Hearing it wrong

February 19, 2013

In our time in southern Illinois we worked within an independent Christian Church. Waylon was hired a year out to Seminary so we took our dogs and moved to the deep southern region of Illinois.

We served in a church with a battered past and a bleak future. The leaders were tired and weary, and the congregation was dismayed.

As we served within this community I started to believe in this hopeless negative gospel that surrounded me.  I was immersed within this community that negativity seeped into my soul and stuck itself there and started weighing me down.

A friend of ours used the metaphor of barnacles on a ship to explain what I was going through. These negative mental and emotional barnacles within the church started to grow onto my life.

In other words I started believing in a Gospel that wasn’t good news.

As I have been reading for Lent I stumbled into Galatians 1 where Paul is reprimanding the church, because they have lost sight of the Gospel they heard and knew when they first became Christians.

Paul is speaking to the false teachers who have come in to “twist the truth concerning Christ”. These false teachers who come in the church are more interested in self gain, power, manipulation, and the need to control the freedom that Christ gives us.

They are barnacles that grow and spread within the church and weigh it down.

Like a boat tending to sea the barnacles weigh the boat down. When the barnacles finally get knocked off the boat they tear away the hull coating. This gives rot the opportunity to crawl in which deteriorates the body. Not only do the barnacles slow the boat down but they cause additional damage when they are finally knocked off!

These false teachers taught a false Gospel and when the church finally did something about it, their was a huge amount of damage done.

This false Gospel rots the soul.

While in southern Illinois I had barnacles growing around my soul and when those barnacles got knocked off I still had interior damage to deal with.

When we moved up to the suburbs my interior life had become quite a mess. I preferred to be isolated, I was weary of relationships, and bitterness started to rot my soul.

Instead of continuing on this path of destruction I took advantage of my home community. I caught up with good friends who helped me talk through this damage. Waylon and I meet weekly with another family to have a meal and some fellowship. I am even meeting new friends.

Through a new community the damage that had been done is starting to heal.

The key to this healing process is accepting the real, true, good Gospel.

This Gospel is the catalyst for freedom and life transformation.

This Gospel aids the poor, the sick, the widowed, and the orphans, along with everyone else.

This Gospel gives us a chance to feel what love looks like in community.

This Gospel takes away pain and offers healing.

This Gospel is good news to everyone who is broken and lost and hurt.

This true Gospel can be found within scripture, this history of the church, and our other sacraments.

As we live within the Church we get the opportunity to see this Gospel come to life. We get the opportunity to get on the boat and sail around the world. To see the life that God the Father so desperately wants us to experience. When we are within a local church, and we see this false Gospel creeping in, to attach itself to our free lives we must call it sin and root it out! Otherwise the damage might be detrimental.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: