A Lament

The Hubs and I stream Netflix to our Wii and lately we’ve been hooked on documentaries. Our latest endeavor, Waiting for Armageddon, proved to be quite riveting, action packed, “Illuminates a worldview marked by absolute certainty and chilling finality…spine tingling…may raise goose bumps,” (NY Times). Please, before you read what follows, please I implore you to watch at least the trailer–and if you can–the entire documentary. It truly is spine tingling. The stories with which the interviewees leave you are indeed chilling. And the worldview from which these stories are told…well, please read for yourself.

In light of this dear friends, I must make a formal confession.

Dear Jesus, Y’Shua, the Son of the Most High, the mediator on our behalf, the one who forgave sins, who made the lame to walk, the blind to see, and who ate food prepared by unclean hands-

Dear Jesus, I am sorry.

For those who call themselves Christians and paint you as a judge carrying a flaming sword, I apologize, I hang my head in shame.

For those who say you will bring a blood bath of war, destruction, and terror, and with fire and brimstone you will eradicate the evil in this world–forgive them.

For the language of a nationalistic, patriotic, military-for the rallying of arms, for saying we are at war and must be hostile to the enemy–do not be too harsh on them. They were not at the mountainside that day when you called us to be peacemakers, to love our enemies and to pray for those who persecute us. They missed that sermon.

Every time they lift your cross high they paint it the colors of the empire.

Every time they gather together they call it worship but they sing Caesar’s songs.

They love a people in a Holy Land across time zones and oceans–but refuse to love the people in their own neighborhoods because a donkey and an elephant separate them, and their worldview tells them if they gain control of Caesar’s throne they can control the world in a godly way.

Dear Jesus, I am sorry.

Too much violence is branded with your cross.

Too much blood is shed-too many guns fired, hateful words thrown–and it is all labeled a ‘just’ and Holy War.

Far too many hearts are starved for love and truth–they have fallen for the lies of literalism and have prostituted the face of justice.

What more can I say? Son of Man, forgive them. They–we–know not what is being done. Forgive them, for I know not to whom they pray. Their prayers begin and end with a name “Jesus” but I don’t know the god they speak of. They ramble on and on–use big words to confuse the masses, claim to be the sole interpreters of truth–and my heart weeps that they use your name. My soul is haunted that you would be painted in such a way.

For you, Jesus, have the authority to judge. You are a holy God, yes, but you are a God who is making all things new. Dear Jesus, forgive us when we call you our war Lord.

Jesus, forgive us from our minds.

Jesus, forgive our sinful nature that would rather see conflict erupt (and that we have front row seats) than through sweat and tears work for peace.

Forgive us when we would rather make enemies because of your name than learn to love in your name.

I do not know the god they worship. And I will not sacrifice to it. I will not give my  life to see destruction rule in someone else’s.

Jesus, forgive us when we become the mirror images of the evil we so vengefully hate.
When we embody the precise virtues we seek to destroy.
When we see the world as ours to purify–rather than yours to redeem.
Jesus, forgive us. We know not what we do.

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