This post has been churning inside of me, begging to come out onto a page.  
I'm never entirely sure if what I'm thinking upstairs should actually be written
Or if I should just ruminate in my own head, and move on.

The other day I was reading a certain blog.  And I was loving it.
I mean, what's not to love?  This woman writes about God, family, and raising crazy little kids.
She's real and honest and I love how her personality comes right out on the page.
(Without a hundred interruptions from sponsors needing air time)
It's like she really gets it, ya know?  How kids are so cute and fun one minute, and they turn into a mommy's worst nightmare the next.  How you can actually enjoy life in spite of the oreo cookie stains on your white chair.  I was thoroughly engrossed in her super-enjoyable writing style.

UNTIL.  Dontcha just hate when that great bubble of comfortability is popped unexpectedly and the whole gorey truth just pollutes the air.  
I read her post on homosexuality and my chin dropped to the floor.
About how it's not sin, and how she will not only tolerate but support her kids if they ever choose a different lifestyle.  About how she'd wear a rainbow colored t-shirt just to celebrate who they are.
About how Jesus doesn't love us any more or any less for our lifestyle.

My insides were just churning.  And I got on my righteous indignation face.  
I took a couple deep breaths and left the moment pass over me. 
Take the good, Joleen, and weed out the bad.
But how does this really work out in those of us who are called to be Christ followers?
This thing of not calling sin what it is...SIN.
Of preaching a gospel of love and tolerance, because-as the all famous excuse states-
Jesus loved sinners and hung out with them.

I'm not really sure just how to get this all out, except to say:
Ya'll, love is the issue here.  Tolerance is not.
Love is saying, God created you in His image, but right now you're not walking in it.
Love is definitely no excuse for sin.

This other gospel of love and tolerance being preached is so messy.
Sounds so neat and tidy, like it really does come from the heart of God.
Like it really could all make sense, and maybe I've been blindsided all along,
Thinking in exclusivity and not believing with an "open mind".
But really, folks, would I allow my kids to steal in a store, because really, it's not sin.
Or will I allow unkindness to be a part of my kids' daily relationship with each other,
because really, they haven't killed each other, so it's not that bad.
Tolerance allows things that are not right, to be endured, in the name of love.
Like I tolerate the neighbors cat pooping in my yard because I don't want to ruin that relationship with my neighbor.

Love on the other hand, says, your behaviour (etc) is wrong, you need some repentin' going on, Here's what you gotta do to get it right.
And it's giving the needed encouragement, support and constructive discipline
To get that issue back in the light of Jesus.
Back where Truth dwells.

So, I'm here to say, sin is SIN.  Let's call it what it is.
Let's love each other, yes, let's do it.
But let's not sugar coat what is corrupt in the name of tolerance and "love".
And let's review a little from Romans 1, shall we?
This chapter deals with the very issue of homosexuality and whether it is/is not called that
"Bad word--SIN"
But I'm not letting you off so comfortable yet,
Cause there's a lot more than just this issue to discuss here.
No, you may be very uncomfortable till this is all said and done.
You just may get a little warm and having a little color crawl up under your collar.

We're not going to restate all the verses here, you can find yourself that well-worn Book
On your nightstand and read the verses for yourself.
But do start at verse 18 and read to the end of the chapter.
And let's take a look at any logs floating around in our own eyes, to clear our vision for
Jesus to use His Spirit to speak to us.

When I read verse 21, I was completely blown away.  And my conscience started working
In over-drive.  That's a good thing, to be convicted.
My way of knowing that God is very, very near in the moment.
And I'm about to experience some kind of break-thru.

Here's verse 21 in the Amplified (and I'm going to take the liberty to amplify a few of the words here, on my own):
"Because when they knew and recognized Him as God, they did not honor or glorify Him as God or give Him thanks.  But instead they became futile and godless in their thinking (with vain imaginings, foolish reasoning, and stupid speculations) and their senseless minds were darkened.   vs. 22   Claiming to be wise, they became fools.

The reason my conscience began to bite at me,
And I suddenly no longer saw "mrs. blog-lady's" speck (even tho, I'd still like to think it's a bit more than just a speck, but 'come off the soap-box, already')
And started to see my own log,
Was this:  the Holy Spirit revealed to me just how quickly I could get
From this point (A) to the point of acceptance of sin (B).
All I need to do was get comfortable in point A, knowing and recognizing God
(check back at that verse, again, and you'll see it right there)
Which is a good thing, even noble.
But move on.
If I STAY THERE and don't move on to HONORING or GLORIFYING Him
or give Him THANKS ,
I'm toast.  Black, dry, crispy, unsavory TOAST.

And I'm guilty.  So, so guilty.
I mean, come on, isn't it a little hard to honor and glorify Him or give Him thanks
When life just isn't all that and a bag of chips?
When the kids are puking, the van tires are bald, and you're about to lose your sanity
From the stay-at-home mom syndrome.

Or, or, the hard stuff.
The days when you're in bed sick, or you're waiting on the dreaded phone call from the doctor,
Or your grown kids won't talk to you anymore,
Or the flowers are still drying over the fresh dirt on the grave.

Yep, even in those moments, we've got to honor, glorify and give thanks.
Because when we turn to ungratefulness or dishonor for the One Who Truly Loves,
We've started the slow (and maybe at times, fast) spiral
Into becoming godless.  "claiming to be wise", with all our crazy excuses
For not living in Honor.
We begin instead to emphasize the "experience" and not the Creator Himself.

Take this to another train of thought...
What about everything "good" we've put up in front of ourselves
Professing to be godly.
Here's my examples and here's where, even I, am starting to get uncomfortable
And the color is starting to creep up MY neck.
What "righteous issues" do we set up right there next to God.
You know the ones, "cleanliness is next to godliness"
Or (I'm getting real uncomfortable now) for Charismatics who
Are so focused on getting to "the next level in prayer, worship, you name it"
That they have made that an idol to achieve, rather than honoring, glorifying and thanking God
And allowing Him to move them further into communion with Him,
And if He doesn't give them another "experience" to still honor, glorify and thank Him.

Oh no, you're not off the hook yet.
What about the Mennonites, who can so easily set up "church standards" to levels of
"next to godliness".
Or the Baptists who think if you've had one drink, you're hell-bound.
Or the....   Or the....
You fill in the blanks. 
But let's move beyond denominations and their "godliness".  What about yours?
What's your hang-up?  What's your "next to godliness"issue?
I'm seeing mine, and 'what the sam hill', it ain't pretty.

But before I get swept any further in, and end up with crazy theology
About sin not being sin
I'm going to turn back the clock, gain some kingdom time
Because I don't need this ship to sink under the weight of my idols
And everything I professed to be wise.
I don't want to be taken in by anymore vain imaginings, or stupid speculations.
And I sure don't need my kids growing up with a twisted view of what love is
Or what God tolerates.
Because there are so few of us left, us Christ followers, who want to live in Truth
And not back down from it, in the name of Tolerance.

And just as a side-note: my list of blogs that I love just got shorter.
It's not worth the time, ladies, to read "good literary content" only to find your self
Blindsided, and short-changed.


  1. Great post:) I didn't realize you blogged:)it was fun to read back over some of your posts!!

  2. Your thoughts are good!! Really Good!! But sadly I'm forced to comment on the first paragraph where oreos are mentioned. Pretty sure they'd match the ones on my little girlies shirt. So, this is me apologizing for my daughters issues (and gettin' your kids off the hook! :)
    Love your blog, btw, I'll be stopping back!

  3. Haha Rachel! I totally didn't even actually think about the oreos on my actual chair. I just know it's a daily occurence here for any and every manner of food to make it's way to the living room, whether it's allowed or not. You know, finding enough food smeared on your upholstery to serve a picnic indoors. I'll go check out those oreo stains right now, and wish you were here to make more, cause I'm still distraught that we didn't spend time together.

  4. Joleen, this is good stuff! I love the way you turn the thread, pick up hearing from God, allow Him to look inside of you, and yet you never lose the original thread and then wrap it up at the end and tie it with a bow!
    Do you know someone who can rap? I could actually see you rap this. When we were at One Thing, this amazing group did rap and it was teaching stuff, hurled at us so fast it was just shooting truths, like yours and it made a great impression. Try it! -Harvey

  5. Harvey, me--rap? You've got to be out of your ever-lovin' mind! If I'm gonna rap, you're playing the bongo drum to keep me at a good beat. We could be quality after-glow entertainment.


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