Every day, I am barraged from all sides. The media tells me what to think and what to say. My conversations are being listened to, my emails scanned. My home, my animals and even my children are no longer my own. Taxes, legislation and regulation are crushing the joy out of life. My desire to live a quiet and simple life has become little more than an allusive fantasy. The "Class Wars" have been revived in the form of the "Rulers" and the "People" - no longer are we "Americans", we have become "Them" (politicians, judges, law-enforcement and un-elected bureaucrats grasping for power) and "Us" (working "Joe's" supporting the entire country on our shoulders). "They" make and enforce an unending stream of laws and regulations while we try to breathe under their oppressive tyranny, entreating "them" for just a modicum of freedom.
As I was expressing my extreme frustration to my eldest daughter, Maid Elizabeth, a quote from the iconic television show "Firefly" came to mind. River, a young girl about the age of our own Princess Dragon Snack was expressing her opinion of the State's intrusive nature to the State Appointed teacher. Their conversation was illuminating and in perfect keeping with our own current State of the State.
River: "We meddle. People don't like to be meddled with. We tell them what to do, what to think. 'Don't Run. Don't Walk.' We're in their homes and in their heads, and we haven't the right. We're meddlesome".
Teacher: "River, we're not telling people what to think, we're just trying to show them how".
And so, I am weary. Sir Knight and I want nothing more than to raise our children. We want to teach them the Word of God, grow a garden play with our (future) grandchildren. We want to live productive and healthy lives and see future generations thrive in the world that we have left them.
I want to bake bread, cook for my family and make wine and cheese. I want to decorate my home and putter in my flower garden. I want to pick apples, harvest honey and milk the cow.
As wonderful as all of that sounds, these seemingly harmless, productive endeavors (on which our country was built), are now subject to government license and approval. The food I choose to cook isn't healthy and needs to be banned. I don't have a license to make wine. And cheese needs to be made from inspected milk only. I must have the government approve my furnishing (making sure they are safe and appropriate) before decorating my home (that had to be inspected by building inspectors). My apple harvest, along with everything else I grow, must be registered with the local authorities (again, we need to be safe) and the bee inspector is required to check my hives. And of course, it really is unsafe to drink milk that has not been pasteurized, so that family cow needs to be inspected too. The Government does know best.
In truth, not all of these mandates have been enacted yet, however, many have - and ALL of them have been, at the very least, discussed with most of them having written legislation just waiting to be voted upon and enacted into law.
How's that for a quiet and simple life?
As much as I rail against the world and all of its brokenness, I am not surprised. Governments constructed of men (in the greater sense of the word "man") have oppressed people since the beginning of time, and given the nature of man, will continue to do so. However, it is the "Church" that grieves my heart.
What a group of Pharisees we have become! Shame on us! We are supposed to show the light of Christ, but how can we show Christ's love, when we have no love even to show each other? Our love has waxed cold. We claim to be "Followers of the Way" but we have no love for one another. That cannot be. Church - the world is looking to YOU to show them Christ. What are we showing them? That we have nothing to offer. We show them that we are willing to feed each other to the wolves. We show them that there is no such thing as judgement, or mercy or grace in the Christians language. Heck, we even show them that we can't even agree on what to call ourselves or even what to call God and Jesus. We show them that we believe the Bible (but only the parts we like) and that we would rather trample on another believer than we would walk along side him. What a group of hypocrites we are!
Just before Christmas, I sat in church and basked in the glow of a new understanding of scripture. The Holy Spirit revealed a tiny bit of His truth and I could barely wait to get home to share it with all of you. I was excited, knowing that I had been given a precious gift that I was compelled to share. What followed grieved me beyond words.
As I shared with you my heart - a lesson of feasting in the manner of Jesus, loving even our enemies and our betrayers and washing the feet of our imperfect family, I was met with an overwhelming derision. Because I had uttered the word "Christmas", I might as well have been directing people to worship Baal. Hate proceeded to spew forth, each person proposing to know the state of my heart. Wow.
All I could think of was "By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another." John 13:35. History has come full circle. We are now so busy trying to follow "law" (all based in scripture you know - just like the Pharisees) that we can't see the truth when it smacks us between the eyes. We get so caught up on "how" we are doing things that we miss the bigger picture.
Do you remember the invalid that tarried at the pool of Bethesda? The one that had been infirm for 38 years. When the waters were stirred, the the sick could be healed, however, this particular man had no one to take him to the waters and so he laid, unable get up off his mat. When Jesus saw him, he said "Don't you want to be healed?". The man answered, "of course, but I can't get to the waters". Jesus said "Take up your mat and walk" and in that instant that man was healed. With great joy he picked up his mat, but hadn't made it far when he was assaulted by Pharisees. "Why are you carrying your mat on the Sabbath? - It is unlawful for you to carry your mat on the Sabbath - who told you to carry your mat!!" The former invalid replied, "The man who healed me told me 'take up your mat and go', so I did"! Of course he did!! He had been an invalid for 38 years. He was healed, after 38 years, and the Pharisees were more concerned that he was carrying his mat on the sabbath than the fact that he had been healed! God, in His mercy, had made a man whole and the Pharisees were convinced that He hadn't done it correctly! Where was their love? They loved the "law" more than they loved their God. How that must have grieved a Fathers heart!
Once again, we are a nation of Pharisees. We are so caught up in the "law" that we have forgotten mercy and grace. We would rather castigate our brother than walk along side of him while the Holy Spirit does His work in him. We have lost our love. Of course, there are those that are so caught up in mercy and grace that they have forgotten that God is also a God of judgement, but that is a post for another time.
In a world that has spun out of control, we need the light of the One True God. We need the love of our brothers and sisters. Only through that love can we show the world the Light of Truth.
While the governments of men burden people with law upon untenable law - the Gospel of Truth sets the souls of men at liberty. I choose the freedom of God, not the law of the Pharisees.
"By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."