Dorothy Burton is President of Christians In Public Service. The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed belong solely to the author. They are not and do not necessarily reflect the opinion(s) or position(s) of the organization, board of directors, and/or any other individual(s) or entity (ies) affiliated or unaffiliated with Christians In Public Service, Inc. | dburton@cipsinc.org


 

The Wagon Ride to Nowhere
Thursday, August 25, 2022 9:23 AM

The Wagon Ride to Nowhere

Thursday, August 25, 2022 9:23 AM
Thursday, August 25, 2022 9:23 AM
 
Progressive Christianity and those on the left would rather nullify, redefine, or even deny many tenets of scripture. 
 
Regressive Christianity and those on the right would rather re-create the Old and New Testament into their new testaments of militarized Christian nationalism.

Though not called the progressive left or religious right in Jesus's day, they no less were present. Different names, same philosophies.

There is nothing new under the sun. If there had been no reprehensible human acts and behaviors in the eyes of God, He never would have dictated to Moses on Mount Sinai, nor to the prophets, His laws against such. 
 
If there were nothing more than what could be seen and every act and invention that humans could conceive were all there is, God never would have made so clear, prophetic visions to humans from Abram who searched for a city not made by man to John on the Isle of Patmos to whom he revealed what is to come. 

If all were cool and people were cool to do their own thing with their "own bodies" that we really do not own but merely by God's design and grace, occupy only for a set time - then we would become our god. Many have. 
 
Every body is designed by God for a length of pre-set years, that he alone pre-set. A time of expiration that only He knows. We were created by God for God for his purposes. Otherwise, there never would have been a need for God to create in his image both male and female, and decree and delineate what we each are to do with the temporary bodies into which he poured our eternal spirit.
 
This just sent the temperature of someone reading this through the roof. I understand. I get it. None of us from the first century to the twenty-first century have always seen eye-to-eye with this Creator God, having the will and mind to go our own way. He knows this.
 
Yet, He chose in his infinite wisdom, to create humans this way. We have the very mind of God. All other created beings live on instinct. No bird has to be taught to fly or fish to swim. Not so for humans. We can create apparatuses in which to fly like birds, dive, and swim underneath the ocean as fish. No bird or fish could do the same.
 
Not so for humans created in the very image of the Creator who gave us the capacity to not only re-create, but to create. And, he gave us the capacity to choose what we do with our loaned body. The caveat being while we get to choose what we do, we don't get to choose what He will do as a result. We don't get to choose the consequences of our choices. All is fair in love and war. Except God, in the end, gets to determine what's "fair."
 
The LORD foils the plans of the nations; he thwarts the purposes of the peoples. But the plans of the LORD stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations. Psalm 33:10-11

If it were cool for moneychangers to do business in the church and make the church into a business from which to conduct business and make money, Jesus never would have thrown out those who had turned the house of prayer into a house of commerce. We have many such houses today. There is nothing new under the sun.

If Jesus did not know that humans could love and hate, he never would have made love, grace, and forgiveness the cornerstone of his Kingdom teaching and would not have left us with the commandment to love others as we love ourselves.

Of the left and the right, there is another way. The better way. God's way. And that way leads neither down the road of the progressive left nor down the road of the religious right. But the road up to the Kingdom. And make no mistake, it is steep. It is narrow. But with eternal and "right now" implications.

It is the road we all who name the name of Jesus Christ are obligated to walk, teach and model. The road of justice and righteousness. Peace and love. Giving and receiving. Grace and mercy. The entirety of his word, not the narrowness of what it has been distilled down to - sex, sexual identity, militarized, force-fed religion, and nationalism.
 
Yet, these are the wagons to which many of us, as well as teachers, preachers, and media talking heads, have hitched a ride. Many have claimed their seat. But the wheels are coming off the wagons.
 
One wagon is heavily weighted with sets of broadly interpreted rules and self-prescribed meaning of scripture. The wagon masters (i.e., activists, politicians, and progressives) browbeating those into shame or submission who don't share their views.
 
Common among them redefining much of what God has so clearly defined. Ignoring the most important - that He alone created the heavens and the earth and all that dwells within the same. Since he created them and us, he alone gets to define them and us and every living thing within the creations He alone created.
 
On the other wagon, heavily weighed down by sets of narrowly interpreted rules and self-prescribed meaning of scripture through the lenses of self-righteousness, prejudice, and piety. The wagon masters (i.e., preachers, politicians, and nationalists) demonizing those who don't share their narrow, misguided views.
 
Common among them redefining much of what God has defined. Ignoring the most important commandment - to love others as they love themselves. To provide for and protect the poor and the immigrant and the most vulnerable - doing unto others as they would have them do unto them. Ignoring the very tenants of the scripture and faith to which they, as self-prescribed keepers of the same, have laid claim. Absent peace, love, grace, and forgiveness. Such is not evident among them.
 
As for me? The weight of the left and the burden of the right is too much for me. Too much for any of us who truly want to know this Creator God and live the life, He gave us, for the time he set for us, in the way He purposed for us.
 
I had long claimed my seat on the wagon on the right. The above once described me. But the weight became too great. I want to know God. Know the spirit of God. The intent of His word and the essence of His truth. Such it should be for us all. We should yearn to know truth. His truth. And live truth no matter the consequences.
 
When we dare to jump off the wagons leading to nowhere, whatever we lose or leave behind or the wagon masters take from us, God will surely give back to us and more!
 
The LORD is with me; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me? The LORD is with me; he is my helper. I look in triumph on my enemies. It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in humans. Psalm 118:6-8
 
I chose to get from underneath the burden. Get off the rattling wagon leading to nowhere.
 
I want His view to be my view, not the other way around. This should be the quest of us all who claim Jesus as Lord, not following the whims of the left or the right. Each of their wagons is full of stuff God never meant for any of us to carry.

There has to be an alternative. Jesus gave his life for it. People are confused. The church is weakened and far too many have decided to go along for the ride. But Jesus's command was to "go," not ride! Who will go for him? Will you be the one in your office to truly stand for truth? For what is right by people? All people? For others who aren't positioned and blessed as you, on whose behalf you are to speak? On your council? On your school board? On your county board or commission? People are desperate for a life-giving alternative. And America desperately needs it.
 
To which wagon have you become hitched? I'm not the one to make grave and ominous pleas. But I am the one to tell you what I have learned. The distance is far, the journey is perilous and neither wagon can get us there. 
 

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