For some of you who might be wondering: No, We Did Not Die.
In spite of what you may have heard, or what some may have hoped, we didn’t just disappear.
We didn’t go silently into the night.
We weren’t swept away by flood waters, burned by raging fires, or swallowed whole by the Earth.
Unlike some unfortunate and innocent victims (the Parade of Victimizations rolled on), we weren’t trampled by a stampede of frenzied and agitated Zambians, nor were we brutally murdered in an implied “drug bust” gone wrong, and other “random” and horrific acts of uninvestigated violence swept under the rug.
Yes, we grieved and mourned. But like all things, we carried on.
We continued to watch, hear, and read about all the idiocies and atrocities being committed day after day, week after week, month after month, by so-called leaders of the faith. From either afar, or very up close and personal, we were flabbergasted and amazed by the willful ignorance and debased morals of some. But we were not deterred, nor were we convinced by lame-brained excuses, illogical justifications, and diversionary pageantry and theatrics.
We didn’t IGNORE the corruption, nor CAPITULATE to evil. We weren’t bowled over by faked media or forced praise. We didn’t feign ignorance nor play the “unaware” card.
Corruption? What corruption?
Billion Peso Loans? What loans?
I don’t see no Airbus.
We didn’t play the fool, nor be someone’s patsy and schmuck. We didn’t chuck our conscience out the window, compromise our integrity, abandon the faith, or lose any hope.
We simply LIVED. We carried on.
Yes, we were ignored, de-friended, unfollowed, and shunned, ostracized by many we considered close and thought had more courage, bravery, and integrity, but alas, we were mistaken. But no hard feelings, we understand completely. In fact, had things been different, had we thought Christ’s death was a minor sacrifice, we might still be “going through the motions, going with the flow.”
Nevertheless, we persevered in spite of how we were treated. We didn’t let the bigotry, fear and xenophobia of others dictate or define who we are. We didn’t let them take away or alter our faith, nor redefine our Christian beliefs and resolve. What they took away, if anything, wasn’t our ”faith” (for WHO can truly say he or she no longer believes in Christ?) but thankfully, the participation in fraudulent and frivolous services and activities, games, and diversions. What a RELIEF it turned out to be.
A worship is not a worship if it’s not done “in spirit and in truth,” the two qualities drastically absent from the charade being conducted inside many a house of prayer.
Simply turning a name tag doesn’t make you a “Christian,” but also living, behaving, thinking and acting with holiness in mind. I personally know Muslims, Hindus, and Buddhists who act more “Christian” than Christians.
You cannot steal, lie, cheat, abuse and take advantage of others, no matter who you are, whatever your title is or so-called position of “authority.” You cannot be dishonest, nor make exemptions for yourself from following the most basic of Christian tenets. (Well, technically, you can. You can do whatever the hell you please actually, but don’t expect your so-called “followers” to turn a blind eye forever. God and Christ certainly won’t.)
If it appeared to some that we gave up, that we abandoned the faith for something more convenient, we didn’t. We’ve never stopped believing. We’ve continued to pray, hope, and love.
If we became less vocal, less frustrated and exasperated, it’s only because, as with everyone else in this world, we entrusted many things to God and went about our daily lives. One can only endure so much idiocy, ignorance, and intolerance from others, before letting God take the reigns.
We didn’t stop living or loving. We didn’t let them break up our families, our marriages, our friendships. They tried, but we wouldn’t let them. In fact, not only did we NOT stop living, we THRIVED.
Like the rest of the world, we have careers and schools to attend to, families to raise, aging parents to care for. Appointments to keep, plans to make, sights to see. Genuine friends and relatives to commiserate with. We still celebrated anniversaries and birthdays, graduations and weddings, welcomed new births and said goodbye to some. And we were probably disinvited from just as many festivities, but such is life. One less gift to buy, one less bell to answer.
We helped those that we could, in ways that we could. We tried our best not to imitate the mistakes of others.
We watched and championed Leah Remini’s valiant show against the evils of a powerful cult-like organization, and marveled at the similarities.
We focused less on the negativity, bitterness, animosity and despair from those less enlightened, and tried to contribute more positivity, joy and peace to the universe. The world has enough problems.
How did we not lose the faith?
It’s so easy to say, to hell with organized religion, to hell with church, to hell with “Christianity” and corrupt ministers! And I suppose, many have. One can’t be blamed for feeling that way. It’s understandable to view the actions of some to represent the whole. But that’s a mistake. You shouldn’t let a few bad apples ruin the whole barrel, even if these apples are supposedly the big honchos calling the shots. Let them answer to God.
What we did do, however, was maintain, uphold, and preserve the faith as best we can, thanks in part to the very few ministers willing to uphold the doctrine, without replacing it, replicating it, or reinventing it. That there was some disagreement as to how to “restore” the church, was not an issue. Again, we let God show them the way.
We no longer contributed, condoned, nor enabled the corruption. We can take comfort in knowing we didn’t betray God. Our conscience is clear.
And so we will continue to wait. To pray, hope, and love.
And if you thought things were over for us, we’re sorry to disappoint you.
We’re not going anywhere. In fact, we’re barely getting started.