concerned about, I am only concerned about having the freedom on my blog to have a decent conversation with someone who can stop judging me and stop telling me what I should write and what I should believe...

So what if I love homosexuals, if you can't do it, I would be honored too. And no, I am not about to tell them they are going to hell. Who am I to tell them that, I am not God and I am not about to proclaim to anyone that I am!

So what if I’m wrong. I may be, but I really don’t care, because the grace of God covers me and his love never fails.

Nicole said...

P.S - I corrected my mis-spelled word just in case you didn't notice...

Erin said...

Good grief. I just want to interject that I LOVE what you write, Nicole. Keep it up! I think you've said you know this anonymous person, and so I'll refrain from making any other comments. :)

And I agree with you about Jennifer Knapp. I have loved her music, and love it still. I'm only sorry she didn't feel there was a place for her in Christian community before this, so much so that she had to wear a mask.

I have been told I'm legalistic about grace, at least as much as anyone else is legalistic about law. I hesitate to see how that's possible, but if that's what I'm known for, I'll take it. :)

Nicole said...

Great to hear from you Erin! I appreciate you coming by... I really enjoyed what you said about being legalistic about grace... I'm with you, I would much rather be known for being legalistic about grace than law any day...

Anon Critic is simply wanting me to stop writing because he/she keeps coming back and tearing me up. I guess that's what I get for being radical about His love and grace...
Jesus got killed for the same thing...

Anonymous said...

Nicole,at first I didn't catch what you meant about your feeling that I was yelling at you. Please believe me when I say, "I wasn't". As a matter of fact, there are points of which I did agree with you. Later I realized that you might be thinking that I was yelling at you because I wrote in all capital letters. Again, please forgive me for giving you the wrong impression. I only wrote in caps so that it would be easier for you do distinguish between your original post and my responses. Our Lord's best to you.

Nicole said...

Hey, thanks for coming by again! I understand, and I did notice you agreed with some of what I had to say... Either way, I still appreciate your thoughts!

Thanks Anonymous for a lack of a better name... :)

oakleyses said...

jordan shoes, michael kors outlet online sale, burberry outlet, coach purses, air max, gucci outlet, longchamp outlet, tiffany and co, tory burch outlet, louis vuitton outlet, louis vuitton outlet stores, coach outlet, polo ralph lauren, kate spade handbags, michael kors outlet, prada outlet, tiffany and co, true religion jeans, oakley sunglasses cheap, longchamp handbags, coach outlet store online, nike shoes, louboutin, ray ban sunglasses, michael kors outlet, michael kors outlet, louis vuitton handbags, oakley sunglasses, michael kors outlet, longchamp handbags, air max, kate spade outlet, louboutin outlet, ray ban sunglasses, michael kors outlet, oakley sunglasses, louboutin shoes, true religion jeans, polo ralph lauren outlet, nike free, coach factory outlet, prada handbags, christian louboutin, louis vuitton, louis vuitton outlet, burberry outlet, chanel handbags

oakleyses said...

sac louis vuitton, converse pas cher, hogan outlet, vanessa bruno, nike roshe run, michael kors pas cher, barbour, louboutin, true religion outlet, sac hermes, hollister, oakley pas cher, air max, nike air max, air force, hollister, louis vuitton, nike blazer, nike roshe, sac burberry, lululemon outlet online, polo lacoste, longchamp, nike huarache, sac louis vuitton, timberland, longchamp, new balance pas cher, nike free pas cher, ray ban pas cher, air jordan, nike free, polo ralph lauren, ray ban sunglasses, mulberry, sac longchamp, ralph lauren, nike trainers, sac guess, air max pas cher, north face, air max, nike tn, north face, louis vuitton uk, michael kors, michael kors, vans pas cher, true religion outlet, abercrombie and fitch

oakleyses said...

birkin bag, north face outlet, p90x, nfl jerseys, valentino shoes, canada goose uk, lululemon outlet, vans shoes, ugg pas cher, mac cosmetics, canada goose, bottega veneta, herve leger, soccer jerseys, soccer shoes, abercrombie and fitch, insanity workout, celine handbags, canada goose, canada goose outlet, nike roshe run, mont blanc, marc jacobs, ugg boots clearance, instyler, ugg australia, moncler outlet, chi flat iron, uggs outlet, beats by dre, ugg boots, canada goose jackets, new balance shoes, ghd, canada goose, uggs, reebok outlet, mcm handbags, asics running shoes, ugg, hollister, north face jackets, ugg boots, ferragamo shoes, moncler, giuseppe zanotti, wedding dresses, babyliss pro, jimmy choo outlet, rolex watches

oakleyses said...

hollister, montre homme, ray ban, gucci, wedding dresses, juicy couture outlet, moncler, ralph lauren, hollister clothing store, moncler, iphone 6 cases, pandora charms, swarovski, hollister, lancel, louboutin, karen millen, canada goose, thomas sabo, louis vuitton, toms shoes, moncler, vans, oakley, swarovski crystal, ugg, juicy couture outlet, converse, ugg, rolex watches, pandora jewelry, pandora charms, timberland boots, supra shoes, baseball bats, links of london, coach outlet store online, moncler, air max, parajumpers, moncler, canada goose, converse shoes, air max