Monday, May 4, 2009

Sacred Cow-Tipping

We've all got those "defining moments" in our lives ... often we don't know HOW defining they are, 'til we look back on them.

One of those, for me, occurred 5 years ago. My husband had been seminary-ized, ordained, and was serving in a church -- basically the assistant pastor. Long-story-short (you're welcome), we got kicked out, after trying to expose some intense legalism. Classic case of "if you show us a problem, you become the problem" run amok. Got kicked out. Got shunned. Had all our friends turn against us, out of "loyalty" to the pastor. Most painful thing we'd endured. Most liberating thing we've celebrated...!

Shortly after that event, I was trying to read the Bible, and only hearing "their" voices, giving me "their" interpretations, and I couldn't stand it. I put the Bible aside (for more than a year, as it would turn out), and cried out to God, "I don't know WHAT I believe anymore -- those who've spoken on behalf of you have turned on me. Show me what's of man, and what's of You, in all that I believe -- I want TRUTH at all cost! I cannot settle for less!"

Little did I know what I was praying, and how that would be answered...!

Over the course of the past five years, I've questioned so very many "sacred cows", and have had the pleasure of sacred-cow-tipping. Each time, of course, it was done with a measure of fear and trepidation. But I discovered that if a thing is true, that it can withstand ANY measure of scrutiny ... and if it cannot withstand scrutiny, well then, it wasn't truth, and it should be tipped.

I don't so much go looking for these things to tip ... they come to me, I start to look at them with my head tilted, eyes narrowed, forehead furrowed, and I whisper, "Ok, God, show me."

I've not always done this with courage. I've often second-guessed myself along the way. I've wrestled in utter pain over many of the "truths" that I've questioned. Letting go of well-entrenched traditions, the very things that the mind has "banked on" is a wrenching process ... it's akin to spiritual drowning, and it's occurred to me, on many occasion, to wonder whether I'll be able to "come up for air."

I've been asked, "Haven't you been afraid that you're wrong? What happens if it turns out that you were wrong, and led others to think/believe wrongly?"

Good and honest questions!

Way to be real.

Yes ... for the past several years, particularly the past two years, wherein I studied "what the hell is hell", I've gone to bed many a night, crying out for God to NOT LET ME BE DECEIVED!!!


I mean, in agony.

"What if I'm wrong? What if the REAL God is the mean/demanding-God, and I've gone and sided with the false nice/loving-God, and that there's a special hell for folks who think God is too loving?!?"


Yeah, I was fun to be around for a while.

Lost a lot of hair, too. And plenty of friends.

I still sometimes shoot out (in!) one of those "Y'know, if I'm deceived, this would be a REALLY good time to know it...!" prayers.

God knows, and I really mean that God *knows*, that I want truth far more than I want to be "right". He knows that I'd flood the Internet with an "I was WRONG, I repent, I renounce, I recant" message. Scads of them.

But, so far at least, He keeps giving me uncanny and unmistakable confirmations that He is indeed leading me, and that I can indeed trust Him.

I've come to believe that what with Him being God, and me being in this form He put me in (prone to error, fallible, recipient of oh-so-many conflicting notions of "absolute truth" -- albeit from other fallible humans...!), it's up to Him to let me know what I know-in-error. It's my job to want to know truth, and His job to show it to me.

And the way He shows it to me is through what I experience (Spirit-to-spirit) ... God comes to me disguised as my life. He speaks through my thoughts, feelings and experiences (yeah, all those things that religion told me I should not only discount, but despise).

(Maybe I'll share some of those some time.)

I should ignore the Word within me, and instead heed the words from other humans.

Yeah, riiiiiiight.

Like humans have done SO well with "absolute truth" for the past 2,000 years.

Where IS that re-set button, anyway?!?

Shalom, Dena


EddDee said...


I love your thoughts. If it didn't sound so religious, I'd say "PREACH IT, GIRL!!".. Your writings are not cerebral or stilted, like so many (including mine), bent on proving points. Instead, you invite folks into your (and the Father's) heart, and it comes from a quest for/love of truth. Come to think of it, that is where the Master was coming from when He spoke. Most of his heart talk could not be grasped by the mind...

Dena said...

Thanks EddDee!

Your comments fill me with joy -- that's my heart's desire, to invite others to experience Him for themselves ... NOT to follow me (I refuse to sit on a mountaintop, donning Depends!), but to follow HIM, who is within them. Happily learning to be out of my mind...!

Shalom, Dena