My Personal Laodicea

(long n’ venty – you may want to skip)

AGGRAVATION (ag-re-VA’-shun) v. 1a: to make heavy; burden. b: increase  2: to make worse, more serious, or more severe : intensify unpleasantly 3: to rouse to displeasure or anger

It’s amazing… I’ll just recover from some incredible stupidity, only to be staggered by another.  One after another, like a parade of warped and fantastic statements marching thru my life.  You’d think there’d be an end – how much stupidity can there be? – but there isn’t.

Sucker is spelt with a capital “S”, Anna.  Remember that.

It was MOPS this morning, and when I got there to assist in the ‘big kid’ nursery with Karen ((for my first time – I volunteered last week because they were desparate))… I was turned over to TEN wild and obnoxious 2-5 year olds by myself.  Karen was “sick”.  They said, “Oh, just let them play, here are crayons – let them color… sing songs… play musical chairs… you know.”  No, I’m afraid I don’t.  But I’m up for a challenge, and I’ll give it my best shot.  Dear Lord, let me control my disciplinarian preferences and let every child behave so I won’t have to kill them.  Amen.

You learn a lot about a parent from observing their kid for 3 hours straight. 

Elie is 4 and can spell very well.  She knows that the cookie cutter that’s blue is the “United States of America”.  She claps and sings songs that she “creates in her own mind”.  She is quiet and good and sweet and shares.  She tells full stories about Jesus and Moses.  I was astonished by her intelligence.  Sara has to have a purple pillow with her at all times.  She’s four.  She can’t spell her name, has attention difficulties, and if you stop her from stealing someone else’s toys, she throws herself to the ground and screams and cries for ten minutes straight.  Not pleasant.

Johnathan is an instigator.  He’s five, he won’t play any game but “Fight” (which consists of kicking, punching, shoving, and hitting other kids)… he can’t spell his name.  He tells dirty jokes.  His favorite word apparently is “Gimme”.  “PooPooHead” is second runner up.  Dalton is two and a half.  He’s an introvert.  He likes to stay away from the other kids and watch.  He doesn’t speak.  He seems to have taken a liking to me, though, and by the end of the time, we were playing LEGOs (Lydia, Elie, Mary, Dalton and I) and he even spoke a few words.  He’s extremely obedient and compliant.

Jordan hits.  He steals toys.  He’s four, and gets into everything.  He ignores reprimands and hollars at the other kids.  He was by far the most trying child in the group – the cause of the most trouble.  Lydia’s a cuddler.  She hugs the nicer kids, and stays away from the bigger (brattier) ones.  She’s there when someone cries, she’s a sharer and a singer.  She likes to twirl and hold hands.

I will never do ‘big kid’ nursery again alone.  Maybe not even with help.

I let the brats duke it out.  No point in getting in that fray.  They had no interest in games, songs, crafts, or toys… so the six of us who were ‘good’ kids played together.  The others hit and shoved and had a corner were “you can’t play” and called each other names.  I now know why nobody wants to take turns in there.  They tattled on each other and whined and threw things. I now know why Karen isn’t coming back next year.  I now know why the moms don’t want their kids anywhere near them during MOPS.

I shouldn’t have gone to talk to Pastor Tom.  It was dumb to do.

I thought since I was at church, I’d go get my book back from Pastor Tom.  I’m not taking membership class, I’m not going to services there anymore, and I wanted my book back since it was obvious I’m not going to teach the Fundamental Christianity class.

He asked about the play, said he heard mixed reviews.  ((He would’ve – both the other pastors went to see it… and it shocked the heck out of me, considering the content and the fact that I didn’t like that trash myself and only saw parts of it for that reason.))  I told him it wasn’t my style, that I personally don’t mind 4-letter words, but not the taking of the Lord’s name in vain, and it was thrown around a lot in the play.  He was subtle in his condemnation of my stance on appropriate language… he said a lot of ‘newer’ Christians often still use 4-letter words (since it’s a ‘culture thing’), but they’ll ‘grow out of it’.

If it’s a culture thing and not a Bible thing… why do they need to grow out of it?  Should they grow out of wearing pants and having long-haired men, too?  The Bible says nothing about “Thou shalt not say ‘shit’.”  It does say “Let no unwholesome talk leave your mouth – only that which is good for edification” (indicating content, not word usage).  TOTALLY not going there.  He’s Laodicean, he’ll LUVVV me anyhow, right?  ((wink!))

He asked if I was in a home group, then asked about my opinion of where the member’s were in their spiritual walk.  I tried not to answer it dishonestly but didn’t want to sound disappointed and frustrated, either.  I really didn’t want to assess people, anyhow.  I did share that it bothers me that Holly constantly says “Well, it’s all in how you interpret the Bible”.  I believe in one interpretation… and many perspectives and ways it can affect us.  He agreed – “One interpretation, many applications.”

“You have no trouble with so-n-so’s relationship?”  His smirk annoyed me.  I don’t know about their relationship.  “Well, they just got married, but they co-habitated for years out of wedlock.”  For me to comment on it would be to pass judgment, and I won’t do that.  It’s not my business, and they are in a right relationship now.  It felt very much like gossip, and I wasn’t at all comfortable.  He took the opportunity to enlighten me about their policies.  “In our church we don’t address those situations – we accept people where they are, and if there’s a sin issue, it will eventually come out and be changed of the sinners own accord.”

How is it okay for him to gossip and overlook co-habitation (both spoken against in scripture), but it’s not okay for me to say ‘shit’ (an ‘assumed’ sin)?  I’m a little more than confused…

I asked why they preach out of paraphrases and not the actual word of God… he said some paraphrases interpret the passages in a more viable way to the “seeker-sensitive”.  ((Some paraphrases change the whole meaning of the passage.  Let’s be honest.  You preach whatever says what you want it to say.))  I didn’t bother going there.  Especially when he’d just said there was only one interpretation out the other side of his mouth.

Will someone tell me why Arminians so dislike Calvinism???

I did, however, go there with the ‘accept the sin’ thing.  Just playing devil’s advocate, of course… Jesus addressed the woman at the well’s cohabitation issues on their first encounter.  If we are to emulate Christ, why would we choose an opposite reaction and accept the sinful state?  According to Matthew Henry, the woman was comfortable in her sin, so Christ pricked her so that she might be made aware of the sin and therefore open to healing.  Sould we not therefore prick the sin so that healing can take place?

His response?  “Other churches prick the sin.  Our church accepts people where they are, as they are, and lets them decide what to do.  We practice tolerance here.  It’s a gray area.  By overlooking these things, we get the greater numbers in here. Do you know where I’m coming from?”

Oh yes.  Revelations says that churches whose waters are hot have healing attributes.  Churches whose waters are cold have refreshing attributes.  Where you’re coming from is Laodicea – the lukewarm waters that niether heat or cool, but allow all manner of disease to flow and breed in it.  Christ said he would spew such churches from his mouth.  So am I… It is finished.

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