Friday, March 21, 2014

CP 241 Can I tell you something?

CP 241 Can I tell you something?
Hello friends, another item this week on terribly destructive business of judging others. Last week’s blog on this subject generated a fair bit of feedback. And I’ve been doing a bit more thinking and remembering as well. I want to share just one more example of the deadly impact of shaming which might make many of us, me included, ashamed before the Lord.
Can I tell you something?
Here is the story. It’s about ten years ago. I’m having an unexpected conversation with a woman I barely know. ‘Can I tell you something I’ve never told another soul?’ ‘Sure,’ says Fred. She tells me. ‘That man over there is my husband. The two young people with him are our son and daughter. Before we were married I became pregnant to my husband. I’m so ashamed to tell you this, but we decided to abort the child. I knew it was wrong then. I know it even more deeply now. I’ve been coming here almost every Sunday for all those years, and I’ve confessed it every Sunday, but I’ve never been free of it. I hear the forgiveness but it is as though it doesn’t work for me.’
Yes, I was taken aback. When confessions come out of the blue like that there are always a few moments where you think, ‘Did I really hear that.’ To cut a long story short, we talked a bit, with me gently asking questions. We prayed, with me asking the Lord to set her free from the contract she had made with the ‘other side’. I spoke with my pastoral authority, in Jesus’ name, and also, in Jesus’ name, cut off the stronghold of shame within which she had lived for more than 20 years. She prayed to be filled with Christ’s Spirit. Joy can be amazing to see. Her freedom to know her freedom in Christ was instantaneous.
I immediately asked a question, and should have asked a second.
Here is the question I asked. ‘How come you gave yourself permission to have that abortion?’ Her answer astounded me then and it still does. “My Father is a prominent official in the church and I didn’t want to bring shame on him and mum.”
It stunned me then. It stuns me still. How is it that we have created such a fear of personal or communal shame that those who cause it are nudged to the truly shameful – to save the skin of the righteous? You and I both know this stuff happened. We have all been part of the ‘Cover up shame’ brigade. In this case, ‘Let’s have an abortion because that will save face for my parents.’ In one case I’m aware of one young woman stood on the edge of a high-rise trying to summon the courage to take that fateful step. In others, girls were utterly terrified of their parents. Others were cut-off from their families in (un)righteous indignation… ‘Never darken the doorstep again!’
I am grateful beyond words that my Lord Jesus the Messiah entered not only into my skin, but also my sin and shame. He bore the shame. He did not seek to avoid it. He did this for me, in my place What a great word is written in Hebrews:
And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1-2
I could easily be, or have been, part of that judgemental culture. How mortified would I be if my kids felt driven to do something shameful to save my skin. Kyrie eleison.
Oh yes, the question I should have asked? Where was your boyfriend / husband when that decision was being made?
There you are… once again got something out of my system.
Be blessed in the Messiah. Fred


Anonymous Anonymous said...

thanks for this one-very real-there are many abortions- thank you God for mercy and healing in Lord Jesus

5:38 PM  
Anonymous Freedomborn said...

Thank you Pastor Fred, for sharing this message, to live with the knowledge that you have killed your child is something that eats you away even when being part of a Church unless your repentance is from the heart.

As a young teenager and with being pressured by my Boyfriend and told that my baby was just an egg by the Doctor who later raped me, I went ahead and ended my Babies life at nearly 5 mths gestation. Later when I was Married to a different man I lost 6 babies, 3 were Stillborn girls with no explanation why, but they suspected some type of damage to my uterus,if only someone had shared with me that there was another way, if only someone had cared enough to say Don't!

In regard to Judging, I agree, we must not have fleshy Judgment towards anyone and always show Love. At one time I was condemned and put down by others in a Church for sins I repented of and no longer continued to do for over 17 years and God had confirmed that I was forgiven at the time, by miraculously healing me of 2 life threatening conditions, after an Elder anointed me having heard my confession. But these Church leaders continued to slander me and put me down as a person of worth until I was forced to leave, yes I have forgiven them but they hurt me greatly.

But as we look at God's guidelines for judgment in The Body of Christ but not fleshy mans, when I was sinning, some Christian friends came to me in Love and rebuked me for my sinfulness, you can be sure at the time it was not appreciated but I have since thanked them and respect their faithfulness greatly to do as God asks us to do when someone is sinning in the Church. I also have Joy now in knowing they Loved me enough to warm me as God does in His word, but at the time I was in extreme darkness and did not see the danger I was in and I also had stopped reading the Bible, not that I understood it very clearly when I did, it use to confuse me.

Thank you Pastor Fred for listening.

Christian Love in our Unity in Christ Jesus - Anne.

4:01 PM  

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