Words mean things! Yes, I know, earth-shattering revelation, but there it is. This is doubly true for Scripture since we know that not one jot, not one tittle, not one period, comma, or exclamation mark is out of place, unwarranted, or insignificant. We either believe the Word of God is absolute, or we make up our own version of Scripture, believing only what we want to believe and blotting everything else out.
Suppose you choose to go the scrapbooking route when it comes to the Bible. In that case, there isn’t much I can do for you other than offer my sympathies, knowing you’ll be in for a rough slog when your self-published version of the good book runs out of answers, and those Joel Osteen style mantras you have highlighted fall short of giving you hope or peace. It’s kind of hard speaking abundance into being with an empty pantry or looking at yourself in the mirror talking about being bold as a lion when your face diaper is permanently attached.
Yes, I woke up in a mood and seeing that Pat Robertson hasn’t taken the hint and gone off to live out the rest of his days with a modicum of dignity just made it worse. Yes, the spiritual paragon who famously counseled a man whose wife had Alzheimer’s to leave her, because, you know, that’s what Jesus would do, is now offering unsolicited opinions about the elections, but I digress.
Back to the reason I started pecking at my keyboard in the first place.
Yesterday I was driving by a church, and as most churches do nowadays, it had one of those signs out front with a short quip. No, it wasn’t about Jesus being the reason for the season, or about Mary and her little baby boy; it simply said, “For the good of all, we are staying apart, together!”. Then it went on to give a link where you can watch a bored elder give a zoom talk at a predetermined time, but after I’d read the headline, the rest of the text seemed trivial if not outright irrelevant.
Although I fully understand that pastors reading their Bibles has fallen out of fashion, one would think that given the severity of the situation, they’d dust off the old leather-bound and try to find some direction therein. Other than deaths from the flu, which have magically dropped to zero, there is an across-the-board spike in everything else. From alcohol abuse to child abuse to spousal abuse, overdoses, suicides, and depression, the epidemic is real, and it’s not just the non-churchgoing folks either.
Humans were created to need human contact, and when you allow fear to dictate your actions vis-a-vis said contact, you are opening a Pandora’s box of pain you’ll never be able to close again. All because you were afraid of something you have absolutely no control over, to begin with.
If the people in charge of your spiritual wellbeing actually believed the book they profess to follow, they would understand that it is appointed unto men once to die! For those who slept through their English class, the definition of ‘appointed’ is a time or place decided on beforehand or predetermined.
The whole notion of dying before one’s time is lunacy because the time of one’s passing is appointed, therefore predetermined. Whether you wear one face diaper or six, you will not live a second past your appointed time.
You will not stand before the throne of judgment one day and watch God shaking His head and saying, “Oh, the plans I had for you, if only you hadn’t prematurely died of the sniffles.”
That goes to something else I’ve been chewing on lately: why would men who see their god as impotent serve an impotent god with abandon? It is because so many see God as less than what He is that they can live dispassionate lukewarm lives of duplicity and compromise.
Then again, what do I know? I’m not Pat Robertson.
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.