Posts Tagged ‘Anne Jackson’

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Who do I call on to affirm or witness my declaration of faith? Do I have the confidence to call on God, “the blessed and only Ruler, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords,” to corroborate my story each day? And yet, that is the only witness that counts. That’s part of the faith agreement.

I Timothy 6:13-14a
In the sight of God, who gives life to everything, and of Christ Jesus, who while testifying before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, I charge you to keep this command [fight the good fight] . . .

There’s an evangelistic phrase that has been beat to death, “If you were arrested for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you?”

But of course, the answer depends on the human interpretation of our actions. And really, all those other witnesses could say what they want, there is only witness that counts.

I have been in enough churches or para-church organizations and observed a cloud of well-meaning witnesses crucify me and others for saying the wrong thing, for revealing a disapproved behavior or choice, for reading the wrong books or watching the wrong movies or listening to the wrong music. Once, my husband and I left a church only to discover later that we were discussed as having left the true faith by leaving that group and moving on to a different one. (Anne Jackson speaks eloquently of this in her book and blog, Permission to Speak Freely.)

Have I been guilty of being this kind of witness to others? I’d love to say I haven’t, but I know better.

It’s one of the reasons that gossip is so dangerous, it’s a type of witnessing, a “passing” of information with little concern for its accuracy. One of the curses of gossip for me is that hearing it or speaking it has given me the illusion of being on the inside of a matter. If I have “news” that no one else has, I am an insider. When I hear such news, I am being included. What a terrible sham.

I cannot go back, I can only go forward. Today is a new day and today, I open the gates of heart and ask that He be my witness this day.

Lift up your heads, you gates;
be lifted up, you ancient doors,
that the King of glory may come in.
Who is this King of glory?

The LORD strong and mighty,
the LORD mighty in battle.
Lift up your heads, you gates;
lift them up, you ancient doors,
that the King of glory may come in.

Who is he, this King of glory?
The LORD Almighty—
he is the King of glory. [Psalm 24:7-10]

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