In May, I was strolling through my Facebook page, seeing who had posted and what the good news was. I came across this photo of someone’s hand holding a post-it note, and the message rang out.
Now, I know the source, and the person is a really good, non-denominational Christian, who has given much of their life to Christ for the advancement of the kingdom of God. I’d have to say that I was immediately angered by the note, and have not gotten over it yet. It occurred to me that our society is rife with these kinds of “messages for our egos”.
Perhaps the author meant the following:
“You are a precious child of God, who through the redemptive grace of Christ, has left no stone unturned in your struggle for sanctification, and in so doing you have become the form that God first created and is most pleased with. You are now the love that is God and a beacon for all others. Be their light on the hill and let them come to Christ through you.”
The message, in either form, is a message that strives to be faith, hope, and love, but is it truth or is it a twentieth century deception of modern, inclusive Christianity?
Now the manner in which I rewrote the message lays bare the hidden inferences of the original message. The original form is a tug at our heartstrings, and the message leaves no trail of crumbs that necessarily leads to the gingerbread house. It also leaves no crumbs that leads one out of the forest and back home.
“Do not change who you are for anyone.”
I was always taught that the lead sentence of a paragraph sets the definitive argument. Even if the author of the note did not mean it as such, it is the first thought delivered into the mind.
“Do not change who you are for anyone.”
The sentence – conclusion – is a rebuttal to the basic principle of agape love, as it denies the necessity of any form of self-sacrifice or giving unto others. Remember, that the only way you can give is to take upon yourself a loss. The only way you can give is to stop your ministrations unto yourself for a long enough period of time to render ministrations unto another. If you are serving dinner at a shelter, you’re not sitting at home watching a movie. Both you and those you served receive the grace of God in this action, lifting all up in joy and favor of God, but it is through God’s grace that brought you to serve to begin with, not your own inclination or purity. The sentence should really be rewritten:
“Change for God, so everyone may be lifted up for His purpose.”
“Change” is the definitive element of Christianity. As a Christian one recognizes and accepts the fallen character of ourselves, repents for the sin one has brought into this world, and strives with utmost devotion to sin no more, do penance for the sins one has committed, and avoid all things that would lead one to future sin.
“Change” is the behavioral structure by which man seeks out his metaphysical truth; that he was created by a God who is love, and calls us back to unity in Him.
“Change” is the road we walk throughout our lives, and “change” is the hope we bear so that we might live in a better world; both here on earth and in heaven.
“Change” is the essential element of Christianity, and to embrace it is to understand the depths of depravity that pride brings to mankind, and thus to seek the redemptive, living essence of humility.
We strive to change ourselves in order to reach out to that which we see clearly in the life of Christ. He is our example. Christ was human and is divine. We were created in the image of God, and as such, have no life in sin, but only death. Only through change can mankind return to being the image of God – His character, His will, and His perfection.
But there are those who look to contort “change”; not to be for the redemptive purpose of lifting man up from his decay, but rather to accomplish sin and keep sin alive over mankind. And so the deception of “Do not change…” which states a belief that what God has made, when He made you, is pure and untainted; that God is well-pleased. And if you did have to go through some form of sanctification in the past, that process is now complete. In addition, it redefines what love is, as it reduces the giving and receiving sacrifice of relationship into a static condition. After all, the message is universal. Not only are you not going to change, neither are you friends. You’re all reading the same message and receiving the same deception.
To illustrate this deception I offer the following. I do not mean it as a political statement, but rather merely as an observation of the power of language.
Barack Obama rode the word “Change” into the office of President of the United States in 2008. At that time, Americans of all persuasions saw in him a new call to return to what defines the founding American ideal, and each one of us who embraced him and his ideals saw in the word “Change” exactly what we wanted to see and little else. Time has shown many Americans that what Barack Obama meant by “Change” is a far cry from what they thought it meant. The fact that Mr. Obama has declared himself to be Christian only confuses one’s attempt to rationalize his recent policies that clearly challenge our First Amendment right, and redefines the very meaning of faith; not only on the Christian level, but across the board for all of religion.
Our current administration sees the activity of Christianity, and all religions, to be founded solely in its worship of its God, and the formal process of worship. And our administration calls us to view all activities that arise from our evangelical and loving Christian doctrines as social programs, and as such, they fall under the jurisdiction of the United States government and not that of God or His Church. I may assure you that this is not about rendering unto Caesar what is his. This is about deception for the purpose of accumulating power; a power that binds and imprisons, degrades and separates. This is the “Change” that Americans were called to do in 2008; not return to the founding principles of our country. It’s a Protestant dream that has become a nightmare.
And, as to the remaining sentence in the post-it note:
“If God, in all of His infinite wisdom, made you exactly the way you are, He did it FOR A REASON.”
This is the shovel that buries the body for it bolsters the deception of “Do not change…” through its connecting of God’s wisdom with your implied righteousness; taking you back to the creation story, and illuminating you in the light of God’s omnipotence, omniscience, and perfect goodness. How can the first sentence be false in light of the second sentence assertion? It appeals and justifies one’s pride; redefining pride as holiness. If you were wavering on the first sentence, “Do not change who you are for anyone.” the second sentence sweeps away any challenge. It’s uplifting, courageous, and righteous to acclaim such a ‘truth’. This is the post-it note’s message.
In truth, this is but one of many problems I have with a non-apostolic, Christian environment. The sheep are left to the self-anointed. Tradition is subject to the truths of relativism and not authoritative over the inclinations of man to his own fallen nature. Tradition is suspect because it does not suit our pride. We know this, but we deceive ourselves into thinking we are the generation of man who will see the true light of Christ, and understand His teachings to be what we know is the truth; not those millions of Christians before us who clearly did not have the tools or skills that we have today to interpret the Word of God. Our societal pride is noxious and suffocating.
This note is very dangerous stuff.
God Bless and Buen Camino – Reese