Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Be and Agree, Pt. 1 (Re-Post)


















On some level we're all connected and interdependent, which is why I've been teaching and talking so much lately about the power of AGREEMENT...remember Paul said that the eye cannot say to the hand 'I don't need you'...he used the metaphor of the operation of the human body to explain the mystery of the Body of Christ (where two are more are gathered together in My name), and the truth that we all totally need each other for survival and creativity...that being said, I want to underscore the fact that, even though the eye indeed needs the hand, the eye is still an eye, and the hand is still a hand...their agreement with one another doesn't morph them into the same thing (same DNA/different function)...

An important part of understanding the miracle of agreement and how to walk in it is learning and accepting the fact that your individuality or uniqueness will not be compromised in the process...that's why Paul went on to say, "you are the Body of Christ and MEMBERS IN PARTICULAR"...

You need to be connected, but you also need to be you...

"You're blessed when you're content with just who you are — no more, no less. That's the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can't be bought.” (Matthew 5:5 - The Message)


One of the greatest things about the Man, Jesus, in His earth-walk, was that there was absolutely no one else like Him ("Never a man spake like this Man")...Jesus reveled in His own uniqueness...that's one of the main reasons that He was always at odds with religion...religion discourages uniqueness in individuals, and fosters conformity...

Agreement is not conformity...

It certainly may include some compromise of ideas ("How can two walk together unless they agree?"), but never the compromise of the sense of self...there's a reason why Jesus chose such a diverse group of men to be His disciples...His choosing of them, just as they were (no background checks, no screening process, no trial period) was a celebration of their individual strengths (and weaknesses)...His only original instruction to them was "Follow Me"...

To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.
- e.e. cummings, 1955


Perhaps one reason that Paul grasped the concept of "members in particular" is that he, himself, was so very different from the other Apostles...they only knew the Christ through the pre-resurrection Jesus, the Son of Man...Paul only knew Jesus, the Man, through his post-resurrection revelation of the Christ...while the others went to Jerusalem, Paul went to Arabia, and eventually ended up writing the majority of the New Testament...

If you really follow his writings closely, you'll see Paul working through and learning to accept his own different-ness, while all the while giving us the greatest revelation of the Christ expressed through the unity that we have...

“But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them—yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.” (1 Corinthians 15:10 - Today's New International Version)


Paul did say, "Follow me as I follow Christ", but he also said "Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling"...that's where the balance is...that's where the harmony is...

Maybe I should sum it up with three words: BE AND AGREE!

Be in agreement, but be yourself...

Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else's opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation.
- Oscar Wilde


In other words...U B U!

To be continued...

8 comments:

Avatar said...

You need to be connected, but you also need to be you...
Agreement is not conformity

In the many communities I've been privileged to be a part of, secular and sacred, there has always been an undercurrent message of some kind of unhealthy conformity. Many times it could be traced to the leaders. Sometimes the "leaders" weren't actually the leaders, it was the group that lead, or a coalition of group members or one strong defacto leader. Whichever, there was agreement in the group to conform in that unhealthy way.

Thanks, Mom, for being one who had the guts to say "I'll apologize, but I'm not apologizing on the inside." You showed me to look for leaders and people who are real, when all the trying to fit in stopped working for me.

And thanks, Bishop and Pastor Debye, for building the tabernacle called CITN, leading with integrity, having the guts to be real, loving us in our weaknesses AND celebrating our strengths...and saying "Think!" And "Read it in context!" and all the real and gutsy things you say every day!

It's indescribable...the joy of finding a place where you can BE and "fit in"...Love all and worship God together... and have the hope of doing all that He created you to do...

Not1Lost said...

Wow! I read this then thought of what I put on your facebook page last night (before I had read this)... Talk about unity of the Spirit!!!

We definitely be agreed !

P. Dennis

Donald said...

Good stuff.

Erik said...

The Body and members in particular.

Thank you Bishop again for repost of clarity.

ALL are The Body and each a particular individual expression, or part. As designed and on purpose.

Conformity is an aspect of the anti-Christ. That is supported by many denominations, to conform and be anti-Christian, disclaiming the Christ made self identity. Dogmas, doctrines, and rites focus on assimilation of the independent self determined into the communal, or communist group.

As we have seen, even the political administration of China has debunked the communist manifesto, but denominations have continued to encourage, defend, and recruit individuals into communism. To abandon their individual beliefs and relationship with God to accept the communal belief and perspective of the specific denomination or religion.

These are extremists and terrorists among us. Sleeper cells of the uttermost, who are actually Us, Americans in denominations who support Communism of thought and diminishing the individual God in each of us to become the watered down, supposedly contained and controlled God of whatever denomination or religion.

God in each one of us, busts out every moment to celebrate each moment of each of Us, unbridled and alive in each moment of each of Us ALL. Uncontainable by ANY doctrine, dogma, rite -- by ANY aspect of The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil embraced by Religion.

clark kent said...

We can work it out...The Beatles

Ann Thomas said...

I have been realizing this uniqueness of self in recent days. I cannot understand why its shocking me, perhaps for too long I have tried to be like someone else and as for this "new person" I am having a hard time giving "them" permission to be......if I cannot agree with myself how I can I agree with another?
and yet just as butterfly cannot go back to being a caterpillar I find some caterpillar thinking going on in me..

can anyone understand what I am saying?

anthony said...

bishop this is anthony and althea samuels who you married we have heard some gassep and we realy sorry to hear but one thing for shore you no we love you and we are praying for and with you that god will carry you through this hard time so when you look back and see one foot step remember GOD is carrying you you are a wanderful man and we love you for you.hold on to faith.

mikenola said...

Pastor Swilley,

I ran across the story of your 'coming out' and the linked video on queerty.com this evening.

I wanted to say that I hope you are personally getting support from your true friends and "real" family, not just those that were "supposed" to be family by blood or law, but your true one.

coming out can be a difficult thing for everyone, but to be in a position of power and in the public eye adds a dimension for you that will cause many outsiders to negatively question everything they ever heard or saw you doing.

I sincerely hope you can weather that successfully and with grace.

To be upfront I am not a fan of "organized religion" and "mega-churches" of any stripe, including the Catholic church I grew up in.

That does not mean I am against religious people who live their lives based on the honest belief in the goodness of a god and who consistently treat others with love, dignity, and respect.

As Mohandas Gandhi once said:
"I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ."

I believe that to be accurate in too many cases in todays religious world.

I am personally linking that story on queerty.com to several sites and sending it to several on air shows in the hope they pick up on it. I hope that does not cause you any distress, but it is an important story in todays environment of hate and bullying.

It would be a powerful counter to groups like NOM, Focus On the Family, and ATAH who preach hate against LGBT people and command a national and international stage with their vitriol.

No matter how that turns out, I wish peace and good things for you and I hope your life becomes freer now that you are no longer denying a central part of your being.

Michael