In the last chapter of “Yinney the Sloth who needed to Poo”, (chapter 36), Yinney shares the story of the first dog. How every dog was once a wolf, but one day, one wolf decided to give up his wild and hungry ways, and came to stand beside a man. This wolf became the first dog.
Jesus says the meek will inherit the earth, not the wolf. All you wolves out there? You may appear to have the world by the tail, but that tail is attached to a dragon who will eventually eat you. God has promised wolf ways always self-destructs, but there is another way for all those willing to love their neighbor as themself.
Unbelievers do not believe that GOD IS LOVE. And yet they refuse to come to him because that is exactly what he is and what he demands. Yes, demands. You either truly follow Christ and his message, or you don’t. Most unbelievers may not realize their rejection of God is really connected to their own desires of selfishness and lack of real love. So the accusers of God really convict themselves and prove God to be love.
Now as to the Church. I left it. And I feel led to take a break from “Yinney” to share my journey to know the REAL JESUS CHRIST, because somehow I lost him in the Church. I was raised in Church all my life! I thought I knew the real Jesus because the spiritual experts with diplomas hanging on their walls had taught me all about him! Hhmmm. But I kept bumping into someone in the Bible I did not know. He kept confusing me. At the age of 60 I finally demanded to know who he was! And he said he was the real Jesus. I said, “Prove it.” And he did. And you know what? It wasn’t even hard for him, because this false Jesus has no clothes.
I kept looking at the original Church in Acts and comparing it to modern American Churches. Something was amiss. And how do you have all things common? How can God even expect that of us today? Maybe things have changed? But God “IS” love.
Here’s my story: My childhood was not good grounds for learning to share. I was the first born son, with only a younger sister. We moved to the country and were pretty isolated. I was also pretty introverted. And even though my parents told me to share, I found a younger sister to be pretty annoying. I avoided her a lot. Easy to do as a boy, older, stronger, faster, and a big countryside to disappear into.
Also, my boy stuff wasn’t exactly her thing, and since there was no other boys, it really wasn’t that hard to say this is “your stuff” and this is “my stuff”. Leave my stuff alone!
My dad liked westerns, like most men of his generation. The cowboy way was “stand on your own two feet”! Be a man! Pull yourself up by your own bootstraps! Take care of you and yours! And only in the worst of conditions did you ask for help, and then, the community would come together to save you, but it had to be circumstances beyond your control. While my parents told me to share, I was also learning the cowboy way.
But we went to Church every Sunday, most Wednesday nights, and actually twice on Sunday, where I saw other Christian men who appeared to be very successful in their fine cut suits.They were good at taking care of their family. So was my dad, but I must say, he was not very loving. Work, work, work.
The preacher preached his messages, but somehow he never did in depth studies of the original Church, nor the early Church fathers. No…we learned what came after the Reformation. We learned how bad the Catholic way had gotten, but we didn’t dare go all the way back and compare our current Church system to what Jesus actually did. But I loved studying the Word, and I kept bumping into this person in scripture I only thought I knew.
When I began to really hear Him, the first thing he said was, God is love. Love your heavenly Father with all your mind, heart, strength, and soul. And love your neighbor as yourself. And for perhaps the first time I began to consider what that really meant. Now as I started this story I went into detail as to how selfish the world of my childhood was. I did this to make a point. The REAL JESUS was not easy for me. The REAL CHURCH was not natural for me.
I thought I was a good person. I helped people who deserved help when I could. I put money in the Church plate every week. I even believed the preacher when he said I was robbing God if I didn’t give at least ten percent. I took care of my family. I worked hard. I made every effort to stand on my own two feet, witness of Christ, be involved in ministry, but… I had very little understanding of what “Communion”, “Community”, “Communication”, God’s family, and God’s love really meant. And when I got the revelation, I found a whole new world I knew little of and I was ill equipped for.
But God was on my side. God looks at our heart, and he saw I was willing to learn no matter what. No matter how slow a learner I might be, this wolf wanted to give up his predator ways and enjoy the world promised in the Lord’s Sermon. Blessed…happy… joyful…peaceful…beyond death… are the poor in spirit. The rightside up Kingdom of God that appears to be upside down. The first shall be last.
And so this story, my story of learning to share, and comparing my Christianity to the Church of Acts begins. What is the balance of all this? How do I share my stuff in today’s world? How do I become “community”? You probably would not believe where this vision has led me, what we are preparing to do, and how it slowly grows like a beautiful unfolding blossom of rich color and vibrant purpose in life! The true vision of Christ has only made my life richer in every way.
The story of Yinney is on hold for the next 3 or 4 articles, but in reality the story is not on hold, because this really is the story of “Yinney the Sloth who needed to Poo”. It is how that fictional story unfolds in the world of non-fiction.