Getting Practical

It’s so simple.

I love the truth.  At least, I try to.

I love the Bible.  I honor it.  At least, I try to.

I believe it is God’s word.

I believe He and It should be consulted,

Respected first in all matters…

especially in the church.

She should love the truth.

It should be spoken to all

And in and about every circumstance,

In love and seasoned with salt.

God’s people should love

one another

Love what He loves—

unity, the brethren, Christ, His word.

And the truth.

It is an honor to suffer for it,

Glory to be gained in speaking it.

Condemnation to be drawn in ignoring it,

An insult to God in rejecting it.

Seek and ye shall find.

Seek not and you are an idiot,

Or at least, you do not love what you ought.

And not loving what you ought,

You embrace what you ought not.

How can truth and untruth, right and unright

Keep company?

To honor Christ is to

follow the law

He followed, loved, fulfilled.

No other gods, no Name spoken in vain,

No bearing or bearing with false witness.

Do not allow a brother accused, disciplined,

Downtrodden,

without clear testimony

of witnesses

before his face,

and with sanction from the Word—

a time to answer, a time for prayer, deliberation.

Let each one be heard!

And to what does the Lord testify?

To do otherwise is a

miscarriage of justice.

A brother to the chopping block

With nary a sin in the charges—

No one knows a wrong to be punished

Ought to be in Scripture.

‘Show me my wrong in what He says!’

And there exists a protocol for this—

The Good Book is the guide book;

Let one come to his brother in private first!

Take care that accusations are levied

With an ‘equal opportunity’ attitude—

Let all in the church be exhorted to holiness,

Or else say nothing.

Your credibility is at stake, and you may find

There’s an entire tall ship in your eye!

Search the Word—who is on the Lord’s side?

Do differently at your own risk–

We are not a people of gossip, backbiting, secret meetings,

Misrepresentations, deliberate inflations and fabrications,

Conspiracies to cow or dismiss.

Anonymity and faceless accusers

Don’t seem to fit, don’t seem quite right–

the apostles’ honesty was so frank.

An explanation, articulate, demonstrable, proven, specific—

Is it so much to ask that the truth be made

Plain,

If truth it is?

And to treat a shepherd like a dancing monkey

‘This step here, clash cymbals there, and smile, monkey!’

May bring calamity on the flock.

But they’ll say the

flock is only so good as its numbers

But that’s numbers, that’s economics,

Asking about quantity—not quality.

How many rather than who, and what?

When light is shone on the fleeces,

How many will there be?

Wool here, wool there,

But how many coats are detachable?

There are beards in this pew, and brush tails in that

The loudest voices (sheep are so quiet)

are the

bleating of goats

And howling of wolves.

But they have feelings and perceptions you see,

And they tell you they’re sheep.

Never mind asking for ID,

if they belong here in the first place.

Money and mere existence—is that the fixation?

Sacrifice the truth to keep the tithe,

To prop open the door for the once-a-moons,

To call something a church that’s full of self-worshipers

Spread the love of untruth that

Perches on busy wagging tongues

and choke out the light with their shadows.

Goats and wolves have ears, same as sheep

Truth makes them burn, and the jackets feel ill-fitting.

‘That’s a church? that blob of smiling bitterness?’

‘At least it’s open’–

is that a joke?  I don’t think the Living God

will find it funny.   Will He even half-smirk

at the late lame excuses, offered with hems & haws

on shuffling feet?

Now what is truth—

And how can something be lived

if it is not loved?

Some might say I’m an idealist.

‘You can’t really expect all that–

you have to face facts.’

Jesus is the highest ‘fact’.

An idealist?

Perhaps I am a fool to believe that

people who say they’re disciples should

act like it.

I just call myself a Christian.

And none of this is real.