I Was Healed
I have always been allergic to hypocrisy, pretentiousness, and any kind of disingenuousness. Therefore, shortly after college, I became a member of a very serious church for nearly two years.
I say “serious”, because this church was a beacon of humility, sincerity, and devotion to the Bible – and only to the Bible. The people had no higher priority, and they invited everyone to hold them accountable.
I was able to catch a glimpse of a possible future utopia where everyone feels an intense level of trust, hope, fulfillment, and joy and a total absence of fear.
It changed my life.
To this day, all other churches seem like hypocrites by comparison.
However, I only caught a glimpse of utopia because this beacon of devotion and humility was at the same time a beacon of legalism – they really sweated the small stuff.
They were thus at a dead end. There was a cap on their potential. In this respect they were like the mainstream Church of Christ from whom they had evolved.
Their primary innovation was that accountability was enforced through a military style chain of command (hierarchy). Did I mention that I also have always been allergic to hierarchy?
I once asked one of the leaders: “In a single word, what is it all about?” His answer was “Obedience.”
I said, “Love – It is all about Love.”
Needless to say, I was soon thereafter swept away in a purge of the less obedient.
I had nightmares for a couple of years after that. Then recently, 20 years later, I had a lucid dream where I revisited my old church for a dinner party. I was feeling unusually confident, and I was anticipating a joyous experience.
When legalism inevitably appeared, I stood and defended the victim, and I saw that my boldness gave the people hope. When the rebuke came, I was suddenly … inspired … and I spoke:
I was really hoping this place had grown.
It has not. It may be even more legalistic than before.
(I was getting up to leave. The people looked at me eagerly.)
can help you.
will help you.
(As I began to wake, I was saying:)
Your potential is greater than this.
You can love more than this.
The truth is more than this.
The truth will set you free.
Truth is reality.
The promise of reality is freedom.
Fear of reality is the root of all evil.
Fear tempts us to proclaim, “There ought to be a law.”
Fear tempts us to betray.
Fear tempts us to condemn nature.
I am healed.