Coming Out & Going In

DPR_37 Coming Out and Going In 3 – Mending Fences for Love

Posted on Posted in Christian Studies, DallyPost Media, DallyPost Radio

Yesterday was a Sabbath that will always lift me, a day that I will remember with fondness and gratitude and joy. It is strange though, how easily things can turn on a dime because it will also be a day that I will remember with much sadness.

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This series is about Coming Out of those things that hold us down and bar us from joy and hope and happiness. It is also about Going In to the love of Christ. My Coming Out is about leaving the chains, shackles, ritual, tradition and bondage of man-made religion. Yours may be different. Only you know what is keeping you in darkness and blocking the entry of light.

Yesterday was a Sabbath that will always lift me, a day that I will remember with fondness and gratitude and joy. It is strange though, how easily things can turn on a dime because it will also be a day that I will remember with much sadness.

It began when I invited a young man to join me at Sunday worship service. I have know him since he was 14 or 15 years old. When he was sixteen, I had the opportunity of having regular contact and communication with him. In him, I came to see so much that is good and right and noble. He is honest and searching and open to truth and ideas. Qualities that I so easily see in him, I wish I could as quickly find in myself.

Over the years, I have come ache and cry for this young man. His good name has been and is being drug through and literally pressed into the mud by the boots of those who should have loved and protected him. The injustice was and is beyond measure. The weight placed on him has been painfully difficult to bear.

So yesterday, he sat next to me in a worship service that had only one objective, and that was to better know and better love Jesus. I kept looking at him out of the corner of my eye and wondering… what is he thinking, does he see this as strange or odd or weird, is he uncomfortable, is he counting the seconds until he can escape? My heart leapt when he later proclaimed that he liked it and that he would return. Praise God.

After the meeting, we talked for a few hours. We spoke of many things. He did, for a short time, speak of a ridged and religious Father and of the resulting pain. It came out as anger or bitterness, but from my own experience I know that this is how pain is manifest. Again and again, I thought back to my own relationship with my Father, which was not good. I know that when a father betrays a child, there might be much of anger and indignation, which is in reality a mask for the pain of being rejected by the one who should offer love and support. Again and again, I thought, this good young man needs his Father.

This was heavily on my mind for the rest of the day. When evening came, I determined to drive to the house of the Father and have a short visit. I asked, “Do you have a few minutes that we can talk about your Son?”. He agreed. Instead of leading me into his warm and comfortable house, he led me out onto the unheated porch. I was concerned that this might be a sign of how the rest of the conversation would go. It was!

I informed him that his son had joined me at church and that afterwards, we had enjoyed a long and open discussion. I told him that the overwhelming feeling of my heart was that his Son needed his Father.

He agreed to visit with me, but said that I first needed to know a few things. So I sat back and he began. For over an hour, he re-sighted a long list of of his Son’s evils. Accusation after accusation labeled his Son as dirty, as unworthy, as dark, as perverted and as criminal. I decided to sit back and allow this man to dig his own pit and it turned out that he can flat dig a hole! The most amazing thing was that his accusations, against his son, were for things that are perfectly normal for young men. With each, I had to admit to myself… I did that, and I did that, and I did that as well. I heard nothing that could not be easily corrected with a little love. You see, young boys are full of all kinds of mischief coupled with a decided lack of impulse control. This is how God wired boys. Young men need a mentor, ideally a father, who will help them clear the hurdles of their own making, learn from their mistakes, and reach their potential.

As this father continued, it occurred to me that his objective is to not help his son over the hurdles, but instead to build his Son’s normal mistakes into such immense hurdles that no mortal man could clear with a rope and a ladder. My heart broke.

As he presented his story, it became clear that he was painting his Son as the wrong doer and he and his wife, the step mother, as the victims.

I have known this Father for many many years and I do know that he professes to be a follower of Jesus Christ. So, I was surprised when he went down his list of noble efforts to save his son. He spoke of councilors who depend the knowledge of men, closely coupled with the regiment of his religion. He spoke of rituals and traditions which allow him to pretend to be saving his son without actually having any contact with him. His list was long and burdensome and when he was finished, I asked, “Who is the master healer, the master physician”. He answered, “Jesus Christ”. I replied, “In the long list of things you have done to save your son, you didn’t mention Jesus even once”.

We talked about the fact that the many things he had revealed to me are things that a father must never publicly reveal about his child. Again and again he said, “You are right, but…”. This Father could not see that if I was indeed right, there can be no but.

He stated that his son would not be able to return to his home until he gave his life over to God. I responded, “You too!”. He answered, “I have given my life to Jesus”. He could not see that by sharing accusations against his Son with me and with the community, he had violated the trust of that young man. These things will not draw his Son in, but have instead, driven him away. Therefore, how can this Father’s actions be Christ-like?

He presented a short report on the discipline in his home and spoke of his children being compelled to turn in their cell phones daily so that every communication can be carefully screened by him and his wife. How sad it is that they grow up and are reminded daily that they cannot and will not be trusted. He spoke of his well disciplined children and I thought how sad it is for him to see his totally dominated and controlled children as well behaved. Are these tyrants masquerading as parents or parents masquerading as Jesus?

My conversation with the Son and with the Father were very different indeed. The Son stated that things were difficult but offered little detail. The Father ran down a list of accusation after accusation that ultimately took more than an hour. Of the two, who is more Christ-like?

As my conversation with this Father wound down, my strongest desire was to open a door which would allow him to begin his “Coming Out” from those things which are destroying him and hurting his Son. I asked him if I could send him five or six questions that he could answer on his own. I promised that if he did so honestly, he would have a stronger and more personal relationship with Jesus and begin to heal the hurt between him and his Son. He was not interested in “my truth”. There is only one truth and it is neither mine nor his. Truth is truth.

He concluded by stating that if a man, who he recognized to be a prophet, asked him to do something that was wrong, he would do it. His truth rests in the belief that he can do wrong and not be held responsible if he is following men who he believes to be called of God. What he does not know is that the records of his own religion contain a prophesy from a recognized prophet, that require the church members to show their love for their neighbors by killing those who do not qualify for exaltation in Heaven, including those who leave the church[1]. The wickedness and ignorance of the nations forbid this principle’s being in full force, but the time will come when the law of God will be in full force.[/ref]. The prophesy clearly states that the day will come when the members will be required to fully live this principle. When that day comes, will this Father spill the blood of his own Son because another man tells him to do so?

This is an example of too much religion where every problem can be resolved by applying a carefully crafted formula of men. This is what occurs when religion is the focus and Jesus is the afterthought. This is why I came out and I invite all to follow me to the love of Jesus.

For men and women who are tangled in the web of religion, Coming Out is not easy. I suppose that is true of any of the webs the bind men. Going In is so easy and precious, that it is worth every cost and every sacrifice. Going In is so unbelievably glorious. The Going In is to remove every man and every thing that stands between you and Jesus. Going In is to understand that no man, only Jesus Christ stands between you and the Father. Going In is to shed the chains of ritual and tradition and bondage and sin and to be made free. Going In is a glorious renewal of hope and love and belonging and peace.

To this Father and Son I say, each of you are in desperate need of a Coming Out and a glorious Going In. Those things that separate you, keep you in a dark place and resist the entry of light. I and my Father waited far to long. But, when I finally allowed a reconciliation between us, a weight was lifted. I felt that I could fly. Here is our story.

Regardless of what your Coming Out might be, I ask you to join me in a joyful and radiant Going In. Jesus is waiting.

 

 

 

 

 

  1. [1]Brigham Young Blood Atonement Sermon, Journal of Discourses, Vol 4, p. 215-221: You are aware that when brother Cummings came to the point of loving our neighbours as ourselves, he could say yes or no as the case might be, that is true. But I want to connect it with the doctrine you read in the Bible. When will we love our neighbour as ourselves? In the first place, Jesus said that no man hateth his own flesh. It is admitted by all that every person loves himself. Now if we do rightly love ourselves, we want to be saved and continue to exist, we want to go into the kingdom where we can enjoy eternity and see no more sorrow nor death. This is the desire of every person who believes in God. Now take a person in this congregation who has knowledge with regard to being saved in the kingdom of our God and our Father, and being exalted, one who knows and understands the principles of eternal life, and sees the beauty and excellency of the eternities before him compared with the vain and foolish things of the world, and suppose that he is overtaken in a gross fault, that he has committed a sin that he knows will deprive him of that exaltation which he desires, and that he cannot attain to it without the shedding of his blood, and also knows that by having his blood shed he will atone for that sin, and be saved and exalted with the Gods, is there a man or woman in this house but what would say, “shed my blood that I may be saved and exalted with the Gods?”All mankind love themselves, and let these principles be known by an individual, and he would be glad to have his blood shed. That would be loving themselves, even unto an eternal exaltation. Will you love your brothers or sisters likewise, when they have committed a sin that cannot be atoned for without the sheding of their blood? Will you love that man or woman well enough to shed their blood? That is what Jesus Christ meant.

One thought on “DPR_37 Coming Out and Going In 3 – Mending Fences for Love

  1. The Blood Atonement Doctrine states that murderers cannot be saved without capital punishment.

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