Love is a Cosmic Miracle

Love is a cosmic miracle.  It heals, spreads joy and brings people together.  It is supernatural in its ability to transcend race, religion, gender, economic standing, heartbreak and separation.   You cannot possibly go wrong with love. It will touch every heart with which it comes in contact.  The bible speaks about it at length.  It says “Love suffers long and is kind, “ and many other things.  Love is linked with faith and hope, and I think it is safe to say that those who love are also people of faith.  These two are tied to one another.  How can you be a person who has no love, and still be a person of faith and hope?  And yet, we see far too little love.  We see judgment, condemnation, rejection and harshness all too often; all too often in the name of being the most perfect church on the face of the earth.  How can this be?

It stands to reason that God’s church should be a place where love and compassion are without end. It should be a place where those who are hurting are able to go when the rest of the world turns them down.  It should be a place where you should expect utmost truth and honesty, mercy justice.  Instead, what do we see all too often?  I’m afraid we see men who will sit in front of someone, examine them as though they were some sort of unattractive specimen, and then pronounce judgment on them; “No, sorry, you will not do.  You are not quite good enough.”    Consider the case of a young man who would like to be in the church but who is dealing with multiple issues, just being young and confused, for one thing, maybe lacking guidance and direction that he is not getting at home, just in general being mixed up. But in spite of all this, he wants to do what is right; he wants to be a Christian, marry a Christian young woman and have a Christian home. He is subjected to multiple visits with ministers who never see him as good enough.  There is always something wrong with him and he has no idea what it is. He is trying to fit the criteria of men.  He is trying to follow all the right rules and do all the right things.  Yet they tell him he is not good enough.  How can anyone refuse someone the right to live their life in the way that they choose, among the people they love, living the way they want to?  How can they force someone like this into a world they are unfamiliar with and will no doubt be chewed up and destroyed by?  Think about a mother, or a father, a husband or wife who runs into some kind of difficulty and struggles for years to be restored to fellowship with family, friends and fellow church members.  These people are everywhere.  All of us know them.  Some of them have deep problems, have been struggling with abuse issues, rejection issues, emotional issues, and they need acceptance and the cosmic miracle of love.  Instead they are set to the side and the rest of the company moves on without them.    How can this be?  What kind of an organization is this?

Husbands and wives are separated.  Children are cast into the cold world.   Preachers frown thoughtfully and say “No.”  “You will not do.  We are very sorry, but you will not do.”   I once knew of a preacher who said to someone, “It is very painful for the flesh, but we must say no to you.”    Who gave them the right to refuse God to someone who is desperate for him?  What kinds of people employ these tactics of control and cruelty rather than love?  I would like to say to the people who are caught in this dilemma, “Just get up and move on,” but it is not so simple.   These cruel men hold all that is dear to them.  They hold spouses and children.  They hold potential mates and livelihoods.   They hold private schools and nursing homes.  These things are the benefits of those who fit the mold.  Try being a little different and not fitting the mold.  You will lose everything you hold dear.  There are dozens upon dozens, dare I say hundreds, of people who have been cast off when all they wanted was a safe place where they could be understood, loved and accepted.  If a person has lacks and needs, they do not need to be cast off, but they need an environment where they can be nourished and grow.  Love will heal the sickest of the sick.  Those who are damaged and broken need a place to be healed.  Instead, all too often they find rejection and refusal.  This is indeed a shameful state of affairs.

The sad thing is that many people who are broken and damaged actually believe that men have the power to shut the door or open it for them.  They believe these men have the right to dispense God as though he were a commodity.  Instead of walking away and shaking the dust from their feet, they linger about on the edges, hurting, angry, and eventually earning the label of bitter and offended, very dangerous, someone who is not to be listened to.  I cannot repeat it enough times, this is shameful.  This has nothing to do with God, but rather with ego and control.  This is about tactics, not love.  Love is very beautiful and will heal the most broken of sinners.  Love restores homes and families, love delivers from addictions and depression, love heals mental illnesses, God’s love is so powerful that it can be said it is the most powerful force in the world.  Why do we see so little of it?  Oh, we see plenty of it amongst those who are doing fine.  If you are a woman and you are filling the bill, you will have your share of love.  You will be given responsibilities in the church, the sewing circle, school lunches; the small roster of duties that are doled out to women will be available to you.  You will be kept busy as the wife of a youth leader or school board member.  If you are a man you will be allowed to function on boards or committees, you will feel useful and important. All of this can feel like love.  This adds up to a certain type of acceptance.  But if you are different, the one who truly needs to feel love, you will be marginalized and left behind.  I am so troubled by this.  Who will defend those who are cast aside?  Who will offer a place for them to heal and grow?

Don’t ever forget, love is the most powerful force in the world.  Love enlarges the one who gives it and the one who receives it.  Love grows and expands and creates miracles.  Love makes a way where there was none before.  Love mends the broken, heals the sick and draws everyone together.  I must say again, “Woe to those who refuse love to the hurting.”  Your reward will be according to your deeds.  The house that you are building, if it is not built on love, will crumble and fall.  Your organization is just that, an organization, and nothing more.  The world is full of them.  You are no better or no worse, just another.  Don’t pretend to be special. Don’t speak to me of your faith if I do not see your love.   As long as there are hurting people sitting outside the door, longing to be let in, you are nothing more than an organization, and not a very nice one at that.  We need more understanding, more mercy, more justice, more love, more help.  Unless I begin to see it soon, I will conclude this machine is broken beyond repair.  It is a behemoth, staggering along under its own growing, unsustainable weight.  It cannot continue much longer unless there is love.  Do I make myself clear?

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11 Responses to Love is a Cosmic Miracle

  1. Giesbrecht/1964 says:

    Though I speak with the tongues of men and angels, and have not love, I am become as a sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. We hear this quoted very often.
    Jesus replied,” Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind. And the second is like it. Love your neighbor as yourself. All the law and prophets hang on these two commandments.

    What exactly is ‘loving the Lord with all your heart’? The word ‘church’ is not present in the two most important verses in the bible. Folks, if we don’t start to teach our younger generation the difference between God, and the Church, we are going to lose our footing. Much as I appreciate the fellowship of the brotherhood, I have come to the conclusion that I must follow the Lords leading for myself, to an extent. The lack of love that Hiram has mentioned is very painful for me to hear, and what makes it so much worse, is that its painfully true. What does it mean, to love your neighbor as much as yourself? We have a large and growing number of ministers being relieved of duty, and some even being expelled. Somehow I wonder if these men feel that their fellow ministers love them as much as they love themselves. I’ve been a member for many years, and I must admit, Ive shuddered within myself every time I’ve held the avoidance on my fellow man. I do not personally believe it is a demonstration of love, but of fear. The bible says love casts out fear. I hope to see more likeminded response and that I’m not paddling the boat alone

    • ~Set Free says:

      You aren’t yet one must also remember this; Matthew 10:32-40 KJV Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. (33) But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven. (34) Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. (35) For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. (36) And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household. (37) He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. (38) And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. (39) He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it. (40) He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me.

      Be strong and stand for the truth. Persevere in the face of persecution. There are those who will become willing and find mercy before God and there will be others that though willing and obedient are still torn. Hang in there and maintain your first love…to God and Jesus Christ. When you first met the Lord and your sins were forgiven and you found peace…it was NOT through or because of “the church” it was through and because of the Love of God and the atoning blood of Christ. Never forget that and if you find yourself looking for acceptance “in the church” perhaps you need to ponder seriously if you have left your first love or not ? Jesus Himself went outside the city gates. If we want to be His disciples we need to follow…Him…not the church. “the church” claims to be the body and bride. A bride has first love…a whore does not.

      I know what is being said from first hand experience. I have had to make those hard decisions to lose my whole family if necessary to follow Christ. I know the pain of a wife turned against me because her “church” means more to her than following the word of God. We won’t always and will actually rarely find that acceptance of love “within the confines of ‘the church'” Yes you will find acceptance there if you bow to their rules…maybe ? You will find acceptance there if you are rich and have a good name as far as wealth goes in the community….most of the time. Yet wolves whether they wear sheep’s clothing or not, will turn on their own kind and not just sheep. In particular if one is wounded…doth not nature itself teach you ? A wolf pack will kill and eat it’s own wounded and weak…it’s been documented in nature. We see it happening in what is commonly called by some “the Church”, history repeats itself. In the dark ages it was the Roman Catholic church excommunicating and persecuting the believers…today it is her daughter. While I realize that will offend some especially considering the Catholic church is regarded by some as the Great Whore in Revelation and to call the H church her daughter is a blow to her dignity and self esteem. But I believe that very thing is the problem; the pride of “the Church” “her” dignity and “self” esteem. The “Church” has ceased long ago to honor God and Christ but has lifted herself up in pride just like her father the devil in an attempt to be like God and rule over others. Think about what Jesus said; John 10:7-18 KJV Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. (8) All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them. (9) I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. (10) The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. (11) I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. (12) But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. (13) The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep. (14) I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. (15) As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep. (16) And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd. (17) Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. (18) No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.
      The hireling fleeth because he doesn’t care, the thief is out to steal and kill and destroy. Jesus says His sheep come in and go out and find pasture…the pasture is not inside the fold… you have to go out to find pasture. For a short period of time in a persons life the “fold” “might” be beneficial, but for the most part one finds rest comfort and nourishment in the pasture and not in the fold…because the Good Shepherd is watching over you. The hirelings are delegated to watch the fold because they cannot be trusted to oversee a large and plentiful pasture…they can’t be trusted with the fold either by the looks of it ?? Simply put a hireling cannot be trusted for the simple fact that he is just that…a hireling and not the true Shepherd. Just because a man is high up in the hierarchy of “the church” or on the CCC or any other board does not say he is less of a hireling than any other. Perhaps a hireling given greater responsibility but with that responsibility also comes greater wrath for not fulfilling the true Shepherds commands. He puts up who He will and puts down who He will. He very plainly says in revelations if you don’t repent and return to your first love He will remove your candlestick. First love is the new man on the job. The new broom that sweeps clean. The nurse that washes the dirty children instead of throwing out the baby with the bathwater. The nurse that tenderly dresses the skinned knee or bleeding cut “with loving care” and not in such a manner as to make it worse. A mothers love is gentle and forgiving. Not necessarily without discipline as such but she doesn’t continually beat her child hour after hour and day after day for months and years on end. People go to prison today for less. God disciplines yes, but afterwards He comforts and you know He loves you. I’ve been disciplined by God and it hurts but only for a short time. I’ve been disciplined by the “church” and the pain remains and is a continual beating…they don’t know when to quit. The apostle Paul in 1st Cor. told those people to not have company with the one that was guilty of incest. and that is what is used to condone excommunication. But if these same people would continue reading their whole bible instead of taking things out of context they would see in 2nd Cor that Paul rebuked “the church” and NOT “the sinner” because they had not taken him back in. If you look back in the genealogy of Christ you will find incest in His family tree (Judah and Tamar Gen 38), you will find adulterers and adulteresses (King David and Bathsheba, hey it takes two to tango). You’ll find Harlots and Gentiles (Rahab). Who does “the church” think they’re kidding when they claim to be pure ??? Only the blind and God soundly condemns those that put a stumbling block in front of the blind and Jesus says if the blind lead the blind they will both fall in the ditch. But like the true hypocritical Pharisees they are, they say they see, so their sin remains. May more be spared the crimes of “the church” and be ~Set Free

    • lotsaquestions says:

      Totally agree with you Giesbrecht/64! I personally do not see it either. Furthermore, I have never sat and listened to any expelled person ( when they were being reeaccepted) say that the avoidance drew them back to God. NEVER! They never mention it, which should make the “church” sit up and take notice. Instead they tell how awfull they felt and the guilt and fear that gripped them. They comment how depressed they felt. Until they finally “repent” and find release. Shunning does not draw, it pushes one farther way. I want to hear more. Someone else can explain it better than me.

  2. lotsaquestions says:

    Set Free had some good thoughts too.

  3. cagedbutterfly says:

    You are not alone, Giesbrecht/1964. I have had expelled immediate family for about as long as I remember. The avoidance was practiced faithfully (according to holdeman standards) for the most part. I do know tho, that my dad caught some flack several times for work involvements with my expelled brother. I guess he didn’t agree with the brethren’s light cause he didn’t change anything. The avoidance obviously didn’t do the wonderful work that its supposed to. None have returned to the “fold”.
    Now at this time in my life I have an expelled spouse and my eyes have been opened in a new way! I have studied the avoidance subject. By what I have read, the Bible way and the holdeman way do not agree. All it is doing in my home is causing separation. Let me explain.
    For the record, I DO NOT hold the avoidance on my spouse.
    Except for a very small number, we are not invited away for meals. My children (members n younger) get very upset because we go home while their friends are socializing. I am left with the tears and the explaining of the whys. After all, some of us in the family are church members so why do we feel avoided? Might as well be exed too!
    We all know social status comes with jobs and committees, as Bro. Hiram has said. I have found that very true.
    Probably the thing that troubles me the most tho, is my child that is a member. From birth all we have heard is if you leave the church you are not a christian, you are deceived, you will be lost for all eternity, you are WRONG! Somehow it seems to me this translates into some form of disrespect in the child to the expelled parent. Well, you are not doing right so maybe I don’t have to respect you, ect. No matter if the parent isn’t actually doing wrong. Just doesnt have the holdeman stamp of approval. And it REALLY doesn’t help when the child is asked by the staff, “is your expelled father/mother a discouragment to you? REALLY! Just because a parent isn’t a holdeman they can’t be a parent??!!
    The longer a person is expelled, church members pull farther and farther away. Always seems kinda ironic to me. If you feel a person is lost then how much the MORE should they feel your love! Especially someone you’ve been close to your whole life.
    There is NO way I will live the rest of my life in this situation. A family needs to be united. (For the record, I am in no way condoning sinful lifestyles.) There is no way that living this way in your own home can be right!
    I am praying for God’s direction so I can leave this all behind when he says, GO.

  4. justwonderin says:

    Mark 7:6-16 KJV He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. (7) Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. (8) For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do. (9) And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition. (10) For Moses said, Honour thy father and thy mother; and, Whoso curseth father or mother, let him die the death: (11) But ye say, If a man shall say to his father or mother, It is Corban, that is to say, a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; he shall be free. (12) And ye suffer him no more to do ought for his father or his mother; (13) Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye. (14) And when he had called all the people unto him, he said unto them, Hearken unto me every one of you, and understand: (15) There is nothing from without a man, that entering into him can defile him: but the things which come out of him, those are they that defile the man. (16) If any man have ears to hear, let him hear.

    Cagedbutterfly, perhaps you are hearing the word GO yet find the way hard ? I know what it is like also to have a spouse and children despise me to follow “church doctrine” the doctrine of men that makes void the commands of God, that a spouse is to love their helpmate and children are to honor their parents. As to being deceived the “church” is the one that is deceived because they believe a lie and build more and more laws to strengthen the cage around you. May you and others like you, encourage yourselves in the Lord and not in man made rules and false teachings that oppose the Laws of God. To be deceived is to believe a lie…and think you are following the truth. When you know the truth it sets you free or else brings you into the bondage we see in the church…to follow a lie when we know the truth, which is not deception but rather disobedience. If / when you “know” you are not deceived. A person can only be deceived when they do not know.

    • Adopted Heart says:

      Caged butterfly, I commend you for not holding avoidance on your spouse. I too faced that dilema a number of years ago. My husband was exed while he was not even home. He was working out of town for the better part of 10 years, so that we had food on the table. Instead of calling the meeting on the weekend when they knew he could be there, they made it during the week so it was impossible. Only our 1 of our children was member at the time and we had a number of very young children. They knew nothing about it for nearly a month. Then my husband came home and said we really needed to follow through with it. My children only saw their father on saturday and sunday. We lived in a 1200 sq foot home with a kitchen 12×12 that was also the dining area for 9 people, seperate from the other rooms of the house. We had the option of a TV tray beside the table or putting him in a totally seperate room of the house. I followed his orders for 2 weekends while we cried through every meal. In between I thought about 2 other couples here who had husbands that were exed for a number of years already and thought long and hard about how those 2 couples were seperating emotionally and the effects of the shunning on their families. I came to the only conclusion that I could. If my husband was to be the head of the home, then I needed to make sure he stayed in that place. It was his work that had given us the home, he was the one working alone to bring in money to feed us. And those meals were our family time, the only time we had together as a family to talk, share, and connect. I saw no other options. I removed the obstacle in the kitchen and put him back at his place at the table and then I told my children. “This is our home, this is our family time, this is your father who works hard to provide you a home and loves you. If I do as the church says I will be destroying the very fabric of our home, along with you and your father, So here is where the rubber meets the road. My bible says that he is the head here and we are to honor him, we cannot honor him when we are placing him somewhere else. So this is the rule at our home, we will not place any shunned person at another table, unless we simply have no choice because we have to use extra tables because of the amount of people here. When you all grow up and are on your own, you can set the rules in your homes but you will not be in charge of the rules at ours.”
      We had to reestablish that as they grew up, more became members and they would go to members meetings and be told that they were to shun exs. They would come home in tears because they were being made to feel guilty. For many years our children were treated as outcasts. As they grew to adulthood and moved to other congregations, they were accepted for who they are and are now a part of being with others and doing things with others.

      Our oldest son lived at home until he was about 25. He wanted to be with others too. but he was told that IF he left home and went on his own, then they would do things with him. He finally moved out, giving us only a 2 hour notice and was suddenly in the in crowd with dinner invites multiple times a week. It was truly disgusting to watch this young man who had been a part of their presence for all those years, treated as an outcast, suddenly become important, like he was some new spectical. 2 of our our other sons decided to move out too and the same thing happened again. I thought, what was wrong with them before? Do you all see how ridiculus you have acted all these years. These boys are still the same ones you rejected for years and now all of a sudden when they don’t live with their parents they are okay for you to associate with? One finally saw through the hypocrisy and left the church, the other one left the community for the sake of his soul and now lives in another state, in his 5th home in 3 years. The constant rejection and rejection of his parents by the church members has created so much damage that he is having a hard time emotionally recovering from it. We have another son who is now a member of another mennonite church that was told to his face that the oldest minister had made it very clear that he would not be allowed to be baptised here as long as this man is alive and he did not care what God did in his life for him, he would forever be unacceptable to the H.
      After the first year, I too was exed by lies of the head preacher and cannot be reaccepted because there are no provisions in their doctrines and hiearchy to fix the wrong doing done by staff. The requirement for reacceptance is to lie and say what happened to me is right. And I must also state that I totally believe in the OTVC which was never given as an issue when I joined from non menno background at the age of 15. So I have been permenantly seperated from my family and friends by lies and misunderstandings that can never be overcome short of a major miracle. They tried to reaccept my husband after I was exed but he told them that unless they could reaccept me also and fix the wrong done, he would not put us in the place of seperation as a couple ever again. Now he has concluded that he will never be a member of the H again as he finds the situations created by it so offensive.

      I think the worst thing that it does to your family is that the children are taught that X are going to hell and are totally wrong and implied always as bad people. So these innocent children in our homes grow up with an underlying current coming at them that they have bad parents and they don’t see their parents being bad. They have parents that love them, care for them and are there for them and they are supposed to see them as bad people. It puts them in the middle. They have to defend the church which is treating their parents spitefully and defend their parents to church members who constantly assume that X are horrible parents and are surely doing something wrong all the time. I can tell you from personal experience both as the child of X parents and as the X parent that it is a very hard road to walk down.
      The treatment of these children by the other children and youth is so offensive that is is a wonder to me sometimes that any child of an X ever becomes a christian at all, much less joins the H church.

  5. richard says:

    When there is faith in the Lord Jesus, there will always be love toward all the saints because faith is the faculty of taking God into the heart. Faith is God-receptiveness. Faith appropriates the nature of God just as the expanded lung does the mountain air or as the child does the parent’s gift. Faith, like a narrow channel, conveys God’s ocean fullness into the lagoons of human needs. Therefore, wherever faith links the believer to the Lord Jesus, His nature begins to flow into the waiting, expectant heart and then to flow out toward all the saints. The love of God knows no favorite sect. It singles out no special school. As the sun and wind of nature, it breathes and shines alike on all. It is cosmopolitan and universal. You cannot imprison it within the walls of any one Christian community. It laughs at your restrictions and with equal grace raises up witnesses and standard-bearers from all parts of the (invisible) church. Thus as we become more like God, our love leaps all barriers to greet all saints and expends itself on the great world of men. F. B. Meyer

  6. justwonderin says:

    so true !

  7. Hiram says:

    These are some very interesting comments. Very revealing. Why would a church do ANYTHING that would contribute to instability in families? Why would they seek to seduce children away from their parents, and cause them to mistrust them and be disloyal? This is beyond belief. They should tell young people that they must respect and love their parents, not subtly hint that the parents are defective and not to be taken seriously. I’m ashamed and embarrassed on their behalf.

    • justwonderin says:

      Because they know not God. Only a form of religion without the power thereof.
      The powerful irresistable power of God’s Love.
      Rejection you can flee from…you cannot escape true love even if you run from it.
      True Love always draws you back to itself…to God.

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