Category Archives: Love

WON’T GET FOOLED AGAIN!

WON’T GET FOOLED AGAIN: Left/Right conspiracy theories

I was as shocked as anyone at the images and sounds of the storming of the Capitol. And I also share the sadness of those who have expressed feeling betrayed by Trump. Despite being a Canadian, I think I get it.

There is much that remains to be unpacked from the past 4 years, but in view of the political violence that is mounting by the Left against the Right, I feel the need to address “conspiracy theories.”

IS IT A PRE-EXISTING CONDITION ON THE RIGHT?

People are not “wired” to believe in a conspiracy theory, they are wounded into it. They are disenfranchised into it. They are discriminated into it. Their suspicion is founded on evidence of corruption and lies over long periods of time, and over serious matters directly impacting their lives. They have valid complaints and their pain is not imagined.

There is however a narrative that can exponentially worsen the feeling of alienation millions feel toward their governments. And the Left calls for extreme measures against Republicans is a clear reveal of their own conspiracy theories: they want to control the future of politics by destroying lives and careers, believing this will prevent any future political disappointment like 2016.

So the Left has created a scapegoat 75 million strong. And they have set a narrative embraced by otherwise lucid and mostly coherent people, and suddenly they cannot see people in front of them – only political enemies, worse: enemies of the State. And so the Left has become what it accuses the Right of being.

HOW DOES THAT MAKE YOU FEEL?

Sifting through it all requires time, grief, empathy and understanding. It helps if you have been taken into one yourself, whether in school, college, in relationships, work, church, etc. To free oneself from one conspiracy is not a guarantee you “won’t get fooled again.” And be sure of this: the Right sees the Left being hypnotized too.

Despising QAnon believers does not absolve the Left (and it’s “elite”) from its decades-long campaigns of loathing, public mocking and shaming and even economic warfare against the Right. Far from it. The Left too has some “beliefs” that are infantile, illogical, and that trigger street violence, murder attempts, pushes for wars, human civil rights inequalities, mob mentality and sheer nastiness.

Despising the Left and blanket-slander them ALL as being Maoists, Socialists, Fascists or Authoritarians, this only the mirror image of what they are doing to the Right. And there is nothing more primal, unevolved, immature than for adults to borrow those narrative and make them theirs, with the “action paths” that are presented to them, making them the instruments of a social-engineering clique at the top of the food chain.

They can pontificate and virtue signal as if they were ‘above it all,” or “better than that,” but very few actually come out and state how bad their own side acts, and how their “solutions” for creating a better world will actually encourage crushing the poor and disenfranchised, abandon the homeless, and generate even sharper and more damaging division, racism, sexism, etc. They just refuse to see it. But others do.

TAKE ME TO YOUR LEADER

So in conclusion, accusing and demonizing people on a political spectrum as being gullible is a denial of reality and doesn’t advance anything. Dialogue in humility, and passion, is the only path that will unite people of different political persuasions. Reading the “right” paper, or watching the “right” channels, laugh with the “right” crowd about the “wrong” one – that is infantile and irresponsible. If you think QAnon is dangerous, think about the Left’s response to it.

As believers (those who are) we need to – what was the term we used to refer to hospitality of soul – “hold space.” And politics don’t qualify us to be better or worse than any other. It is HOW we walk and TREAT people which determines if we have journeyed and matured in love’s fields of human sorrow.

Let’s first a third way, a better way. Let it be coherent with our love of Light and Truth, of our aspirations for a better world.

Peace and love to all, today and the whole year.

Here are The Who with Pete Townshend’s perceptively amazing prophetic song.

IN PRAISE OF HOPE AND THE MOUNTING GENERATION’S DESTINY

(This is about the American society, but could be applied elsewhere).

President Joe Biden is the 46th president of the United States. Yesterday was the inauguration. I skipped it, I avoided anything to do with it, but it kept me up all night anyways – I was missing something I needed in order to move forward.

Over the past 4 years I have done a lot of thinking, been confronted with and witnessed a lot of unfathomable hypocrisy, double standards, violence, pure evil and much despair.

As a survivor of childhood abuse, it took me a few decades to move from defiance and self-harm, to daring to expose abuse and confront abusers. In Anonymous groups, there is a saying about making amends, which for me is also implied for other situations: “…except when to do so would injure them or others.” This awareness of possible harm to others is for me like the tiger on the rescue boat Pi Patel finds himself on in the Life Of Pi movie.

Being that my values are a mixture of Conservatism and Liberalism, I have good friends on a variety of political nodes (except supremacists and extremists). And I trust their judgment, most of the time, and I read their sources, verifying their claims and getting better understanding of their opinions, I do a lot of fact-checking, and I have some aversion for double standards.

Now, I’m a Canadian, so my opinion is worth what you decide it is worth. I have read and watch all I could stomach on America’s foreign policies over the past many decades. carry a deep-seated But for the past few months I’ve been holding on

Lately I haven’t been sleeping well at all. In the violent swirl of both hopes and rage on my timeline, domestic and foreign, I got deeply affected. I lost friends, motivation, and hope.

But REALITY does not stop moving forward, and the work is mine to find out how to put up my sail to catch the wind of change, so I would not be turned into a statue of salt.

So I decided to watch a replay of the inauguration, not for the politicians (stinky bunch, those), but to see THE PEOPLE’S HOPES being expressed, and not mainly their national pride.

And that is when I started to feel the wind again as I watched children, youth and adults join in expressing their joyful hopes and optimism and I pondered about that.

I thought of all the messages and video footage they have been exposed to, all the lies, the statements, the slanders, the insults, the mockeries, the loathing and bickering. They were exposed to  political trench wars while their whole world is tilting due to the pandemic, the isolation, parents losing jobs and hope.

Yes there will be challenges ahead, some as serious as before no matter who would be in the White House. Those who believe they are getting away with their dark deeds, foreign and domestic, they are not. It is now part of their moral code, their conscience is seared, and there is a harvest awaiting them down the road.

But I was strangely rejuvenated by the presentations, real testaments to a survival spirit, to faith in the power of community. It strikes me how all of these were also declaring an oath: “We are here, this is our moment to shine, for our voices to unite and uniquely engrave in history – and in the hearts and minds of all those under the sound of our voices – our pledge to build a better country, to clean up, to reach out and to remind ourselves of our commitment along the way.

And I remembered that the act of letting go was the wisest thing I had ever done before in life when confronted with insurmountable challenges. And when it comes to deadly self-destructive addictions, there’s always a hook that keeps our souls bogged down, which has nothing to do with the reasons we give ourselves to indulge.

And letting go of these hooks – when finally made aware of it or of them – freed me to be transformed and fueled for a new season, a new destination. And I spent all night being pulled this way and that and wrestling to find a place of peace and freedom.

I arbor no addictions (25 years sober), but I have been operating out of the same old paradigms as before. “Dry drunk,” they call it. But I’m alive to pursue the work of healing and transformation unhindered by the constant sliding down the hill into the gutter as I used to. By God’s grace. Abundant and accessible.

So I don’t have to make sense of everything, I know I can’t. The game keeps changing, and it involves billions more people than the handful of rooks we elect in governments. I would have to reduce everything to the limitations of my own incomplete and flawed inner vision.

WHEN HOPE IS THE TRUE MESSAGE, it will radiate from the people who promote it. It will not be just a political slogan. I decided I needed to believe the people who believe in it: those who surmount ancestral grievances, those who are exhausted from seeing only one name or ideology occupying the whole space, those who have the optimism of youth to pull their generation forward with enthusiasm and boldness.

There is something pure and genuine rising from their messages. THEIR brand of hope is probably not the brand of hope of old political dinosaurs mixed up in all kind of shady dark room deals. They will figure it out. This is their battle now. I had my turn. Now that I’m on my way out, I want to support them, and their labor of hope, no matter the side of politics they choose as a vehicle (within limits). I want to be holding space for them to own their place in history, their destiny.

And I found out this morning that doing so in my heart, candidly, granted me a measure of strength I didn’t expect could be restored. How then shall I live? The same way that I hope – relying on grace, extending grace, and learning to love and be loved. FREE and creative, and hopefully having a guard at my mouth, God helping…

There’s music to be made, however. Like this… Some were moved by the poem. Me, I felt this “duet” was the crowning moment of it all. One in Hollywood, one in Washington, DC.

Peace,

Andre

The neighbor or the enemy? Love them both (Jesus)

Disclaimer: I’m a Canadian, with tons of American friends whose social media I read daily)

I’ve done a lot of thinking lately. It felt like I was reliving 2016, but from another viewpoint. And I thought… It could get worse before it gets better. And looking for voices of reason, I hear a lot of mixture, not all of it good. Not even a little bit. Hearts and minds are sent to different rooms to write their essays.

Instead of ramming Republicans still holding to their hope for a “proper count,” (independently from the partly frivolous claims – that’s on them, they’ll have to live with what they support or not), they defend their candidate for reasons you may disagree with (and often lack real understanding about in their context), do you ever stop to realize that they are part of the same body as you?

When you hurt them, you hurt yourself, and tens of millions with whom you share humanity and space, you trample their dignity and sacredness, you declare them unfit for life in society except parked in the boxes you design for them, hands bound so they don’t touch anything that would disrupt your illusory utopia.

But it is not only YOUR society. It is not only YOUR country. It is YOURS (collectively, and as a matter of stewardship and continuity).

So when you vilify their faith, their hopes, their reasons for voting red, you by the same token discredit the reasons why *you vote blue – you make it about you being better than them. You assign yourself a higher value, a superiority of mind and soul, you discriminate, and isolate.

This isn’t about clever analysis of someone’s mental health or fitness for office: I’d like to see any of us be president for a week… No, this is about paying attention at how far we go to justify the inner darkness that is being triggered from inside of us because WE may be denied what WE believe SHOULD be.

So who’s having a tantrum now? When you spend hours and hours, days and months banging that same nail, you do. When you fill the air with that darkness, while advocating for what you claim YOUR earthly kingdom would reflect of the heavenly king, believing YOUR perspective should be mandatory for all to follow your path, or else they will be stoned with public disgrace and stigmatized as Dalit – you do.

And the message goes to Republicans too. When you hurt Democrats (or Socialists), you hurt yourself. Some of you have been doing this to Obama voters for 8 years, and beyond. And now to Biden voters, and to those you have been told threaten the earthly republic you believe should be reflecting your view of a Christian country.

I’ve done that too. I’ve joined one side or the other in their criticisms, political humor, trying to get understanding and focus, yet falling for the comic relief at the cost of the humanity.

As long as we play these games of scapegoating, we feed these inner demons in us and others,  and we can’t hide them behind virtue signaling cleverness we practice in front of our inner mirror – they laugh at us when we do and call us “damn bloody blind fools, you are mine!”

Yes, we only fool ourselves when we add wood to the fires of fellowship of hatred, with sly and clever worldly humor. It’s a secret handshake, an admission password to the tribes of acceptance we created around the indulgence to an inner violence we justify by pointing fingers.

People without spiritual lives may have an excuse, temporarily, but we who claim to have spirituality and yet engage in these daily, hourly rituals, enabled by and empowered by the shotguns of social media, we’re revealing that we’re just the same as those we loathe: petty, short-sighted, mean.

Except that for us, “spiritually enhanced” human specimens, it is a choice.

Ponder that.

You have heard it said:
Hate your enemy, love your neighbor.
Repay an eye for an eye.

But your enemy is besides AND inside you…
The one accusing, is the one in need.
“Love your enemy, forgive, do good to him/her…
and you will be sons and daughters
of your heavenly Father.”
– Jesus

We can do better, but we need each other to clear up this mess we’ve made of heavenly things.
Peace and love,

André

THE SEX LIFE OF HETEROSEXUAL CHRISTIAN MALES

Since a very high percentage of those who come out and vent their (veiled) disgust toward LGBTQ are heterosexual Christian males, I thought I’d offer them some food for thought.
 
This blog post is not trying to “SHAME” anyone, but to draw the curtain on the other side of the “LGBTQ vs Christians” debate. In fact there isn’t a real debate, not a real conversation. I have repeatedly tried to point to this over the last year, since I myself came to realize I had only one answer: to belabor the same talking points over and over again. I had to repent and since then it allowed me to move forward in my understanding of God’s expectations toward myself and others.
 
So much obsession about sex, though… Could it be hiding something? Let’s explore that potential, shall we?
 
HYPOCRISY CRAZY SHMANZY
“A number of years ago a national conference for church youth directors was held at a major hotel in a city in the mid-west. Youth pastors by the hundreds flooded into that hotel and took nearly every room. At the conclusion of the conference, the hotel manager told the conference administrator that the number of guests who tuned into the adult movie channel broke the previous record, far and away outdoing any other convention in the history of the hotel.”
(Steve Farrar, ‘Finishing Strong’)
 
“I interviewed hotel managers about this when I was teaching in the sociology department at Univ of Virginia. All managers said that porn rates increase during conferences in general. That’s normal because they have more guests. A few admitted that it seems to be the same or a bit more when Christian conferences come to town. One manager was a Christian and he said a line I’ll never forget: “Unfortunately, ‘they know you are Christians by your…porn consumption’ is more truthful than ‘love’ when it comes to this.”
(Justin Holcomb)
 
In her book Sex, Lies and the Media, Eva Marie Everson recounts the following story: “My friend Jack Samad with the National Coalition for the Protection of Children and Families shocked me with the story of his attendance at a religious convention. The manager of the hotel where he had been staying noticed the posters and other paraphernalia he had carried through the lobby early one morning and then back in again later that afternoon. He stopped Jack and asked him what he was doing with all that information on pornography. Jack told him he was part of the Christian conference being held in the city. The manager chuckled. “Get real,” he said. Porn movies in our hotel are accessed at a higher rate during Christian conventions than at any other time.”
 
“With statistics showing that at least half of Christian men and 20% of women are viewing porn (see Porn Statistics) this means that the church, God’s people, are:
 
1. Funding the multi-billion dollar porn industry. Millions of Christian Americans are tithing to two churches: the church of God and the porn-church of Satan. We’re literally backing the work of demons.
 
2. Supporting the destruction of men, women and children. The U.S. is the porn producer of the world, and the church is paying pornographers so they can continue to produce more materials that will destroy the lives of the actors and actresses in those movies, and the marriages, families and children in every corner of society.
 
3. Corrupting ourselves. Our hearts are stained with lust and our marriages and families are paying the price.
 
4. Giving mixed messages to the world. On one hand we’re holding God’s standards for sexual purity aloft, while in the next we’re winking at the enemy. The Bible calls such people Hypocrites… Pharisees.
 
5. Dishonoring the Lord. What does our approval and funding of the porn industry say about God? Does it make the outside world question His power, or even His existence? After all, shouldn’t a powerful God be strong enough to free His people from sin? Or… is the problem that we really want our sin more than God?
 
6. Fueling the demand for porn. A big market for their product encourages the porn industry to ramp up production; more lives are destroyed.
 
7. Putting ourselves nearer to God’s judgment and discipline (or scourging, as the writer in Hebrews 12:6 puts it). Not a good place to be.
 
The above should make us sick to our stomach… angry…. and broken hearted. We’re destroying lives. We’re backing Satan’s work. We’re sending people to hell. A church does this when it refuses to take bold action and confront the truth.” (Source = Mike Genung – http://www.roadtograce.net/church-porn-customer/)
 
IS MASTURBATION A FORM OF HOMOSEXUALITY?
Technically, I am not sure, but to me it’s like marijuana is to stronger drugs – entry-level dive downward.
“In his book “The Sexual Man”, Dr. Archibald Hart revealed the results of a survey of some 600 Christian men, on the topic of masturbation:
– 61% of married Christian men masturbate
– 82% of these have self sex on an average of once a week;
– 10% have sex with self 5-10 times per month, 6% more than 15 times per month, and 1% more than 20 times a month.
– 13% of Christian married men said they felt it was normal.
– 77% of online visitors to adult content sites are male. Their average age is 41 and they have an annual income of $60,000. 46% are married. (Forrester Research Report, 2001)
 
AND THE MAIN REASON THE WORLD IS DISGUSTED BY CHRISTIANITY is NOT because so many Christians and churches act as holier than thou and cause people to live in depression, rejection, dejection, oppression and condemnation – although that’s enough to warrant running away – but mainly because of the way church-going Christians have a very hard time loving one another. For reals. And THAT is the ONE commandment Jesus gave us. And He added no condition to it: just go and do this, your neighbor is anybody in need you cross path with. Before we keep filling online threads about our superior knowledge of Scripture, let’s OBEY the commandment Scripture points to.
We can help reduce the amount of waste of relationships online, and encourage younger believers, and well-intentioned but misguided older ones, to focus on what is really important. Humanity is self-defeating, self-destructing. No one (1) sin is responsible for this state of affair, rather it is as old as the world is. It’s time we start saturating the world with a Christian love that moves beyond prerequisites for love and dignity.
 
Andre Lefebvre
21st Century Christians FB Group
Thank you to BlazingGrace.com for their article : “Statistics and information on pornography – internet porn and other forms – in the USA”
http://www.blazinggrace.org/porn-statistics/

BATHROOM BILL SENDS SOCIETY TO OUTHOUSE

HOW DID WE USE PUBLIC BATHROOMS BEFORE? As recommended by the manufacturers, and according to the law of nature: guys looking like guys used the guys’ bathroom, and girls looking like girls using the girls’ bathroom. As far as I know, sexual orientation is not a gender, so we don’t need a third option. BUT transgenderism IS a gender. Uh… what? Yes, indeed – they are either male or female. Now that this is out of the way, let’s consider a few brief things concerning the deafening conversation of deafs going on right now.

1- As I suggested in another article titled TRANSGENDER – NOT A DISGUISE, BUT AN IDENTITY,

“Aren’t we all people of contradiction? Yes we are. Still, something in me was restless, I hated not being able to move beyond my disapproval of the polarizing “politics of the gay agenda” which tries to impose its views through unilateral legislation, and equaling suspicion of – or actual – discrimination with being homicidal, pushing people toward suicides, or inciting violence toward LGBTQ, and the other side of the coin (in my case, Christianity) where Jesus teaches us to love one another as He loves us.”

“I’m nowhere near the sweet spot of walking in love as I wish I was, but I will never be ashamed of having walked this journey with as much integrity as I could muster, despite being insulted, mocked and ostracized by people who, for the most part, hardly ever took the time to get to know me. Ironic, isn’t it, that coming from people advocating equality…”

It seems the polarizing of positions has blurred which we defend: some Christians go around preaching purity and moral values, with a bazooka at the ready, and quickly re-armed, while some pro-LGBTQ preach tolerance with words of molten lava, and those who Are Christians may even call us non-Christians based on our performance in the area of social justice “cause du jour.”

The reason why that is? We get our cues from mob mentality, rather than common sense and courtesy. The lost art of conversation has been replaced with call-to-action slogans, intimidation and threat, insults, outright ignorant or idiotic narratives. The infamous bathroom bill is the latest proof of how much we need to take action to recapture the freedom we claim we fought for.

THIS BILL IS ABOUT THE STATE’S RIGHT TO DISCRIMINATE

QUOTE: “Does HB2 affect rights of people who aren’t gay or transgender?

Yes. The law limits how people pursue claims of discrimination because of race, religion, color, national origin, biological sex or handicap in state courts. The law also means a city or county cannot set a minimum wage standard for private employers.”

IN OTHER WORDS, if you are fired, or discriminated against, as a man, woman, migrant, Muslim, Christian, LGBTQ, teenager, child, etc., the law establishes the acceptable and non-acceptable behaviour of private persons and employers, AND IT FORBIDS local governments to impose different parameters.

READTHEBILL READTHEBILL READTHEBILL READTHEBILL
Before we get all tangled up in a “OMG! the gay agenda is being pushed again!!,” (I know – too late…) let us realize that it’s not the gay agenda in play, but actually a state legislated push-back against the gay activism, limiting the legal reach of local disagreement, the right of cities to have laws that are different than the State, as well other types of discrimination which would now have less power to oppose the State’s laws. Including wages, private companies regulations, racism and sexism, etc.
Time to THINK FOR OURSELVES AGAIN! How sad that we can be wiggled into outrage so quickly without applying discernment, and believing Christian leaders and the gay agenda narrative. Christians need to wake up and start thinking things through, and gently rebuke the lies. We hate lies, don’t we?

TRANSGENDER – NOT A DISGUISE, BUT AN IDENTITY

BECAUSE WE CAN MOVE BEYOND THE MOST OBVIOUS TO FIND THE MOST PRECIOUS, WE SHOULD DESIRE TO.
I knew it would happen to me one day. I secretly admired believers who seemed to have no barriers, or be animated by a more mature love than I toward LGBTQs. It’s been a long journey, and all I could do was to state over and over where I got stuck, what I knew to be obvious, testing my own opinions against a tide of contrary ones with both passion and frustration. Today, the dam broke for me. I want to express my gratefulness to Simon Wilson who broke my isolation with one sentence, without insults, on a Facebook thread.
 trans
I had wondered and was seeking to engage (again) in a conversation, to learn from those of the opposing view. Needless to say, my (debatable) delivery was almost all  that people could see. And immediately the knifes starting flying in my direction. But since when do I have to espouse all the thinking and opinions of one group of people I may share similarities with? Aren’t we all people of contradiction? Yes we are. Still, something in me was restless, I hated not being able to move beyond my disapproval of the polarizing “politics of the gay agenda” which tries to impose its views through unilateral legislation, and equaling suspicion of – or actual – discrimination with being homicidal, pushing people toward suicides, or inciting violence toward LGBTQ, and the other side of the coin (in my case, Christianity) where Jesus teaches us to love one another as He loves us.
 
I’m always shocked and saddened by accounts of violence against gays, youth suicides, substance abuse, excommunications, murders, etc. IT WILL NEVER BE OK. We all want to be understood. We all want to be the hero at least once. We all want a place of honor, to be welcomed, included, find a home. It’s no different whether we find ourselves on one side of an issue or the other.
 
I’m nowhere near the sweet spot of walking in love as I wish I was, but I will never be ashamed of having walked this journey with as much integrity as I could muster, despite being insulted, mocked and ostracized by people who, for the most part, hardly ever took the time to get to know me. Ironic, isn’t it, that coming from people advocating equality…
Going forward will follow the same pattern: being real, even if unpopular, accepting that I cannot go at it alone, and trusting that the Holy Spirit will drop drops of light on my journey in due time. As I believe He does for everyone. It’s a matter of responding to it, I think. And I’m saying yes to being changed. This is too serious.
 
I will respect the right of everyone to pursue the sexual partner they choose, that is not my place to legislate on that, although I do personally hold to the traditional man/women configuration. But I also will expect to be respected to not agree with everything having to do with that. And the freedom (‘sanity’ seems a more fitting word) to wrestle with my opinions and that of others.
 
In closing, I’m offering a glimpse into my past to set a backdrop to my own dilemmas, and the maturing process of personal opinions:
 
I was molested as a boy, and as a pre-teen, I cross-dressed once or twice as a teenager “for fun” (which teen hasn’t?). I had homosexual encounters as a young adult (wrapped in a spiritual meaning of some kind), I lived in Montreal’s Gay Village for about 2 years, but I never embraced homosexuality as a lifestyle, nor did I ever experienced desires for men. But when my first marriage broke-up, the first book I reached for was Leanne Payne’s “Crisis in Masculinity.” That’s my story. It has contributed in shaping not only my perspective, but I believe also my need to touch ground under my feet if I am to move into a different direction. Being sure of why I believe what I believe is as important as what I believe.
 
I also have experienced the dark and violent systematic hammering of the “political” gay agenda, while serving in a mostly gay university community radio, who for years has seen heterosexual males chewed up out of the station or out of a job, with a sizeable cost to these men’s health and energy, social engagement and even reputation. Maybe it is something that isn’t talked about much, but it exists. There is a powerful solidarity from those “inner circles,” I have been on the receiving end of it. LBGTQ are people too, some good, some not so good. Let’s not sugar-coat it for the sake of argument.
 
As this phrase came to me today while I started to find myself freed to stand in a place of grace I had never been able to access, I share it again here. “Transgender is not a disguise, but an identity.”
 
Transgenders are people too, no matter the side of God’s law we may determine them to be found by us. I have two words coming to mind: Jesus wept. And He alone can restore identities, and lives, in HIS time, in HIS ways.

Let’s guard against defaulting to the favorite slogans or one-liners published by the fear-mongering Christian Right (that one-winged evangelical agenda bird, flapping in circle) that is monopolizing the oxygen in the Upper Room, and let us welcome the Holy Spirit’s brilliance in giving us the light we need… for the sake of love.

Consider this. in closing:

 400x300_6_TransgenderMemory

Peace to you, hoping this was helpful in some way…

Andre Lefebvre

p.s. I write imperfectly. This isn’t a Bible book, but my own musings and sharing of my journey…

Where were my tears for the Middle-East victims?

Muslims, Christians, Jihad, Palestine, Peace, Death, Life, Forgiveness, Reconciliation

Since the last massive attack on Gaza by Israel in 2014, I have been very conflicted as an Israel-loving believer: I found that I was rationalizing a true massacre happening across the world from Canada, into an eschatological biblical frame that had been part of the Christian narrative for as long as I remember. Then I saw the images, I heard the cries, I stood in disbelief that I could have fragmented at this point.

brother and sisterI prayed that my eyes would be opened, and my heart to be softened toward the poor in this world, both those in our midst (look around) and those knocking on our doors (look abroad). I longed for the Spirit of Jesus to infuse me with His light and with His peace, so that I would not fear fear itself, but receive and give His peace, for He doesn’t give peace like the world does (through force, violence, bribe or compromise).

Compassion toward the Jewish people has never wavered in me. But something else had taken place with it, an uneasy blanket acceptance of any and all acts of violence committed toward the Palestinians for decades. Only recently have I started to understand the tragedy that was developing inside my heart and mind – I was seeing people as symbols, not as human beings. Tragically, that is something I had been priding myself of not doing, yet here I am…

So I started watching, listening, really trying to see things from the population’s perspective, rather than FOX, CNN, Al Jazeera, Hamas, Abou Mazen, etc. Certainly there has been much criticism toward Israel, but mainly in a right and wrong paradigm. However there is more to the situation than we could ever dream to partition correctly. I needed to plunge into the human experience, something impossible to do myself, but I could listen to others who had.

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