Tuesday, February 5, 2013


In my pursuit of the bigger picture, sometimes I lose sight of myself in all the observation, reading and meditation. Real-world consequences follow: my friendships suffer. It bothers me. I never set out looking to neglect my friends, but all too soon they are demoted to acquaintances. Maybe that’s what introverts do effortlessly. (Pun.)

When I walked into church and sat next to her for the first time this year, the look in Anita’s eyes told me I was in hot soup, fallen out of favor. I was right. She wouldn’t have talked to me at all that day if I hadn’t literally pursued her after the church service and forced the issue. Ordinarily I’m a live-and-let-live kind of guy: I suffer the suspect to stew in their emotions for a while and then hopefully someday they will freely confess what the problem was /is. Not this day though. She takes a long stride, but I caught up with her where the throng jams the exits on their way out.

“Did somebody wake up on the wrong side of the bed?” I demanded.

At first she refused to talk, her lips fixed in a defiant pout. Her glare avoided my face as we stepped out into the scorching afternoon sunshine. At length, she asked, “Do you have friends? I mean, actual friends; not idiots who keep your seat empty for you.”

I didn’t answer her question. She couldn’t seriously mean it.

“All we ever do together is sit in church. You call that a friendship?”

“It’s not like that,” I protested, but she was right.

“For all I know you might be playing football while the rest of us are protecting your chair in church!”

“No actually I was at home.”

“At home! No calls, no texts, nothing to tell me not to bother to hold your seat.”

“I’m sorry, okay? And thank you.”

“Home! Sleeping! Is this the way you treat your friends?”

“I wasn’t sleeping, I’ve been reading some books...”

“You’ll die lonely,” she cut in.

“I always say ‘better to die lonely than to live lonely’.”

“What? That’s twisted.” She wasn’t in a joking mood.

“At least I won’t complain – there’ll be nobody to complain to.” And I laughed alone at my own joke. (Dry humor is savored in the silence that is heard when it misfires. A bit like enjoying ugali, whose taste is neither here nor there.)

“You owe me,” said Anita, ignoring my eccentric sense of humor. “Big time.”

That day Anita reminded me of one day a long time ago. (FLASHBACK BEGINS) I went to my erstwhile best-friend, incidentally this was also in (another) church, and informed her we were not best friends any longer, except in name only. That was a description of our platonic friendship, not a prescription. It had been too long since we’d last talked. Even those talks were too spaced apart and too pedestrian to be accredited with Best Friend Quality Certification. Besides, we barely knew one another in sufficient detail and the whole alliance was anchored to nostalgic reminisces of childhood days and some seasonal letter-writing. So we amicably agreed that we were no longer best friends in practice. (FLASHBACK ENDS)

What goes around comes around, right? Anita described our “friendship” to me. It wasn’t much.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Faith of our Fathers

I’ve been reading on doctrines and their origins. The history of the churches of GOD (the true and the professed) is epic – the battlefront of the great controversy. Sadly, today, many Christian churches have strayed far away from the purity and simplicity of Jesus Christ.

Taking the time to review the historical process of decline would reveal how much is at stake. For example, few people recognize that the Protestant Reformation with all its spiritual and sociopolitical benefits is presently being subverted and reversed by a counter-reformation. This is the cause of increasing (corporate) fascism under the guise of democracy, and the proliferation of godlessness worldwide.

Some teachings, like the prosperity doctrine, are blatant perversions of faith, brazen contradictions of the testimony of self-denying men of faith like the prophets and apostles. Others are harmful but widely accepted lies calculated to undermine the gospel - the idea that you can serve GOD and mammon. How have the churches come to a condition of pride in their possessions and esteem, yet spiritually are accounted in heaven as blind, naked and poor? It is the outcome of loving the world and seeking its approval instead of seeking first the kingdom of GOD and His righteousness.

Jeremiah 6:16
Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein.

We have our Bibles and we have the testimony of history. Unfortunately, to quote a wise man, our generation is being passionately educated not to know. That leaves us with the obligation as individuals to wake us up, educate ourselves in true truth; because much more is at stake than our daily bread, and time is not on our side. (The devil as a roaring lion walketh about seeking whom he may devour.)

Ultimately, churches do not corporately assure salvation to their members. The book of life is not updated by any scribe or pastor here on earth. Rather, Jesus Christ Himself knocks at the door of an individual’s heart. It has to be personal.