The Quiet Revolution, Part 2

Posted in Humble musings on today's culture with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 26, 2016 by jcwill5

2012GospelMovements-web-optSomething really good is happening.

Without fanfare or headlines, groups of evangelical churches in cities all over the USA are partnering with the civic and business leaders to address “bigger than all of us” problems.

Check out the site gospelmovements.org for a catalogue of city-wide, transforming endeavors.

Loving a High School for a Long Time

In Portland, OR, it was a decision to surround Roosevelt High school with hundreds of long-term volunteers to meet students’s practical needs–8 years and counting.

Without proselytizing, men served as assistant coaches of the boys football team, and became highly involved father-figures to young men of color who had no one in their life.

Women began spending generous time with young women competing in the Rose Festival competition to improve their chances of winning, and discovered what they needed most was the nurturing only a mother could give.

When helping with the building and grounds, volunteers noticed students coming to school without coats on cold winter days.

So they bought dozens of nice coats and gave them out for free–communicating high value to these undervalued young adults.

When nobody came out to cheer the girls basketball team, they showed up by the hundreds to cheer and celebrate the athletes game after game– whatever the final score.

And eight years later they are still doing all these things and much, much more.

Would it surprise you to hear that the school district asked this group to love every school in the district in that way?

Would is surprise you to discover that the City then asked them to extend their ongoing care to the multitudes of children in their overwhelmed foster care system?

Hospitality for International Students

In Corvallis, OR, an alliance of churches noticed that international students at Oregon State needed host families, experiences of home hospitality from Americans, and furniture for their bare apartments.

So they provided all of that year after year after year.

Instead of foreign students returning home to complain how unfriendly Americans were, they left our shores with a report about how kind the Christians were to them during their entire college years.

Unburying Buried Information

In Seattle, WA, a group of prayer-allied churches realized their city was so big that concerned citizens had a difficult time finding out who did what in each of their many neighborhoods.

So they created a website where one could locate their own neighborhood on the map, and easily find every non-profit, agency, church, and ministry already serving there.

They added stats and reports so each neighborhood could also see which particular social problems and crime issues where happening all around them.

Serving Kids in Distressed Neighborhoods

In Salem, OR, the churches entered into a leadership alliance with civic and business leaders to help the poorest areas of the city.

They tutored and provided after-school activities for students at economically distressed schools, began to meet needs of hispanic families in low-income apartments, and partnered with the Boys and Girls clubs to staff kids camps, mentor under-parented kids, etc.

They participated in neighborhood associations and began to champion the needs of these formerly neglected areas before the city authorities–in a positive, persistent manner that build bridges instead of walls.

Common Themes

In every city, it looks different.

But, in every city and town, the common themes are these:

  • it was birthed out of corporate prayer and joint listening to Christ for a long season,
  • it involved some kind of call to serve from beleaguered civic or business leaders,
  • it required a collective choice to meet an impossible need as a unified group of churches,
  • it meant loving these unloved groups of people for a long, long time without pushing religion on them or getting positive PR out of them,
  • it earned new credibility for the gospel and respect for the Church in a secular, progressive, post-Christian culture that tended to see us as political enemies
  • it saw people coming to faith in Jesus and new churches formed after many years of service and relationship-building–often from formerly resistant cultures and sub-groups.

Next time I’ll tell my own story in the three smaller cities where I’ve participated in gospel movements these past 24 years.

The Quiet Revolution, Part 1

Posted in Humble musings on today's culture with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 23, 2016 by jcwill5

animals,identity,shiny,typography-b6017e63ff9d69678da39eaa772182ab_hThere is a quiet revolution going on in Evangelicalism these past 20 years.

It won’t be seen in the headlines, or feature “prominent players”, “big names”, “megachurches”, etc.

It isn’t centered on using politics or on changing society from the top down via legislation, moral activism, court fights, and party platforms.

It has been birthed out of prayer, prayer across denominational lines among “on the ground” unknowns–smaller churches, non-celebrity leaders, etc.

If the religious right has given the impression “we’re here to control”, this movement has practiced the love-birthed, prayer-fueled mandate, “we’re here to serve”.

My Own Journey Away

About twenty years ago, I realized that we social conservatives had already lost the culture war.

The hearts and minds of the majority of our citizens were thoroughly pagan, and no amount of political activism or right result elections was going to change that fact.

The assumption, that we were a respected religious majority with a clear mandate to protect our American moral heritage, no longer held true.

The method, identification with the Republican party and a standing alliance with pro-business, strong defense forces, was not only not working, but doing positive damage in the long run to the cause of Christ.

Inside the church, Christ became secondary and subordinate to conservatism, and the church became a means to social ends like “protecting the family” or “upholding morals”.

Our message drifted from “salvation from sin through faith in Christ’s atoning work” to “saving society through conservative activism”.

Our people read their Bibles far less and listened to conservative talk radio and Fox News far more.

Our public face was that of an angry, embittered conservative rage monster on the warpath.

Our idols are failing us, our identity is confused, and our consequences are painful.

Rather than choosing to live in denial, I accepted the reality of all the above–however painful it might be to do so.

My Own Journey Towards

At the same time, I began to pray with groups of pastors across denominational lines and to re-experience a kind of gospel-driven, grace-fueled, deep-relationship kind of community with them.

And, as we journeyed towards Christ together and listened long and often to Him, we began to hear Him tell us to serve our cities together.

He began to open our eyes to the “bigger than us” problems confronting government, society, and people that no amount of money or programs could fix.

Things only His grace could heal through the love of His people over a long period of time through serving the broken and unloved.

In many communities, similar groups were coming together, hearing the same things, and partnering with civic authorities, businesses, non-profits, and government agency to love groups of unloved, under-served people for a long, long time.

It’s happening on the ground in neighborhoods, small cities, and urban areas.

It has already been impacting communities all over the USA.

It is what Christ is wanting us to move towards, as He disabuses us of our political idols by letting them fail us.

New Assumptions

This approach assumes most folks know little about Christ or the church, and whatever they do see in media about us they don’t like.

This approach therefore assumes we are a disliked religious minority without much power or influence.

It assumes we have much work ahead to rebuilt the credibility of the gospel in our society, and recognizes it takes many months and even years of surprising, undaunted servanthood to overcome prejudices, ignorance about Jesus, and suspicion towards Him and His people.

It assumes the impersonal, “talk-at”, “come to the building” methods are not only not working, but alienating and damaging now in ways they didn’t used to be.

It assumes we need to do a lot of work to undo the relational damage that the Evangelical marriage to political power has done to the gospel.

It assumes most people don’t know and have never experienced the incarnated gospel of Christ-filled, Christ-surrendered believers working in concert to love them.

That’s been my experience in three communities over the last 25 years as one involved with united prayer, seeking His face, hearing from Him, and partnering with others to meet impossible needs without fanfare, photo-ops, or celebrity status.

Next time I’ll share some stories of actual places where this new approach has brought about surprising transformation  of people and communities by the grace of God.

Twilight of the Religious Right

Posted in Humble musings on today's culture with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 16, 2016 by jcwill5

160128_StainedGlassRightPolitics.jpg.CROP.promovar-mediumlargeThere’s an interesting playing out of two approaches to life, political power, and culture within American Evangelicalism.

The Moral Majority Approach

The first approach is the “God and Country” approach.

Based principally in the South, this approach sees the church as the custodian of societal morality, the guardian against moral corruption and family breakdown, and the partner of like-minded elected leaders who will “protect and preserve” truth, righteousness, and the American way.

It is experiencing a crisis.

Despite success in the 1990’s and early 2000’s, the candidates elected spent foolishly, quarreled incessantly, behaved immorally, and waged war incompetently.

Then, with the coming of the Great Recession, their economic polices also fell into disfavor as unchecked, unregulated corporate leaders and lenders fed a bubble that burst in a most damaging way.

Current Woes

Their elected partners fell out of power and were replaced with either angry populists, amoral libertarian business people, or socially liberal democrats.

They have lost the presidency, have recently lost their majority on the Supreme Court, and are in great danger of losing Congress in this election.

They are wholly alienated from an increasingly hostile Democratic party, and now find themselves having to deal with a populist Republican candidate not of their choosing.

The alternatives–support an existing third party candidate, run their own social conservative candidate, or cut a deal with the remaining candidate in return for some kind of influence–are unappealing at best.

A Dying, Dead End

I don’t see much hope for this approach.

And I no longer spend much emotional energy on re-Christianizing society, or in being upset by pagan people acting like pagans and voting like pagans.

However Trump fares (as it looks likely he will lose), having identified their names, their ministries, and their faith with him will involve them in his downfall, defeat, disgrace, and discrediting.

Doubling down on political power, rather than raising up their fortunes, will ruin their credibility and cement their exile from the corridors of power.

It pains me to say it, but I think many Evangelical leaders have been bamboozled and have cut an unholy deal to hold onto at least some influence.

A Hard Road Ahead

I pity rather than scorn my traditionalist friends–where they are at now is where I myself used to be.

Losing power is extremely painful–none of us have clean hands when we lose control of something precious to us.

What I have come to accept is Bible-practicing Christians are a disliked religious minority in a mainly pagan majority society.

We are already marginalized socially, and will soon be economically and criminally marginalized as well.

Flipping roles, our society will increasingly try to legislate immorality and grant increasingly less and less space for dissenting consciences anchored in the moral absolutes of God’s Word–especially in the area of sexuality.

We Christians are going to be unjustly hurt more and more, at deeper and broader levels, at their hands.

When it comes to political power, that is our future–like it or not.

The Other Approach

Rather than being enraged about our calamitous loss of prestige, or hiding in ever deeper ghettos and fortress communities, we Evangelicals can and must change.

God wants this change.

He is sovereign and it is no accident we are losing our political power so catastrophically and categorically at this time and place.

He is seeking to have mercy on us–disenchanting us from idols of political power so we can enter into His purposes more fully for such a time as this.

The good news is there’s another way that promises a far more enduring, far more qualitative victory for Christ in the end.

This other way assumes a posture of worldly powerlessness, and requires nothing from our surrounding society to be faithful to Christ’s gospel mandates and holy imperatives.

It’s Already Happening

This other way is already happening in quiet yet powerful ways under the very noses of our society’s power brokers and disengaged elites.

It is prospering here in the Pacific NW, the region most advanced in its de-Christianization and thus the most post-Christian in its morals.

It is a movement I accidentally joined 20 years ago without realizing it.

It is a return to 1st Century practices and postures that early Christians employed under the thumb of a pagan Roman empire–confounding the powers that be.

It is in sync with how the Evangelical church in the 3rd World already operates with disproportionate results.

It answers the questions, “How do we do gospel in a post-Christian society?”, “How do we do church in a post-Christian society?”, and “How do we Christians relate to and introduce Christ to a post-Christian society that knows little about Him, and which doesn’t like what it does know from its media?”

I will outline this other, very exciting approach in the next blog.

It’s quite a story!

The Great Need of Our Times

Posted in Humble musings on today's culture on August 12, 2016 by jcwill5

ba4a5567677c5852c701257671b18302People are at their least likable when they’re upset.

That’s true of me and true of you.

Anger can be a good servant, but it’s a terrible master and leads us to damage so much that, in calm times, we would wish to protect and cherish.

Our Angry, Apathetic Society

It’s curious that we live in a society marked by levels of great apathy, and great anger.

At first, these two responses might appear to be opposites.

Angry people are engaged, involved, and speaking up–apathetic people are disengaged, withdrawn, and silent.

But what if apathy is the tail end of unresolved anger?

What if it is a sullen throwing in the towel, a washing our hands kind of walking away, a decision to retreat from a wounding, thwarting, uncaring actual world and live in a safe virtual one?

The pattern leading to apathy would look like this:   positive engagement, unexpected hurt, anger, inability to resolve the anger, lashing out, and finally quitting altogether.

The Big Lie

Our political parties have bought into the lie that all of life’s problems are economic.

Fix the economy, give people benefits to mitigate their economic hardships and/or reduce their taxes and stimulate businesses to produce more jobs, and everyone will be happy.

But what if our core problems as individuals are emotional and relational and spiritual?

What if a government handout feels shaming to receive?

What if the new jobs are lowly positions that pay far less than the old jobs lost–and therefore shaming?

What if, despite decades of raising your voice, neither party “got it”, both parties kept right on practicing their economic magical plans that kept humiliating you (and your social group)?

At first, you’d engage and vote and very slowly come to realize that their answers won’t really help.

Then you’d throw up your hands and throw in the towel–apathy.

Then, if provoked enough by new outrages, you’d reengage at a level of raw, implacable fury and vote for the most oppositional candidates possible.

That’s us right now, isn’t it?

So how do we back out of the dead end we find ourselves in?

Listening Until Mercy Awakens

Politicians are quick to promise quick fixes.

And powerful people are so busy they seldom have time to unhurriedly listen or deeply reflect on realities that don’t fit their beloved ideology.

That’s why the first step isn’t a national campaign sales job.

It’s, “Tell me your story.  Take your time.”

And when we listen to enough stories, we begin to understand not only the individual’s plight but their group’s collective plight.

And we begin to understand that our ideology’s quick fixes aren’t fixes, and throwing money or increasing jobs won’t be enough.

A Disguised Cry for Mercy

What people really need most is mercy.

A mercy that welcomes them back in from the cold.

A mercy that lays aside its powerful robes, and which begins to wash their feet as if they were honored guests.

A mercy that understands that the real problem is relational, emotional, and spiritual in nature.

The real problem is an alienation we cannot self-fix and no government can totally or permanently heal.

While God works on that, there are some things that can help until then.

Confession and Forgiveness

Healing mass alienation begins with humility, with owning the ugly fruit of our ideologically-driven, ego-driven policies.

What we need most is for leaders from all political sides to practice an ancient spiritual discipline–repentance and the confession of sins:

We haven’t really understood you or bothered to put ourselves in your shoes.

We’ve held you in contempt and disregarded your voice, until we need your votes.

We’ve made a lot of false promises and broken them many times.

We’ve tried to fit you into our pre-set, one-size-fits-all ideology, and you didn’t fit and never will fit.

Our policies are flawed and have deeply hurt you for many, many years.

Owning the Damage

We have contributed to the breakdown of your families, which created a hell on earth for you as kids.

We have contributed to the blighting and destruction of once close communities, which produced lawlessness and general misery for your people.

We have insulated a comfortable suburban and upper class elite–people like us– from these realities, while rural and inner city hellholes have arisen.

Adding insult to injury, we have judged you without mercy, and held you and your group in contempt.

We’re terribly sorry we did all this to you.

You have every right to feel angry–we ignorantly wronged you and were blind and didn’t listen.

Could you find it in your heart to forgive us?

Making Amends

After owning our sins and the damage, we practice the next discipline–making amends:

You have no reason to trust us–it’s going to take many years of engagement and personal care to undo this damage and regain your trust.

Would you show us how to begin to help you repair the damage we have caused?

Would you teach us what we need to know?

Would you go with us as we speak to others, you’ll be the expert and we’ll be the amateurs when it comes to relating to your community?

Would you give us a list of the worst policies, the most offensive laws and court decisions, for us to immediately undo?

Now that’s a party platform I could support and the kind of leader I could follow!

Evil’s Big Mouth

Posted in Humble musings on today's culture with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 9, 2016 by jcwill5

LittleHorn-10We all have mouth problems–and I don’t mean a problem with our gums needing a dental hygienist.

I mean there’s an ongoing soul problem with what we say or fail to say.

Our words reveal our innermost character.

“Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks” says the Bible. (Matt. 12:34)

Sooner or later, our concealed true self leaks out in our words.

Therefore, listening for the state of our own heart that’s revealed by our words is a sure gauge of where we’re at–however excellent we see our selves or whatever good labels we’ve placed on our selves.

And listening to the words of others–the effect of their words and fruit of their words–is also a wise practice to adopt.

Revealed by the Tongue

The truth is our words are the most difficult moral area of life to discipline and keep in check.

“No one can tame the tongue, for it is a restless evil full of deadly poison” according to the Lord’s brother, James. (James 3:8)

In fact, the person who can master the tongue–who says all the right things at the right time  and in the right manner, and who says none of the wrong things at the wrong time or in the wrong manner–is the epitome of a godly soul.

James first tells us, “If anyone thinks himself to be religious, and yet does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this man’s religion is worthless.” (James 1:26)

Then he goes on to say, “If anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to bridle the whole body as well.” (James 3:2)

Hung by the Tongue

God will judge us according to our own words.

“By your words you will be justified and by your words you will be condemned,” says Jesus. (Matt. 12:37)

Therefore, none of us can brag, boast, or lay claim to any kind of verbal righteousness–according to the law of how we’ve used our tongues.

And that’s tragic, because “Life and death is in the power of the tongue” according to Proverbs 18:21.

Our tongues have hurt people, dishonored God, abused His name, hurt His cause, etc.

And our tongues have failed to build up people, give hope and help to others, honored and worshiped God, extolled His great name, and advanced His cause.

The Point

So why am I saying all this?

It seems that, in this particular time and place and culture, God’s people have forgotten or failed to utilize the truth of God’s Word when it comes to discerning good from evil.

We seem unable to recognize the verbal, telltale signs of evil, especially when it promises things to our advantage like protection, honor, a seat at the table, etc

For example, Satan and the Antichrist and wicked men all share one trait in common– their mouths are full of boasting, bragging, and grandiosity in the sight of God (Dan. 8:8-11; Rev. 13:1-6; Ps. 75:4; James 4:16).

Their tongue “parades through all the earth.” (Ps. 73)

And that’s not only true of our presidential candidates, or of pagan society in general, but of we, the voters, and of us, God’s people–whatever our political persuasion.

There For All To See

One of the signs of evil is therefore it has a large, unchecked mouth.

Evil brags about its capabilities, denigrates and dismisses God, promises in order to deceive the unsuspecting, and utters big threats against those who stand in its way.

Ever it seeks to compromise and corrupt God’s people–seeking to bribe them into denying their Lord for some earthly gain or threaten them into compromising their faith’s integrity to avoid some earthly loss.

If assumes all human beings are for sale and believes it can buy off enemies or purchase friends.

It raises the issue, “Do we have a price? Can my loyalty be bought if enough goodies are offered or enough punishments are threatened?

Sadly, for the vast bulk of us, the answer at one time or another is “yes”.

And, only after the promised blessing doesn’t happen or the safeguarded threat still happens, do we realize we’ve been had by lying words.

“Let him who has ears to hear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches,” says our Lord.

Amen! Start with my mouth, O Lord!

Ego-Suffering Unto Life

Posted in Humble musings on today's culture with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 5, 2016 by jcwill5

imagesOur fallen self, our wounded pride, does not go quietly.

Faced with dethronement, suffering, and death at the hands of the Risen Lord, it snarls, fights tooth and nail, and uses every diversionary tactic in the book to delay the outcome.

Left unchecked, our pride destroys us in the end and brings misery to everyone around us.

Suffering is the Cure

And if we don’t understand what God is up to, we may well ally with our sin nature and take its side in its struggle against God.

In other words, suffering is God’s favorite tool to break the grip of our ego, expose its true nature, and roll back its reign over our lives.

And not just any suffering–unrelieved suffering we cannot control, cannot end, cannot change, and cannot fix.

Our pride revels in control and getting its own way.

It prizes comfort, ease, convenience, and favorable conditions.

It therefore takes discomfort, disease, adversity, and unmitigated sorrow to get at it and get to it.

Treatment Plan for the Christian

As a Christ-follower, this makes sense because it’s the very pattern that ended Jesus’ life and set the stage for His resurrection.

Suffering is actually a sign of our increasing freedom, our coming and final liberation from sin’s reign.

It is how we grow up and become more like Jesus in character in this life.

It purifies our dirtiness like a smelter purifies the dross from the silver.

Instead of protecting our ego, we are commanded to continuously crucify it and always put to death the deeds of the fallen ego.

Get with the program, in other words.

Trust God for what grace you cannot yet see and for the good place He’s taking you disguised as suffering.

Fighting the Cure

As I’ve battled chronic insomnia– and the diminished mental alertness and relational liveliness that goes with it– only one response to this suffering has ever helped.

To yield to the God’s treatment plan, and surrender to Him and what He allows as a voluntarily sacrifice.

My first response, however, is usually to fight against it as I would a trap and seek a means of escape.

If that fails, I try to numb the pain through various means or seek relief through diversions or medicines.

If that fails, the final pre-surrender stage is despair and sullen withdrawal from God.

Then, failing that, I finally realize the core issue, and once again turn my life and my will over to God for Him to do as He wills.

Then I start to grow up in trust, in patience, in humility.

Then it’s wash-rinse-repeat time in a different area, or at an even deeper level.

For the Unbeliever

To the pre-Christian, it seems like the alternative to the reign of our ego is sheer chaos, unending death, and unrelieved terror.

But what the sinner cannot understand is God’s supreme love is at work.

You are being prepped.

God is not your tormentor or an aloof bystander.

He’s herding us into the stockade, making us part of His flock.

He’s stripping us of all rivals, and ruining the joy and credibility of our idols.

He’s working to end the reign of our cruel tyrant, the sin-monster, and replace it with the reign of an all-loving Savior.

He desires us.

He desires the person He’s afflicting to know Him and come under the healing charity of His Son.

It feels like we’ll lose everything dear, everything worthwhile, if we yield and let go and get small and be vulnerable and humble ourselves.

But it’s actually losing nothing and gaining everything of ultimate value.

It’s knowing Him and having Him in us and us being in Him.

Get with the program, in other words!

Epidemic Pride

Posted in Humble musings on today's culture with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 2, 2016 by jcwill5

pride-bible-versesPolitics and power are always reliable ways to bring our egos out into the open.

The Bible calls it, “the boastful pride of life”.

It brags and it crows and it boasts and grabs and feels entitled, or it wallows in sorrows and plays the victim and ever gives itself permission to comfort itself by any means necessary.

Which is why the Bible also says, “Pride goes before a fall…”

Wannabe Gods

Our modern words like narcissism, egotism, etc. are just plain old synonyms for this deadly sin, pride.

Pride, mimicking God, says, “I am!”

Like God, it declares the universe and all that is in it is mine, the world revolves around “me”, everyone else exists to serve “me”, and all events must conform to “me”.

Under pride, my will and my way take precedence over all other wills and ways.

Which is why the chief lie of the devil is, “you, too, shall be as gods”.

And why the Bible warns, “God is opposed to the proud.”

Because such naked speaking about our pride is frowned upon, or elicits hostility from all other egos, we soon learn to disguise it.

We make our ego cravings and ambitions socially acceptable, use more patient means to get what we want, learn how to use people to reward us or protect us.

It is Universal and Pervasive

And the reason I know all this and you already know all this is we are born experts in pride.

Nobody has to try to be proud–it’s our default setting.

Self-centeredness is pride, and nobody has to work hard at being selfish, do we?

Perhaps one of the most disturbing things about the sin of pride is how unconscious it is–it’s so normal we don’t recognize it in ourselves.

Pride marks all politicians to one degree or another–who think they know better how to run cities, counties, states, and nations than all others.

Pride marks politics and political parties–however democratic or sensible or winsome they might be.

Pride infects all institutions, all movements, all classes, all races, all societies, and all religions.

Nowadays, it’s cool for individuals and groups to be proud.

We have gay pride, girl pride, black pride, etc.– every stripe and variety of pride is lauded, celebrated, and seen as the epitome of progress.

Mirror of America

Donald Trump, in other words, lives inside of every last one of us.

It takes one to know one.

Even people who denounce him and oppose him, who think they have the best reasons for doing so, are themselves guilty of pride.

In fact, their vehement reactions and constant decrying of him is the strongest proof that, truly, the grandiose pride of Donald Trump threatens their own fragile egos and vulnerable ego-agendas for themselves and for society.

It’s when we are threatened, when we are afraid of losing what’s precious to us, that pride takes off its happy face, shows its fangs, and snarls viciously.

Donald Trump appeals to the wounded pride of working class males–their devaluation at the hands of a society that touts women, that scorns manual labor, and treasures inanimate resources above the plight of those who fell trees or mine coal.

Donald Trump offends the pride of those whose egos would like to live in an absolutely just society free from violence and oppression, a world of equality without walls or divisions, a world where past racial and social injustices are rectified and compensated.

Donald Trump, in other words, is us.

He mirrors our worst and most naked egos back to our selves, and we recoil from what we see.

The Best Response to Trump

Justifying our own pride in response to Trump’s pride won’t change anything.

The one response that will make a difference is supremely costly to our own egos.

It’s called humility.

But we’re saying no.

We have not humbled ourselves or repented.

We have not gotten off of our pretend thrones or bowed down before the Most High God.

I am the problem.  You are the problem.  We are the problem.

Next time I will explore the extraordinary means God uses to out our pride, defang it, dethrone it, and deliver us from it.

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