I know that I don’t come here often anymore. My absence isn’t due to any lack of interest but to an overwhelming demand on me of keeping a medical practice alive. It is this strange world created by the Affordable Care Act where I am faced with an incredible demand for my services but no one pays us. So I work as hard as I possibly can ever day seeing patients, some who have waited months to get in. I start early, I work through lunch, I take no breaks and finish in the evening. At the same time, while not paying myself at times, we are constantly facing bankruptcy, which drains what life is left in me out. I know that I can’t continue like this and I hope that I can have a life again. Completely market driven health care or totally (European style) socialized medicine is far better than the current hybrid. To get the insurance companies to sign to ACA, they were given the freedom to brutalize small independent medical practices and to pay us nothing for doing excellent and hard work. But I digress.
I have noticed that any time I talk about church here, a lot of people come to visit. So, in this brief moment I have to myself, I wanted to say a few more words.
I want to first make sure I distinguish between the body of Christ and the human institution and enterprise of church business. To tell them apart I will use Church for the body of Christian and Khurch for the human production.
I realize that many supporters of the Khurch believe Church and Khurch are one and the same. I beg to differ and maybe I will talk about later.
I will also say that I am part of a Khurch right now and plan on staying part as far as I can see. I also realize that there are many Christians for whom Khurch is essential to the way they live out their Christianity. There is nothing wrong with that and I support them whole-heartedly. I would never suggest that they leave. However, many more Christians have completely left the Khurch and feel so guilty about it that they feel they must also leave Christianity too. It is to those people I speak here.
My main point, if there is one, is that there is freedom to leave and to still be a Christian. I also want to be realistic and say that leaving the Khurch is not easy nor is it safe. It is a little like diving off a sinking, burning ship, into waters that are filled with sharks.
The sharks in the water are individuals, many of whom I think have some sort of mental illness such as a personality disorder, who want to create their own brand of Christianity that puts them in the center. These types are dynamic leaders who attract people and then abuse them. It is the same thing that has happened inside the Khurch for centuries but it is unfettered outside the discipline of a good Khurch. Be weary of them. I started a house church once, or maybe I should say house Khurch? Five couples came and four had a devious agenda of a perverted Christianity. It is here that I do appreciate those early Khurch fathers who tried to watch these wolves in sheep clothing and . . . stone them maybe.
I’m going to jump to another barely related point and that is the strange phenomenon of the deintellectualization of the Khurch. For a very long time, thanks to Plato, it was believed that true spiritual form for a Christian exist outside the material. The material included the brain and human factors such as science and history. After I attended a group at my present Khurch that was charismatic, seeing everything in black or white, demons or angels, I decided to create a group that thinks and deals with the reality of the real world. I led this group for most of this year. I am happy that someone came. It drifted between 3 and 10 people. But my point is, this small group was seen as quite strange. We took on topics such as the history of western civilization and what do Christians do with that now. Lastly we took on mental illness and the proper Christian response. In the old small group they would have said that all mental illness is personal sin or demons. In my group I divided it into the three pronouns of personal, second and third person. The first person is where I do make choices that lead to mental illness. There are not many examples of this except to say, out of the blue I decide to become a substance abuser. The second person (more common) is where someone abuses the hell out of you when you were a kid. Then as an adult, you are left with a lot of baggage. The third person is the sin of Adam (fall of man) and how it has impacted nature with flaws . . . including genetic flaws that make our brains work in harmful ways, such as depression or intense anxiety (that was not caused by second person sin as mentioned above). My time is up and I must go.