One’s faith, like one’s desires/dreams/ambitions, is something personal and intimate. It can’t be induced by guilt, fear or intimidation. Can’t be goaded or prodded into submission. Shouldn’t be bullied or harassed and needn’t conform to anyone else’s ideology. Although it’s communal in many respects (no man is an island), at the end of the day, when all is said and done, a faith is as personal, specific and individual as one’s…thumbprint? Ok, a poor analogy, but you get the picture.
You either BELIEVE or you don’t. It’s a grace from God.
Which is why I try to not let it bother me so much how a person is regarding the issues facing the church. You either believe there’s a problem or you don’t. You either want to make things better or you don’t. Each person will get the church they DESERVE. It IS what YOU will make of it and what YOU bring to it. So if you want to IGNORE the problems, comply with corruption, justify rotten decisions, be complicit with bad behavior, SO BE IT. Who are any of us to convince each other otherwise?
That being said, as far as I’m concerned, I am no longer contributing to corruption.
I have not CATERED, CONDONED, nor COMPLIED with corrupt behavior or thinking. I do not cower nor cow tow to a dishonest leadership, nor campaign or conspire for their corrupt or colluded activities. I’m not convinced by convoluted, contrived, clouded, and illogical reasoning.
Therefore, I am not One with EXTORTION, VILLAINY, or MALFEASANCE.
HOWEVER, and this is perhaps confusing and confounding for some radical separatists to comprehend, I still LOVE the INC (Huh? Say again). Yes, I still believe in it as a FAITH and consider it to be, in theory if not in practice, the most exemplary CHRISTIAN prescription for a spiritually contented Life, and Life to Come. For myself, the unadulterated doctrine hewed so closely to what I believe was the first century Christian doctrine.
How can that be, one may ask. Knowing what we KNOW, after all that has been revealed, can you honestly still “love” and “believe” in the INC?
ABSOLUTELY. The truth of Christian doctrine is not rendered false simply because some ONE does not uphold it. My faith has never, and will never, be dependent on another human’s actions, no matter who they are, or the position they hold. My belief system, the knowledge I was baptized into, was not designed by, nor revolved around, the actions of its present human and inhumane leadership. What they do, and how they live their lives will be judged and condemned, not by me, but by God. My faith in the INC was never conditionally based on the moral character of its administration, who are just as human and fallible as anyone else, and by all accounts in their case, exceptionally and exceedingly so.
However, that does not mean I shall remain silent, complacent, nor turn a blind eye, when someone does something immoral and fundamentally wrong. YOU CALL THEM OUT ON IT. My dissatisfaction and disapproval for wrongdoing is known as much as necessary. If crimes are being committed, laws are being broken, human rights are being violated, and when people are being oppressed, then Christians or so-called “Christians” should properly confront and address it. Why try to hide, excuse, justify or condone it? Why cloud the matter with prideful proclamations and self-serving propaganda on social media? Of what use is it to ignore the problem, beating around the bush, tip-toeing on eggshells? Why suppress the truth? Be honest and take responsibility for your convictions. My actions, opinions and decisions are mine to own, and I would expect the same consideration. THEY do what THEY do, I do what I do. They choose to hate others, I choose to love others. They discriminate, I do not. They are dishonest, I am not. They strive to persecute, I strive to forgive.
Therefore, should the “powers that be” kick me out because they don’t agree with me (or I don’t agree with them), then, SO BE IT. THEY shall have to answer for their decisions, as I will for mine. I, on the other hand, didn’t compromise my Christian integrity simply to remain “registered.” I didn’t buckle, didn’t back down, didn’t turn a blind eye, nor did I abandon ship. I fought for my Christian Faith from those who tried to corrupt it.
For myself, being a Christian doesn’t mean going through the motions, ritualizing a bi-weekly “service,” playing a part, concerned only with oneself, lah dee dah… Being a Christian means emulating and internalizing what Christ stood for, which was Love, Honesty, Integrity and Sacrifice. It’s more than wearing a lapel pin and calling it a day.