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man wearing gas mask standing beside store facade

stock phot of “riots”

For those blessed not to be in the know,  Seattle protestors, condoned and supported by several members of our elected leadership, took over six blocks of downtown and declared themselves an independent, autonomous country, and not a part of the US anymore. The police, often unsupported by local leadership, literally boarded up the windows of the precinct, sprayed the building down with fire retardant, and went home.

The “country of Chas,” probably stands for “Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone.” They are mostly entitled white kids having a revolutionary cosplay, a grand Larp-ing adventure, with a few radicals thrown in for good measure to stir the pot around. Very funny, because the first thing they did was BUILD A WALL and establish LAW ENFORCEMENT! That’s because they invited the homeless to join their collective free for all, and the homeless promptly stole all their food and supplies.

Obviously I have been having entirely too much fun watching this little drama play out.

Also, please remember that the news is in the business of creating drama, making mountains out of molehills, triggering and fermenting emotions. What I’ve just described is pretty much what’s going, but it’s relatively peaceful, there are no actual “warlords” or “road warriors,” and this is routine, somewhat “normal” for the area.  The World Trade Protests in 1999 were pretty bad. The Occupy Everything 2011 people caused me mild distress. Just saying, this is nothing “new.” Happens almost every year.

On a more serious note, someone I am fond of on Twitter, tweeted, “If your sermon this Sunday is not titled “Church: the original autonomous zone” are you even relevanting?” So, a somewhat humorous quip, and not my idea at all, but darn, it’s a good one! Shout out to Failing Pastor for triggering me.

two person standing near white church

“Church: the original autonomous zone.” You betcha! The church, Christians in general could really learn a thing or two from the newly formed “country of Chaz.” Like, stop lamenting, whining, (and laughing hysterically about the situation) and glean some desperately needed wisdom here. I am actually embarrassed, ashamed, mortified by the fact that we of the church are actually submissively shut down waiting for permission from our benevolent leaders to meet. Well, not everybody, but a good chunk of us.

It broke my heart to see one of my favorite churches forced to meet outside in a Phase Two partial opening, by registration only, inside a circus tent. Right in front of their beautiful building now deemed too risky. Yeah, you obedient ones with your masks and gloves on, your duct taped lines on the floor, your six foot marks, and your circus tent, have been played. Gamed. Bamboozled.  While you guys hop around like bunnies with a pancake on your head practicing how to submit to authority per Romans 13, hundreds of thousand of people converged on downtown Seattle.

Some converged for a good cause, too. Some did not. But those who went with noble ideals, irritate the heck out of me, too! Like, you’ll defy the governing authorities and risk your health to show your support for justice and for political causes, but not for the church? Not for your own congregations? Not for those who are supposed to be your immediate family?? I actually heard someone say, “it’s too risky to do church right now, but this was important, this was worth it.”

Wow, so we’ve now arrived at the “non essential church?” Apparently so. Church is now perceived as somewhat recreational, non essential, something you put on the list of needs after outdoor concerts and sporting events.

I get it, those protestors giving their governing authority the one finger salute have the support and love of the Powers that Be. Like, they’ll all get sent free pizza while a church with a media presence is likely to get shut down, fined, and condemned by the Heath Dept.

Just the same, the fact that we are in this situation in the first place  is our fault. We let it get this bad. We failed to fight when the fight was much easier. We failed to make church a priority, to walk out our faith that dares to declare that without Jesus, without the church, there is no such thing as peace, justice, and unity. Do we even believe that anymore or do we just “do church” because we like the music?

Seriously, what the heck is wrong with us? Have we forgotten how to seize the territory, dominate,  and occupy it?  Do we even know how to stand for anything? How much of our anger towards those protestors is actually rooted in jealousy, in envy, in our own feelings of inadequacy? I’m a bit of a pragmatist and a mercenary, a survivor, so I see the end of the world coming, I start looking around for refuge, for protection. Where’s the power? Who’s got all the pizza?

Well, it’s certainly not the church! The church is closed down.

Well, not everybody. There’s still a handful of brave souls in the world, but in general I look around and I just see a church full of soggy pasta and trying to find strength there is often like trying to nail jello to the wall. Is it any wonder all those kids take one look at the church and flee in favor of something more powerful, more interesting, more effective?

It’s not a wonder to me. The church right now is still closed. Wouldn’t make much difference if they were open anyway. About 10 years ago I told a young person they needed the church and they looked at me blankly and said, “Why, what’s the church going to do for me?” I didn’t have an answer. I couldn’t give this person a single reason why the church was so important, because at the time the darn church was so impotent, they probably would have been better off just joining the Elks club.

We really do need to get woke and not “woke” in a political and a cultural sense, but in a spiritual one. I’m not the least bit afraid of the chaos in the world right now, but I am a bit concerned that the church just returns to “normal,” because our “normal” around here stinks and I can’t be the only one who smells it.

cheerful young woman screaming into megaphone

Where I live many of us are attacking our leadership, justified since many are self serving buffoons. The problem being we seem to have forgotten, WE are supposed to BE the leadership. Instead of just saying we need to vote in new people, which we’ve been trying to do for decades, we need to BE the new people. Seize the territory, occupy it for Jesus Christ, and dominate. That’s always easier said than done, but these days it isn’t even being said.

***I’m not a preacher, but Hubby sometimes calls me “preacher.” Ha! Pretty sure it’s not a compliment. And another thing before I stop speaking to you…