Sep 12, 2009
Are You Bitter?
In the last five years since I left my position as a pastor and began the Free Believer path, I have noticed a mentality in regards to the subject of bitterness that I believe has become more a sign of spiritual paralysis then godliness.
Most of us Christians have been raised in some form of the traditional church. I have found that most of us have endured peer pressure and religious manipulation that has disallowed us to think and move from our hearts. I have written about this in other posts, so I won’t go into too much detail, other than to say that because of fear of trusting our hearts and expressing our feelings, we have become a generation of spiritually paralyzed and numb-hearted people. For the most part, I don’t think it’s our fault. I truly believe this is a result of constant pressure to intentionally restrict certain human emotions from surfacing.
I think the results of this suffocating mentality are beginning to manifest in the hearts and actions of people everywhere today. I am honestly concerned with what I see. I feel like American Christians have lost their heart compass. They get angry when they should be sad. They get joyful when they should be broken-hearted. They feel excited when they should be troubled, and they become anxious when they should be feeling peace. In many respects, it’s as though someone has snatched their hearts and souls out of their bodies and replaced them with a virus-filled computer.
If you stop and think about the teachings we grew up with, it’s no wonder we’ve become socially illiterate. We’re taught that when we’re suffering, we should be rejoicing - when we’re poor, we are supposed to say we’re rich. If we’re sick, we’re not supposed to admit it. If we get angry, we’re immature. A check in our spirit is called rebellion. Declaring something to be wrong is called criticism. Liking yourself is considered arrogant and sinful, and asking questions is faithlessness.
When I watch modern day Christians, I am stricken by their lack of emotional normalcy. It’s as though something has caused their emotional compass to go haywire within them. There is a major problem when a Christian, without any emotion whatsoever, tells you that a person in Iran who has never heard of Jesus Christ, will go straight to hell when he dies because he’s not a Christian. The level of heartlessness to that statement is off the charts, yet I hear Christians spew it out as calmly as if they were saying their own name.
I had the usual and predictable accusation posted in the comment section of one of my blog posts the other day. It basically accused me of being bitter. I’ve written about this several times trying to explain to people what my real heart is concerning the institution of Church. I fully understand that Christians have been programed to immediately shut down the moment they think they detect bitterness. Even Free Believers still think this way in many respects. I watch them almost compete with each other at how un-bitter they canmake themselves look and sound when they present the message of freedom. For some strange reason, everyone seems to think that being bitter is wrong all the time, no matter what the reason. People talk about it as though it’s the Aids virus of spirituality. Even the mere assumption that we might have it is terrifying to us.
I want to make a final statement on whether or not I am bitter concerning the institution of Church. I’ve visited several forums and I’ve read conversations where some were accusing me of being bitter and others (who love me) were sticking up for me and explaining my heart. I have watched this particular conversation take place no less then twenty times over the last year. Today I want to put the entire argument to rest.
I AM BITTER!!!!!!!!!!
I am angry. I’m full of resentment. I’m furious, enraged, incensed and downright mad.
For years I’ve tried hiding it because I know the way Christians are programed. I know they quit listening to me the moment they detect this truth about me. Unfortunately, I can’t hide it another day. Today, I’m coming out of the closet and announcing to the world that, “I AM BITTER.” Many people have suspected this for years, but were afraid to say anything. Many others said it quite openly, and now are reading this thinking to themselves, “I knew it. I was right.”
Yes. I am bitter!
I’m not sure what angers me more. I’m angry at how the institution has put people under fear and bondage for years. I’m angry at how they have made people feel that their God might abandon them, or that He doesn’t love them. I’m angry that they’ve made God out to look like an alcoholic father who abuses His children. I’m angry that the institution has made people think they have to give money and do works of service to gain God’s favor, and I’m angry that people are downright fearful and unsure about where they stand with God.
More than anything at all, do you want to know what I’m the most bitter about?
I am bitter over the fact that Christians aren’t bitter over this fact.
In the last ten years I have been more than a little bitter at the lack of human emotion I see coming from Christian people in the midst of such obvious abuse and slavery. I sometimes feel like the ambassador from Rwanda trying to convince Americans to take notice and give a damn about the genocide taking place in my country. I find myself wanting to scream at the top of my lungs, “What the hell is wrong with you people?”
If you’re NOT angry about these things, there is something desperately wrong with you. There is absolutely no way you can be a lover of people and not be enraged over what the institution is doing to them. EVEN THE WORLD IS BITTER ABOUT THAT! Even people who are unbelievers have the decency to be angry over the abuse and control of innocent people at the hands of religious con artists. What has happened to Christians to make them so socially illiterate? It’s as though our hearts and souls have been snatched away, and we think like dead rocks. How in the world are we not moved at what’s happening right under our nose? Martin Luther once said: "When I'm angry I find that I pray better and preach better."
There is a principle in revolution that holds true to this day. You can’t change something until you HATE it. I believe that the institution launched an anti-bitter campaign many years ago for this very purpose. As long as Christians are fearful of becoming bitter, NOTHING will change. We will continue to sit emotionally unmoved at the spiritual torture of our brothers and sisters until we decide to break free from this ridiculous lie.
Moses murdered an Egyptian, he was so angry. Samson took the jaw bone of an ass and killed thousands with it because his people were being abused and bound. When David heard the boastful words of Goliath against His God and people, he killed him and decapitated him. When Saul heard of how the Ammonites wanted to gouge out the eyes of his people, he “burned with anger” and slaughtered two oxen and sentthem all throughout Israel, telling the people to come together and fight. Over and over, history has proven that until someone gets angry, the wheels of change remain locked.
I had a man write me an email the other day and ask me to look into my heart to see if I’m not bitter at the institution. I looked, and he was right; I was angry. Now I would like to ask each Christian to look into their hearts and ask themselves why they aren’t angry over what’s happening. I honestly think that this is the question of the hour.
There is a difference between being bitter at the harm the institution caused me, and being bitter at the institution because of the harm they have caused you. I can heal from any wrong that was done to me. My bitterness is NOT on my behalf; it’s on behalf of all the millions of people who are being spiritually abused week after week. My anger is on behalf of God, whose Name is being defiled and lied about throughout the world. These things infuriate me because I love both people and God. If Christians aren’t angered over what it taking place today there is one reason; they don’t love people.
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