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People have lots of afflictions, addictions, issues, and so some time back I just started calling myself a murderer in recovery. Also, I’m prone to relapse, so you know, try not to be a stumbling block…..

It’s partially tongue in cheek, a bit quirky, but also quite serious and sober-minded. The Bible says,  “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.’  But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment.”

It says something very similar in many other places, the point being murder, lust, greed,  wut have you, are all about the condition of our own heart. You can’t be walking around with murder in your heart because “out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.” There’s no extra credit plea bargain like, it’s all good, at least I didn’t physically kill anybody today.

Murder is incredibly easy to justify, scary easy. People often don’t realize it, because we aren’t thinking in terms of soul murder. You threaten to dox, bully, harass, hate, or flip someone off in traffic, that’s all soul murder. So is meanspiritedness, gossip, harsh words,  contempt, and hating on people.

In the blink of an eye people right in front of you can just go from being perceived as made in the image of God to being nothing more than a meaningless clump of inconvenient cells standing in your way.

We have the power of life or death in our tongues, it says that in the bible, too. If we aren’t speaking life and truth over people, we’re probably speaking death. There really is no in between, no limbo like, ambivalent heart condition. And our truth must be spoken in love. If there isn’t great love behind it, it probably shouldn’t be spoken at all.

Sometimes I think we can sum up our entire faith as the tale of Cain and Abel. Whose footsteps are you going to follow? There is murdering your brother and there is doing it God’s way. You don’t have to have blood on your hands to hold murder and contempt in your heart.

Am I my brothers keeper?”  You are.

I really am a murderer in recovery so it is not like I am pointing fingers at anyone else without having walked there myself. I’ve really had a struggle with this,  people can tend to get on my last nerve. We aren’t talking about petty stuff either, I am hard to offend. Most of the times I’ve had murder in my heart, it was about people and behavior that really needed to just leave this planet. But that’s the thing about murder, even soul murder, it’s so darn easy to justify.

So, I once had a whole lot of murder in my heart, a powerful dislike for most people and their stupid, petty games and general meanspiritedness and cruelty. Also, a powerful dislike for teh stoopid. And all that murder really didn’t do much of anything to anyone else, it just caused my own soul to rot. We actually cannot be prolife when our heart is busy being pro death.

Most of that has now been replaced with a much softer heart towards people, more  forgiveness, more patience, more empathy.  I now understand that their souls are rotting too, that what they project onto others is a reflection of  their own heart and the world they are living in personally. Sometimes it takes me a little while to let the frustration go and to just let grace reign, but I usually get there pretty quickly.

I’m not really  speaking of atheists either, I’m speaking of Christian people. Christian people, those who profess the name of Christ, can really challenge your ability to just let grace reign.

So now that I’ve offered some background, I have kind of avoided the whole abortion debate, “Dems be voting to kill babies post birth,” because it’s all just become meaningless virtue signaling to me. We’re so proud of our own alleged great love for babies, while completely ignoring the fact that more young people lost their lives in just one year, to heroin, meth, and fentanyl than all the lives lost during the entirety of the Vietnam war.

Yeah, that complete indifference makes me really mad. Some people try to say, well,  you can’t just bring up one evil to try to excuse another. Sure you can, Christians have been teaching me that’s quite possible since forever. We can be all politically correct, pro-life, anti homosexuality, while slamming our ex spouses on social media, gossiping about other people in our churches, having affairs, underpaying our employees, and holding murder in our own hearts. It’s not that one evil excuses another, it is that it is all  connected and inter related.

So the whole pro-life thing often feels like a complete sham to me, a huge lie wrapped in many layers of deception. Out of one side of our mouths we’re proclaiming the sanctity of life, but out of the other side we’re looking away completely indifferent to the suffering all around us, or worse, speaking outright death upon others, those at the border, Democrats, liberals, Jews, Trump supporters, welfare recipients, Catholics, black folks, and of course those murdering whores and Jezebels who apparently self impregnate and have abortions.

I’ll spare you the links, but that’s a real thing, the amount of venom and self-righteous bloodlust that can come from parts of the pro-life movement often rocks my world and makes me feel a bit sick. Does it make me want to embrace life more? No, it actually makes me want to repent of having brought children into a world that is so cruel, misguided, and blood thirsty. And that darkness is coming from the part of the world that is supposed to be representing the good news, the light of the world.

It also makes me feel somewhat grateful that two of my kids just avoid the church like the plague. Think about that, here I am a Christian, totally confused about the morality of my own children fleeing the church. Sometimes I feel bad about that and sometimes I’m like, you go girl and may the Lord lead you….

And on a much lesser level, I often watch other people complain about children, endlessly criticize parents, look down upon young people with complete contempt, in our communities and in our churches. I can empathize a bit, I am one of those “get off my lawn” people, too. But Jesus Christ wasn’t, He flat-out said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”

Creating a culture of life is about so much more than virtue signaling your pro-life stance, while also virtue signaling your great hatred of humanity and completely rejecting the very real mess children make. The mess of both grown and ungrown children. People are messy.

People are messy, so don’t even get me started about the other people, the “pro choice” Christians and their many and varied opinions about who should  have had an abortion, some 20 years after the fact. Wowsers. That’s a real thing too, people professing the name of Christ while also implying it would be better if some people just didn’t exist. That’s also soul murder.

Recently someone told me, “I like kids just fine, but only when they behave.” Right, well, it’s a good thing God never felt that way.  If you think His love for His own children is conditional, based on how we behave, than you’ve actually missed the whole message of the cross.

A culture of life is not built by voting in the right politicians. It’s not coming from the Supreme Court. A family friendly environment is not created by speaking soul murder over all those who we think are doing life all wrong.  It is not built by looking down on people in perpetual judgment, condemnation, and contempt.

And who is responsible for creating a culture of life, an environment in which people feel supported, loved, and family oriented? We are, we of the church at large. That failure to promote a culture of life does not belong to some obscure politician with some unfortunate year book pictures, that failure is actually ours.

I’ve told my own church a million times, I was once one of those lost, unruly children, popping into the church, seeking refuge, seeking the Lord. So every complaint about families, about children, about the community,  about “those kind of people,” every bit of contempt expressed pierces my soul personally, because you are speaking of me and those I love.

That’s actually also a form of soul murder.

Conversely someone actually spoke life over me the other day. I told him I had four kids and he said, “I’m glad you did something worthwhile with your life.” It kind of startled me, you sure don’t hear that very often! Motherhood as an honorable calling rather than a shameful inconvenience? I nearly started crying. That is how you honor life and those who chose to nurture it.

I realize people get angry, that abortion and politics are a heated issue. Just the same, I am disappointed by the number of people who are more inclined to shoot off their mouths on social media, than to get their hands dirty by actually creating a genuine culture of life, one where people feel supported and nurtured enough to actually feel good about having brought children into the world. That culture of life  is not built by speaking death and condemnation over people, that is built by supporting marriages, nurturing families, and investing in kids.

It’s messy.

Many people are, many churches are healthy and family friendly, many people are working in pregnancy crisis centers, supporting adoption, nurturing single moms, supporting broken families, working in children’s ministry, so you know, my words may not be intended for you at all, my complaints may not be pointed in your direction.

I’m just saying, there are also many who are pro-life, but their words, deeds, and actions are anything but, and at the end of the day I just see people reveling more in the joy of venom, conflict, and contempt, rather than actually nurturing and celebrating life and life abundant.

A pastor recently shared a quote, “the church is a bit like Noah’s ark. If it weren’t for the storm raging outside, many of us would be unable to stand the stench inside.” Yeah, I really get that. Sometimes I think I actually just prefer the storm outside, where at least the air is fresh and people know they are lost and broken.

Love me some 50 Cent when the weight of all that double minded, self-righteous churchian virtue signaling just becomes too much to bear.

Many men wish death upon me
Blood in my eye, dawg, and I can’t see
I’m tryin’ to be what I’m destined to be

Lord, I don’t cry no more
Don’t look to the sky no more
Have mercy on me

 

woman in maroon shirt with black chain on her body

Photo by Markus Spiske temporausch.com on Pexels.com

 

 

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