SO YOU DON’T WANT TO GO TO CHURCH ANYMORE – PART 11
Many will be tuned in tonight for the last round of presidential debates. I liken these debates to a boxing match. We’ve seen lots of below the waist shots and trash talking on both sides. That is why it was fun to watch the Al Smith Dinner where both fighters traded some of the funniest jokes….like this one:
Of course the president has put his own stamp on relations with the church. There have been some awkward moments. Like when the president pulled Pope Benedict aside to share some advice on how to deal with his critics. He said, “Look Holy Father, whatever the problem is, just blame it on Pope John Paul II.”
In Chapter 11, a year has gone by and Jake is having the time of his life. During his shindig, they get a surprise visitor. Guess who? It’s Tito John!
Let me pause to share a quick Filipino joke I’ve heard with different scenarios.
There are 3 guys in a kitchen hired to do specific job.
The Latino guy was assigned cooking duties. The American guy was assigned cleaning duties. The Filipino guy was assigned ordering and maintaining the supplies.
The boss comes into the kitchen at the end of the day to check on them.
The boss says to the Latino guy, “Everyone loves your cooking!”
He looks at the American guy, “I’ve never seen a kitchen so clean and tidy!”
The boss scans the room, “Where is the Filipino guy who maintains all our supplies?”
The boss then hears a rumbling noise by the trash cans.
As he walks towards that direction, all of a sudden, the Filipino jumps out and screams, ” SUPPLIES!
Filipinos are full of “supplies”! =)
Jake shares with John, “I am having so much fun sorting out this life in Jesus and helping others do so, that I’m not even worried about what others think, or about my career.”
We also see how Jake has figured out the “religious” game that keeps people divided and defeated.
“As I read the life of Jesus now, I see more clearly that’s what he was doing—freeing people from shame so that they could embrace his Father. And I’m seeing that with increasing freedom in my own life too. That’s probably the greatest gift you’ve given me, John. I no longer labor under the oppressive guilt of how far I fall short, nor under the demanding obligations of self-produced righteousness. And I’m no longer putting that on others.”
“I never realized how much of what I thought was ministry was only manipulating people’s shame—whether it was to make them feel guilty for falling short or to earn other people’s approval.
“That’s what religion is, Jake. It’s a shame-management system, often with the best of intentions and always with the worst of results.”
“But it did work, at least externally.”
“Yes, but it only drove the bondage even deeper. In the end people are still addicted to shame and bounce between self-pity and self-glory, never finding freedom to simply live in him. It makes people think God wants a cause and effect relationship with them. If they’ll be good, he’ll be good to them.”
Another part I really enjoyed was the parallel of our spirituality to a butterfly:
“Just like a butterfly taking wing from its cocoon, Jake. Isn’t it sad that we thought we could press people into spiritual change, instead of helping them grow to trust Father more and find him changing them? You can’t press a caterpillar into a butterfly mold and make it fly. It has to be transformed from the inside.”
“And it is so much more exciting lifting shame off of people than burdening them down with it. No wonder Christian fellowship has to be sold as an obligation. Who would want to hang out with people who are always laying a guilt-trip on you or pressuring you to meet their expectations?”
“Which is why body life always ends up so performance-based and manipulative.
I really hope you’re reading each chapter because there is no way I’ll be able to cover everything. Their discussion gets deep and detailed, covering topics like true fellowship and leadership.
Tito John ends with this note: “I could answer questions all day and it wouldn’t make a difference. This life can’t be all sewn up neatly in the intellect; it must be uncovered in the journey. He’ll make things clear to you as you need them.”
I hope you enjoy these 3 songs from Group 1 Crew’s latest album – Fearless.
Night Of My Life