It is ironic that we have begun our book series on Friday evenings in Steven Lawson’s book It Will Cost You Every Thing at a time when I am finally facing the true costs of being a follower of my Lord Jesus Christ. Martin Luther penned it in best his classic Reformation hymn A Might Fortress is our God when he said, “Let goods and kindred go, this mortal life also—the body they may kill, God’s truth abideth still—His kingdom is forever.”
You have to understand that it is burned deeply into a child’s psyche when he is rejected by the physical abuse of his father that he will need friends to survive. Those friends, once made, are deep friendships, and ones which such a child would be hesitant to ever concede. I was such a child, and over my life I have made such friends. However, within the past 24 hours, I have had the disappointment of being scolded for simply following my Lord by two of them. I did not choose this, it was thrust upon me, so to speak, by the normal everyday actions that everyone today takes on social media.
This site uses the exposure of social media to gain new readers and hopefully pay some of the bills that we incur, such as web hosting, subscriptions, and the like. It is made more difficult by the shadow bans of Twitter and Facebook on Christian material, or anything considered “right wing” and conservative. Normally, I don’t engage in political commentary, it is a waste of breath with most people, but I will make my opinions known. And as the Bard said, “Aye, there’s the rub…”
Apparently by my sharing of some of my online friends’ opinions, which I add were presented without comment (although to be fair I do support them, and I am not running from that), I have incurred the disappointment of my left-leaning friends. I am not really surprised by that, but what I am surprised by is how much their comments actually stung. Not because they were accurate, but because they were negative comments from men who became my friends when we were only boys. I thought for a while about this and realized it is just part of the cost of discipleship to the greatest Man who has ever lived, and who personally saved me from the wrath of God the Father over my own wrongdoings (sins, those are called sins).
One of these men, who at least until yesterday I respected as a real intellect, implied I was a false Christian because of an article this site carried as a part of a conservative newswire service. I did not write the article, but I did approve its posting, so I guess I am guilty of posting the article. Too bad it was correct, fact-checked (for real, not by the fake guys on Facebook), and verified from actual news sources, which were linked in the article. But apparently, it is an un-Christian article, implying that I am a fake Christian for the kind of “name-calling” that the article doesn’t actually engage in. Nice. I stand by the headline, God 1, False Religion 0. Do not attempt to canonize George Floyd as a saint. He was anything but. It is tragic that he died at the hands of Derek Chauvin, who is an actual jerk, and clearly deserves some kind of punishment for his role in the death of a civilian in his care. But George Floyd is NOT Jesus Christ, and to almost deify him to the level that people did actually makes him the center of worship in a false religion, and THAT is Idolatry, a violation of the second commandment. It is in fact a form of spiritual adultery.
The other of these men, who lives in the same city and who I literally have not heard from in YEARS, called me a Trump supporter. To that, I had to laugh. I literally CANNOT support Trump because I am not a U. S. citizen. Would I vote for him if I were? Well, now, that’s politics, and there are a lot of variables, like who he is running against, and at what level of representation. I would not have chosen Trump as my president when he was elected, but I could not vote in good conscience for the lady he ran against, I probably would have chosen a viable third alternative, or written in the name of an individual that I thought best represented my political views. As if that weren’t enough, he ASSUMED I was an anti-vaxxer. I happen to have a biology degree from Carleton university, class of 1992. It’s there on the records, you can look it up. I understand how both immunization and mRNA work, and I don’t have to wait for the translation of those terms. I have had BOTH shots of the mRNA treatment (Pfizer if you must know), and I do not agree with those who would say you shouldn’t get the shot. I do agree with being smart about it, however. If you have already HAD the ‘Rona, you do not NEED the vaccine, you have acquired the antibodies you will need to fight it off, and journal studies have shown (yes, I DO read a lot) that those antibodies will persist for the rest of your life, as long as you die before your 300th birthday…after that you might need a booster. (Yes, I am quite capable of being facetious.). If you are young and healthy, you should not FEAR the virus, it has a 99.7 percent survival rate, and those are US CDC statistics. (Do they lie? Gosh I hope not, but I think there would be more of an uproar if they were fake). If on the other hand, you are like me and have what are called “co-morbidity factors” that will cause the virus to operate differently in you, like diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, kidney disease (and I have 3 of those 4, my kidneys are fine), then you are one of the ones that SHOULD be vaccinated, like I have been. It might surprise this fellow to learn that I shared this info as a favour to the publisher of the Montana Daily Gazette, who I know personally. I don’t mean to dox him on this, but he was public about it, so I think I’m legally safe in sharing, but he has actually HAD COVID-19.
What’s next? I support the second amendment in the U. S.? Come on, I haven’t owned a gun since I was 19, and the ones I did own after that were willed to me by my mother’s uncle and I sold them all before I even laid hands on them. Perhaps it is that I support the freedom to say what I think. That’s called Free Speech, and it is a God-given right. (I didn’t say there might be consequences to your exercise of free speech.)
All of this rumination made me realize that I have not erred in my decision to take Christ up on His offer of personal reconciliation with God at the age of 18. I should have realized then from the pushback I got over it, and not just from these men. In fact, I did not err when I committed myself to follow Him at the age of 20 when I truly got my life right and aligned myself with His people at a Bible-believing church. This is just part of the cost of those decisions, and God in His mercy toward me waited for me to be mentally and emotionally ready for this to happen, praise His name.
To these two friends, and I still call you men that, and to all my other old friends that knew me when we were kids, I say that Jesus offers His gift of the cleansing of YOUR wrongdoings before God to YOU. He loves you, and He wants to cleanse you of your sins as well. But you must do two things according to the Bible (like I said, I read a lot): Repent of your sins (wrongdoings). That word “repent” in Koine Greek means “to change your mind” about them. Admit that they are wrong, and that you did them. Ask His forgiveness for wasting the time you have chasing the things that will never actually satisfy you. The drinking, the women (even monogamously), the getting high, the martial arts (though there is nothing sinful about the physical aspects of that, I speak of how it can be used to try to satisfy your spiritual longings), the political activism (making the state God), trying to keep up with the Joneses (I met the Joneses, they wish you’d stop that). Do that first. Then take the opinion to yourself that He died for YOU personally, AND that He miraculously rose from the dead to PROVE that He paid for the sins of all who will ever believe in Him.
You guys want to talk, call me. Most of you have had my cell number for years. And you all have my personal email address. Yet you never call, you never write… (hahaha)
Otherwise I will have to presume that you also do not approve of my following of the Lord Jesus Christ. And that’s okay with me, because I didn’t ask you to do that, nor did I ask you to agree with me. I sure don’t agree with you on a lot of things. I thought we had an old gentlemen’s agreement to agree to disagree about things…maybe I was wrong.