THORNS by Big Methusaleh

Is it possible that brothers and sisters are hurt and angry because Christians have offended them in some way – judged them, mistreated them, scorned them because of the way they look or because of their politics? Or because they challenged the authority that abused its position?

Oh yes – I’ve seen it, experienced it, and have witnessed the wreckage that we Christians can produce on those who don’t fit our Christian mold. Shame on us, and shame on anyone who can’t see this or won’t admit it.

Our “formulaic” belief system is not what God designed for us to pass along to the world. We’ve got to really love people, like Jesus did, and apply salve – not salt – to people’s wounds.

Have you offended anyone, or caused them to question their faith in God or in Christianity?

Who’s right here? Who is the greatest?

Matthew 18

The Greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven

1At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”

2He called a little child and had him stand among them. 3And he said: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

5“And whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me. 6But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.

7“Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to sin! Such things must come, but woe to the man through whom they come! 8If your hand or your foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life maimed or crippled than to have two hands or two feet and be thrown into eternal fire. 9And if your eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell.

The Parable of the Lost Sheep

10“See that you do not look down on one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven.[a]

12“What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off? 13And if he finds it, I tell you the truth, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off. 14In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should be lost.

So what do we do now?

Shepherd Rescuing Lamb


Posted on October 9, 2009, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. Hey WDC love you and your familly too ….

  2. Western dogmatic christian

    (In response to sadiesus):

    (Our family will continue to grow and heal and we will go on.. God taught us a lesson and we have learned what he needed us to learn. I thank him for this, even when it hurts so much)…

    I am so sorry you got hurt…


  3. Western dogmatic christian

    JN 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,[a] that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

  4. Once again I agree with Vagabond, our family will just continue to be light in the darkness, to not thousands, but to one. We will look for the lady at the super market who needs help or just a smile. Just kindness.

    We are choosing to adopt a child, and we are rescuing that one to have love and a home and a family. To give this child a chance.

    We will look for the opportunities in front of us to help our neighbor, to love our neighbor.

    Our family will continue to grow and heal and we will go on.. God taught us a lesson and we have learned what he needed us to learn. I thank him for this, even when it hurts so much…

    We will continue to be available to our family and friends and be there when they need us. We will continue to seek him and pray to him. To love him and worship him.

    To love with no expectations

  5. “Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted.”
    Martin Luther King, Jr.

    Maladjusted:–adjective badly or unsatisfactorily adjusted, esp. in relationship to one’s social circumstances, environment, etc.

    “Then the Love of the Universe chose this time to reveal Himself through the testimony of a sweet Mexican brother, spewing out the Gospel truth while stoned in an upstairs chapel. God’s love was poured without measure upon me, in the midst of a house filled with gay men and women, ex-convicts, runaway youth, recovering heroin addicts, Jesus freaks, con artists and old alcoholics. We were all trying to find our way home. Some died, I didn’t.”

    D,V and Shalameth,
    I think this clearly depicts the ‘way’ to reach the people in your immediate vicinity. It’s a beautiful picture of how ‘maladjusted’ people do the Lord’s work. We seem to have gone from a place of ‘maladjusted’ to ‘well-adjusted’ and have a sense self-preservation prevailing through our ranks instead of a selfless desire to spread ourselves as salt, light, joy and love.

    That said, to reach the 1.6 billion will take a concerted effort and a real sacrifice. Yes, a REAL SACRIFICE, one that I have not made, so I don’t say this to be judgmental or sarcastic. But to reach people in the 10/40 window who don’t even know that a Human named Jesus even lived takes a commitment to change your life. Immerse yourself into a culture that does not align itself with ‘post-modern’ western thought and understanding. It takes a life commitment to a ‘people’. It takes humility, and let’s be clear here, not ‘intentional humility’ because that’s not ‘real’ humility. It takes a love for people.
    A love to see people ‘find’ a ‘new way’.

    If we live the way that Vagabond is saying we should live, then we are halfway there. If we are willing to touch people’s lives just because they are people then we have won the battle of having a preconceived notion of ‘who’ they are and what they believe. Once we get past all of that ‘stuff’ … then we can move on to meeting the needs of others, and others, and others …

    I hate to sound trivial, but there was a movie called ‘pay it forward’ that showed how the ‘discipleship’ Jesus was talking about ‘should’ work. If you do for someone then they may do for someone else, and so on, and so on …

    Like a wildfire spreading …

    So many talk of ‘FIRE’ … poppy-cock … fire spreads when “PEOPLE HELP OTHER PEOPLE”.
    Help one and you help hundreds, maybe thousands …

    Staying home and shoveling your neighbor’s driveway, adopting a child that has no chance in life or ‘selling everything’ and going to Iran. It’s all the same. It’s a heart condition.

    Maladjusted: quit trying to ‘be right’ and love someone.

  6. i was tryin to sleep last night, but i kept wonderin if there was somethin else that i had left out of the above-posted comment that was on my heart. there was something gnawing at me and i couldn’t put a finger on it. i’d already kind been thinkin along these lines of showing love to the small community i’m in, whether it’s the older lady next door or the annoying guy at work.

    but then that idea got even more specific. i remembered dennis’ comment to us about how do we reach the 2 billion unreached people for Jesus? and then i connected it with this post of dennis’…with the final question, “SO WHAT DO WE DO NOW?” below that question is the picture of Jesus reaching for a lamb. 1 lamb.

    2 billion people. 1 person. …then it clicked, “we don’t go after the 2 billion, we help the 1.”

  7. hey dennisup, thought i’d move this comment over here to try to line it up to this new post of yours.

    you posted: “Try discussing how we now move on to reaching the lost – the 2 billion unreached people – for Jesus. What are the best ways to do that in the face of broken community with each other? How do we move past the hurt and become the Love we’re talking about? Ideas?”

    i know that when we think of that number of 2 billion unreached people we’re already thinkin of ways to win over our streets, neighbourhoods, cities, states and nations for God. with “revival fire” falling from the skies and “swords of truth” from our mouths, we arrange our mass-revival meetings, movie nights and other various church-based outreaches.

    (just take where i’m goin with a little grain of salt…i’m not tryin to put anyone or their method down.)

    maybe my thoughts seem naive, childish or simplistic in comparison to those grander ideas, plans and goals, but what i keep comin back to is being the “old” me again. the childish and naive me.

    maybe i’ve “regressed” in my approach, but (i know this sounds simple) i just try to be “me” to the best ability that i was created despite all of my failures and wrongdoings.

    i’m not raising tons of money to send out missions teams and i’m not participating in a missions visit. i’ve done those things…heck, i was even raised in another country doin those things. but where am i now?

    i’m so far away from all that now. i’m isolated geographically. i’m livin in a small countryside village away from any family or friends, any organized church institution, any “fellowship group” or any opportunity even to go to the places our minds automatically conjure up when we think of “2 billion unreached people.”

    so what do i do now? what do i do when i’m stripped of all these “assets.” maybe this is what i meant about “regressing” in my method of living.

    here’s a couple definitions of the word, regress:

    1. To go back; move backward.
    2. To return to a previous, usually worse or less developed state.

    but what if regressing is actually moving forward? what if it’s good not worse? what if we’re stripped away of everything we know and are?

    then we’re just left with an old, weathered, cracked, chipped tool… ourselves.

    but it’s (we’re) a tool that can still be used in this “regressed” state, often even better than the (our) newer versions. kind of like a great-grandfather’s old wood plane, handmade out of rough wood itself. it’s lasted decades and it still works as good as ever. the Maker made it to last despite the decades of use and abuse it would take. it’s (we’re) guaranteed to not need replacing.

    which can’t be said of the “newer” tools made out of the “latest” materials that we buy with all their guarantees. guaranteed by their “newer” makers to be replaced when it breaks. (guaranteed to break.)

    i feel like i’m back to the basics of that old, chipped, weathered tool. back to the basics of learning what my parents taught me when i was a child. the church was teachin us (5, 6 and 7-year-olds) how to speak in tongues, “take off our shoes because we were standing on ‘holy’ ground,” being forced to “give testimonies” and spending every halloween at our church- arranged “hallelujah night” where we’d go into the local community and put tracts in all the normal kids’ candy bags (yes, they were the normal ones). then funny enough, we’d go back to the church for halloween, i mean “hallelujah night” candy and pop. so while i was bein taught all that “church stuff,” my parents were thankfully teaching me something completely different at home.

    to just be myself as Jesus made me.

    love someone how i want to be loved. stand up for the little guy. don’t laugh when other kids are making fun of another kid. these are REALLY basic ideas, i know. but maybe a back-to-basics approach is good. get rid of all the “reaching out” crap that i learned elsewhere and get hold of these basics again, that i learned at home.

    so i’m tryin to do that. i’m not even attempting to try to reach a “goal” of 2 billion. i’m just tryin to be that child again. i wave to our elderly neighbours when i see them. i go to their house for coffee when they ask me over and i try to listen to them and speak in their language. i shovel their driveway if there’s tons of snow. i try to greet the same 50 or so customers every day with a smile. try.

    and for now, that’s about it. i’m self-removed from everything and everyone that i know. i’m self-removed from all the evangelization methods (and tactics) that i have learned or been force-fed over the years. i’ve now chosen to be in a place in my life where all i can live off of are some very simple and basic, but TRUE, lessons that HAVE stuck with me.

    i’m left with what’s at the core of me.

    i’m not tryin to reach 2 billion lost people in some far-off jungle where they speak in clicking tones and i’m gonna be “the one” to reveal Jesus to them. i’m just tryin to say hi to, smile to, talk to, listen to and learn from the few people that live in my immediate vicinity. and i’m just tryin to get back to basics and be the kid me again.

    i know not all of us are living abroad, immersed into another culture away from any family, friends and “support groups.” but what if we all began to force ourselves to immerse ourselves into local cultures, where we do live, and learn about others’ ways of life?

    get away from “the way we do it at our church” and get back to the little-kid in all of us when we didn’t see colors or religions or politics…we just saw another kid to play with and to befriend.

    hey, it’s a start.

  8. Just a comment to whomever, on whatever post.
    I rubbed shoulders with the Hindu and danced before gods to get myself somethin’ to eat. I studied and worked at reaching a higher consciousness as my heart truly bled for every hurting man and beast of the earth. Once, near death, I pulled my soul back into my body before it drifted away into the eternal.

    As time went on and I traveled down other roads, I faced the reality of how very low I could go and stared suicide in the eye among other waning options. Then the Love of the Universe chose this time to reveal Himself through the testimony of a sweet Mexican brother, spewing out the Gospel truth while stoned in an upstairs chapel. God’s love was poured without measure upon me, in the midst of a house filled with gay men and women, ex-convicts, runaway youth, recovering heroin addicts, Jesus freaks, con artists and old alcoholics. We were all trying to find our way home. Some died, I didn’t.

    Jesus has been with me since birth, but I never understood the Salvation he brought to mankind. Without realizing it, I sought to find His house on the earth. Through many years, I’ve come to another basic realization. It ain’t here – never was.
    I’m still on a journey. And the love He continues to pour on me daily, I try to share.
    Sometimes I fail miserably, but then again, I’m not God. Without guilt, I will follow Him –
    all the way Home.

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