Monthly Archives: November 2009

Thanksgiving

The great need of this day is for someone to interpret the reality of the situation in which many Americans are unwittingly saturated in.  There is a sense in which this generation, this culture, this society is experiencing a degree of life-choices that previous ages could only dream about and which most of the world will never attain.  Yesterday I was sent on an errand to the grocery store by my beautiful (and very pregnant) wife.  So, understandably, I obeyed with only the slightest whimper at being torn from my studies.  And what was the dire need which so abruptly ended my studious task?  Well, I was truly at fault…for I had forgotten to get a desert for her mother’s Thanksgiving day dinner, which was to commence within the half-hour.  As I stepped into the gleaming desert section of my local grocery I was instantly panicked by the sheer immensity of choice.  Cheesecake, buttercake, carrotcake, apple pie, strudel, parfait, and that doesn’t even count the frozen desert section!  Enough treats to satisfy the most insatiable sweet tooth.  What freedom!  Right?  Well, that is not what I thought when I realized the wide range of available decisions open before me…only one of which I was sure would satisfy my mother in law.  No, I did not feel free in this situation…in fact the liberty I was presented with felt more burdensome than anything else.  But why would my spirit feel burdened by such liberty?  Could it be because all of my upbringing, my day to day existence, and every media outlet screams out a false freedom?  A freedom that is actually forging stronger bars across our cages, shortening our chains, bringing not liberty but eternal captivity.  The privilege of opulence prattles against the soul.

Thanksgiving.  What does that mean?  Turkey day, Cowboys football, Black Friday.  Freedom FROM school, work, or whatever for a few days?  Or is Thanksgiving a freedom TO!?  The offerings of thanksgiving to a Sovereign God are the ultimate evidence of freedom…the heartfelt gratitude for eternal mercy.  Freedom to worship and lay aside all other concerns before a benevolent God.  This was my thought amidst all of the consuming customers tripping over each other to buy canned green beans, biscuit dough, and yes…pumpkin pie.



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Revenge or Repentance?

I realize its been awhile greycoats.  My life has been occupied with full time parenting, seminary, and part-time (if there is such a thing) ministry.

Oh and we just had our second child……David Hawks Ruland.  Even so, with personal matters and apologies aside…I must say that the topics of conversation around this blog have grown a bit stale.  This phenomenon is largely due to my own lackadaisical attitude toward blogging as of late.  But, I and my fellow greycoats are far from throwing in the towel.  There is a range of topics which are begging to be explored here.  I’d like to submit one now.

Do we want revenge or do we want repentance?

I’ve co-moderated this blog for nearly two years.  The fluctuations in my own Christian experience: from Charismatic, to Charismatic-Reformed, to Reformed Charismatic, to Reformed to……….(wait for it) Confessionally Reformed……..are nothing short of amazing to me.  However, I am still working through a much more basic practicum…the matrix of the fallen heart.

Ah, yes, a devotional post…from Mr. Polemical.  I’ve seen the feedback, I have the stats at my fingertips, and I myself have groaned at ‘devotional posts’ on several occasions.  The “Todd Bentley is a Heretic” posts are always so much more popular.  But it is time.

The time for me to probably alienate many of you has come.  And I simply ask: Do we want revenge or repentance from our Charismatic ex-friends, ex-pastors-apostles-prophets-what-have-you?  I know I’ve taken the high-road here before in dealing with matters of intention.  Some would say that intention is one thing though and contention is another.  Yet my contention has sprung from my intention.  This intention has been to destroy my enemies.  Let that sink in.

My enemies have been the Charismatic/prophetic movement/3rd heaven seeking, neo-Montanist leaders of this century.  I have wanted their destruction.  I have wanted revenge.  I have not wanted their repentance.  If there had been repentance I’m sure that I would have cried to God about it.  Cried in a way similar to Jonah, who was disappointed in his hopes of revenge against the people of Nineveh.

The sign of Jonah.  What was my desired sign?  The destruction of my enemies.

I offer no qualifier, no disclaimer, no apology for my true heart hate.  I was wronged.  I was deserted.  I was let down by men of faith who had formerly made me believe in the certainty of a realm, a flow, a constantly uninterrupted relational-experiential-reality with a radical God.

I pray now that this radical God would root out revenge in our hearts.  Friends, please know that compromise is not the cry of my heart.  But…I am losing my stomach for revenge.  Perhaps it will sicken me to the point of lasting repentance.  I hope that it will.  Whether the former diatribes of my mind have any cut I have no wit. I do know that the edge of the surgeon’s knife is not of my sharpening. Likewise this….new winds are bringing me to realms of repentance formerly unknown.  God make this work in me.  Temper me.  Let me cut with compassion not rampage with revenge.  Peace…………to all of our friends…..and enemies.

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