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I've seen and lived both sides. From a committed atheist to a committed Christian. Studying all 66 books of the Bible not just in seminary, but every day in some capacity since.
I speak with knowledge from both perspectives. I get the perspective of atheists and agnostics; some of whom more giving, kind and thoughtful than many Christians I know. Especially many who claim to be Christians today.
I can't and won't claim to be better than or holier than anyone because who I am today will not allow me to forget who I was yesterday. And while I don't linger in the past, I am humbled in my present by my past with hope for my future because of who I am today in Christ.
It's why my defense of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and his commandments is not rooted in politics or any political agenda.
In fact, when it became so clearly and painfully obvious to me that the party I had been committed to all of my adult life began to, so artfully and skillfully, twist God's holy word into political talking points and used not to evangelize and disciple as Jesus taught but as weapons against people... even skilled pastors and preachers doing the same ...giving even more credibility to it, I had to turn away.
Not turn away from God. Not from his word. But from people who were and are misusing his Word. Even some preachers and pastors I once knew, loved and respected.
The shock of learning that so much of it had been an act all along is still something I am getting over. I still love them but I don't know what it would take to step back into their sanctuary. I now know I am not fully welcomed there.
Many sadly have traded the good news of the gospel for the red cap of deceit, control, money, superiority driven by a thirst for power. Even if it means drinking from the cup of deception to obtain and keep it.
The reverberating sounds of shattering glass, the piercing screams of police officers in pain, the sound of a gallow being raised... the loud, foul angry chants for their god believing as gospel his word, is only matched by the deafening silent consent of pastors and others who yet keep silent and utter nothing of justice and righteousness from the only true God.
Only because many serve both and it is impossible to preach against what you believe in your heart to be true, even though it is a lie. Such is the case across the landscape of America today.
To be honest, most days I still feel weird in this new political reality. I know too much Word to stay committed to the right and I know too much Word to be committed to the left.
The only thing I know for sure is that I am committed to the God, who through Jesus Christ saved me, even knowing all about me, with the invitation and privilege to know Him. I am awestruck by this.
An atheist once who couldn't see and believe in what seemed to be nothing more than a fairytale told and believed only by fools.
Admittedly, I once was a fool. Once so very foolish. It's because I know better that I am no longer a fool and because I have learned better that I refuse to be fooled.
Many Americans are being fooled today. Have been and are being deceived. The spirit of deception in high places (heavenly places as the great Apostle Paul wrote) is strong. High places, from boardrooms to C-Suites to green rooms. From pulpits and podiums.
Satan is the prince of the power of the air and is controlling much of what we see and hear across the airwaves.
Today I know better. I know the ways of this prince - the god of this world. But thankfully I also am knowing God. "Am knowing." We won't fully know God until we are finally back home with Him in the Kingdom.
Yet, I know enough. And this is what keeps me sane in an America whose leadership seems increasingly anything but.
O say can you see? I can. I once was blind but now I see.