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i-am-angry

I read a blog post titled “Still an Angry Christian” and its first part “I am An Angry Christian”, by Cindy Brandt celebrating the gift of anger. And it was freeing to read, and it compelled me to write a similar post, being that I too am a Angry Christian, mad as hell might even be a more appropriate title for me.

Reading it has released me to surrender to the fact that its Okay for me to be angry, that I am right in being angry. That personal growth and spiritual maturity does not mean experiencing less episodes of anger, or even about managing anger better, but embracing it instead of fighting it. I am learning that as long as I care for those suffering and the injustice in this world, the mission of Jesus, biblical church, the word of God, my relationship with Jesus, the more anger is going to take up residence in my life, and I might as well get cozy with it.

Others have for so long told me I should not be angry, I should not express my anger, that Christians don’t do that, that Christians are to be filled with “the joy of the Lord” 27/7 regardless of what I am experiencing in life.

That as a Christian, I am to be nice: all the time, regardless of what people do to others, including myself. When things upset me, it is because I’m in the flesh and sinful, and not walking in the Spirit. A godly man never responds in anger, get angry at others or circumstances. Well Excuuuuse Me while I open the window, sick my head out and scream as loud as I can, I’m mad as hell, I am and not going to hide it any more!!!! I am a angry Christian!!!!!!

I hereby declare: I am an angry Christian.

I get angry when I hear about millions of young girls that are taken and turned into prostitutes for sex tourists, used to make internet porn.

I get angry when I hear over a billion people struggle with hunger, and 18 people die every minute from starvation, and most are children.

I get angry when people are hungry right now, have nothing to eat, especially children starving, many even in my own city and I can do nothing about it, and those who can, do nothing.

I get angry when Christians keep telling me to just attend a church, any church, (usually theirs), to just show up for an hour and go home, be satisfied with that and call that being part of a church.

I get angry when Christians tell me to stop being a passionate lover of God in my worship of Him and  come to their church and just sit quietly in the pew with folded hands and show no emotions. ( read more )

I get angry when Christians attack the worship music I worship God to, songs that express my love for God, remind me of Gods love for me, songs that speak from my heart.

I get angry when Christians tell me to stop being non-denominational, stop being charismatic, and join their denomination, join their non-charismatic church.

* I get angry when I want to follow Jesus and live on mission, Go preach the gospel, make disciples, gather with others that are devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. I want to be part of the body church and receive gifts to minister to the body, to pray for one another. And God will not let me, and yet everyone constantly hounds me, nags me to be part of the church, when I want to be, because God has blocked me from being part of the church in those ways.

But I don’t just get righteously angry.

* I get angry when other Christians tell me that I should not be depressed, sad, lonely, just because I do not have love and family, it’s wrong to want to have someone to love and be loved by, have children, when they do.

I get angry when other Christians tell me being single is “a gift from God”, that “Jesus is all I need (more)” when they are married with children (read my post on this).

I get angry when people point out that there are few people who choose to go through life never wanting to love or be loved by another person, and that I should choose be like them.

I get angry when God gives me a word, answers questions through His word and teaching from others, and people who claim to be Christians attack it, rip it to shreds, ultimately crap all over it. (read more).

I get angry when a pastor says from pulpit that singles should spend all their time serving God, yet their church only allows married people to be in ministry and leadership positions.

I get angry because I want to be part of a true biblical church and exercise my gifts for the body, have daily fellowship with others in Christ, but I cannot because there is no way being single at my age I can.

I get angry when I want to go and preach the gospel, feed the hungry, set the captives free, and God will not let me.

I get angry when people who God bless with love and family, say they are too busy, life to full of family things to serve God, and since I’m single that’s my job to do those things, not them. Have they never read “to whom much is given, much will be required” Luke 12:48. or  Luke 9:61-62.

And sometimes, I get angry for no good reason.

If you open your bible and read it, you will find it says to be slow in becoming angry, nowhere does it say never be angry at all. Jesus got angry, and often, even threw a fit of rage in the temple of all places ( that would be like in the middle of a church, full of people). All through out the bible God got angry at both His enemy’s and His people. Anger is part of God’s personality, and we are made in His image.

The problem is not my anger, that I am angry, the problem is the source of my angry, starving children in world of plenty, young girls being kidnaped and forced to be raped hundreds of times a day. People who say they are Christians, attack me for loving God to much, for being too passionate for God, for believing the bible and wanting to do what it says. Condemn me for wanting the church that is in the bible, for wanting my life and the church to be all about the mission of Christ, those are the problems, not my anger.

Anger channels passion, and is often a conduit of love. When God brewed in anger over God’s people in Scripture, it is often a reflection of God’s faithfulness with a people prone to wander. Love and anger are sometimes opposite sides of the same coin. They drive us to pursue justice in the face of suffering. Anger fuels commitment to lasting change.

Just as I want my anger to demand justice for others, that captives be set free, the oppressed be liberated, I need my own anger to demand just treatment for myself. Without anger, Stand up for the word of God and the mission of Jesus. I eventually learn to cope with words that minimize me, actions that diminish my gifts, my walk with God, and systems that marginalize me. My sweet, compliant spirit slowly whittles me down to a mere shadow of myself, one who goes with the flow, maintains harmony, and obeys without question. In doing so, I rob myself of the respect I deserve as a beloved child of God, and I rob my community the gift of my authentic self.

So I am an Angry Christian. Angry, because it is part and parcel of my humanity, part of being a Christian, part of being created in Gods image.

Also read:

Please Stop saying “All you need is Jesus” to singles

Stop Casting Your Pearls Before Swine

is-jesus-all-you-need

There are so many things that Christians say to others that really is callous, and cold-hearted, that does not help others at all, and for me the one that tops the list is for someone to say to me “All you need is Jesus”.  Say to anyone who is single, you don’t need love and family, “All you need is Jesus”. For someone to say, as if to brag, “All I need is Jesus”.

First off I have yet to hear one person say that to someone, that it is true about their life. Yes, Jesus is all we need as to salvation, it’s Jesus + Nothing = Everything. But when it comes to life, living life in America, functioning in life, everyone who says “All you need is Jesus” always has more than Just Jesus.

First, we are Not to go through life alone, After all God did say in the very beginning of creation,, back in Genesis 2:18  “It is not good from man to be alone” God said that of a man that all he had was God at the time, no wife, no children, no career, home, church or even one person to hang out with, all Adam has was God and God alone.. It was while man was in that state of him and God only, that God said, “It is not good from man to be alone”. Then after God said that, He created Adam a wife, then told them be as one and have lots and lots of children. God’s plan for man is to have more than Him for life on this earth, His created purpose included man getting a mate and having children, being a family just like the Godhead is.

Secondly we are not meant to be an inland., Josh McDowell said it well, “When it comes to my salvation, all I need is Jesus; after my salvation it’s, everything is Jesus plus the church… When people preach that all you need is Jesus, they cut you and I off from one of the greatest sources of healing, of sanctification which is the body of Christ. Don’t go it alone – you won’t make it.”

I have heard countless sermons lately about how important it is to be in a church, that it part of God’s design for Christians, we can’t go it alone.

The above two show us already that it’s at least Jesus + mate + children + church are to make up the life of a Christian.

With that said, what angers me the most is this: When someone says  “All you need is Jesus” and they are married, have 3 or 4 kids, lives in a very nice house, with two nice cars parked in the driveway. Has a great career, a job making a fat paycheck, has a fat 401K, holds a leadership position at their church, Jesus is not all they have, not all they have to be happy, fulfilled, content in life on this earth, they have Jesus + +  + + + + + +.

I feel that to say “Jesus is all I need” has become a Christian tagline, a statement to make to look super spiritual to others, and not a reality of their life.

I think it would be real hard to find one person in America that has a clue what it is to only have Jesus, to exist with nothing but Jesus. Or to be a happy, content, joyful, fulfilled person by having only Jesus and nothing else in their life. Everyone I hear who makes those claims is always married with children. Always have good jobs, nice houses and cars, some have lost position in their church of a ministry. Their lives are overflowing with blessings, their quiver is full, they lack no good thing, they have everything that pertains to life, they have a large box full of toys. So of course their happy, content, joyful and fulfilled, they have love family,  careers, home, cars, church, friends and everything else.

I say take away those things and let’s see if they still say that. And let’s see if the proudly proclaim “All you need is Jesus!”. See if after 5 years, 10 years, how about 25 years without those things if they say that, see if then they have a happy, fulfilling, purpose filled life.

What I am saying is a person cannot have multiple sources that give love, meaning, purpose, happiness, joy, life, and claim that only one is providing all that, that all the others are irrelevant.

I just wish people would stop proclaiming, “All I need is Jesus”, telling others “All you need is Jesus” when it’s not true of their own life, Jesus is not all they have. They cannot say their happiness, purpose, meaning and fulfilled life comes from Jesus alone, when their life is filled with love and family (mate and kids), career and good paying job, nice house, nice cars, fat bank account, part of a great church. They cannot separate themselves from those things and say they do not matter when they do matter.They cannot say Jesus is their source when their life overflowing with all of those other life-giving blessings, purpose giving things.

If you have a headache and you take two aspirins, pray and lay down for a half hour and get up and your headache is gone, you cannot claim all you need is prayer to cure a headache. You have to give credit to the aspirin and nap as well, not just to your prayer. Unless you prayed only, you can’t give it the credit, because aspirin and a nap, each will cure headaches. You cannot say All I need is prayer when your taking aspirin and a nap.

Only after you take the training wheels off you bike, can you truthfully say they have nothing to do with me being able to ride a bike, there not necessary.

I really believe people should not tell someone they do not need something in their life, if they have it in their life, do not tell someone they do not need a certain thing to be happy, unless you do not have it in your life and are happy. So, don’t tell people they do not need money to live a good life and be happy, when you have a fat paycheck and bank account, your not living without it, so don’t tell them to. If your married and have children, don’t tell singles they don’t need them, and should not want to have them. You’re not living without them, you were not willing to stay single so don’t tell them to.

Bottom line, Don’t tell people, especially single people that all they need is Jesus when you’re married, have children, great job, nice home, two cars and a place in a church, because Jesus is not all you have.

French Riviera Apt

I spent Friday afternoon setting on the wall out front of the apt building I lived in during my Jr. and High School days, I was there just last Tuesday after finding out my oldest female friend, Risa (Marisesa) Casey had died recently. I went up to my High School to look at the yearbook from my graduation year, and to my surprise was able to get one from the journalism dept. After that I went to my old apartment complex and walked around the old neighborhood, and thought about my Jr. and High school days. I was also remembering Kath Colby, a good friend who lived across the street who died in 2011 of cancer. I was missing them both very much, they were such a big part of my teen years.

Risa (Marisesa) Casey

I went back Friday because ever since I was there last Tuesday I have been obsessed with going back there, to just go there and set on the wall out front. And I figured out why, why I am so drawn to be there, why it feels so good to be there. When I lived there, the time of my Jr. and High School years, there was hope for me, hope for a future, hope for love and family, hope of a good future. I had a lot of really good, close friends, I had purpose, even though it was just be a student. I had a place to fit in and be part of, school, drama, my friends.

Where today I have no hope, no hope of love and family, no hope of a career, no hope of a future, do no have the close group of close friends to do life with me everyday like back then. No girls in my life to do life with. No place to fit in or be part of. No purpose, not part of anything, or hope for ether.

Polly WarnerAs I set there on the wall, and while walking around the neighborhood, past old friends houses, remembering our times together, thinking about Kathy and what an amazing girl she was, our times together. Risa, how great she was, what a good friend she was, the things we did. As well as other girls like, Polly Werner who was so amazing and so beautiful. Shelli, Debbie such great friends and Robin Airey who I dated, so beautiful. I wounded what could have happened if I would have done some things different, changed things about myself, known what I know now, I would have done 70% of everything different.

 

Ironically the movie Peggy Sue Got Married was on TV last weekend, never saw it before, it is about a girl who goes to her 25th High School reunion in 1985, passes out and wakes up in 1960 back at her High School, knowing everything. So she sets out to change things she did like marry her High School boyfriend, which ended up bad and a divorce.

I so wanted while sitting on that wall yesterday to close my eyes and open them up, and it be 1968, the first say I moved in with my mom and started Jr. High, but know what to do differently, but of course God did not do send me back to 1968, when I opened my eyes it was still 2015.

My school days were not all milk and honey by any stretch of the imagination, that bowl of cherries had an awful lot of pits in it, those were painful years in many ways. But what I had then, that I don’t have now, was HOPE, no matter what issues I was dealing with at the time, there was hope that things would change, get better, workout, a hope of love and family. I had purpose, I belong to something that I could be part of, contribute to, drama, school itself, friendships. Places to fit in and had very close, very good friends, and had girls that were very close to me, liked me, and did life with me, girls that were so amazing, that I was so lucky to be friends with. I had in my life then the material to make a life, for love and family. None of those do I have today, nor are they available to me, or even within reach.

Today I am one without Hope, without meaning or purpose. My life (not really the right word, I have no life) cannot be fixed, there is no hope of it being fixed, no hope of prayers being answered, not even God can fix my life now (and no one who is truly honest disagrees with me).

Love and family are impossible for even God to give me today, and that is the core of everything. Finding love, leading to marriage, having children, resulting in the first time in my life to have love and family. That then allowing me to become part of the body of Christ, the church. I would have both family, wife and children, and church family. Those two would then enable me to serve Christ both in church and Go into the world with the gospel. A new career, i.e. a great job with a salary high enough to make a life on. And a substantial number of other urgent, and necessary needs that will take tens of thousands of dollars. And all must happen right now, like this year.

robin_aireyBut unfortunately unlike Peggy Sue, who did get married, I cannot go to sleep tonight and wake up in 1968, back to when I had hope. Starting over with the knowledge I have today, with Godly wisdom, knowing what to do differently just like Peggy Sue did. And with God changing just two things about me, maybe then Kathy, Polly, Robin or one of the other wonderful girls I knew then would have fallen in love with me.

I would do anything to be where I was them, a place of HOPE, hope of love and family, hope of a future, of a purpose. But sadly, the chances of the miracle of me waking up in 1968 and starting over happening are greater, than the miracles happening that it would take to fix my life today. And that leaves me with no hope today.

But most of all, the most need thing back then, would be having the love and favor of God, and God changing just two things about me, two things that would result in a different life, me being a different person today. I long for the time when there was hope, hope for me, for love. So guess I will have to settle for going back to the old neighborhood and remembering that time there was hope, when I had such truly amazing girls, so many great friends (especially such amazing girls)  in my life. Thank you, Risa and Kathy, for all that you gave me, yourselves, your friendships.