Wednesday, November 15, 2006

is this the end, or just the beginning?

tonight it goes down. the process has continued and we are now at the point where a meeting HAS to be held by the church to discuss me with the congregation. shrewdly enough, i have not been invited to the meeting. and in inquiries made by erin as to whether my attendance is allowed she has been met with furrowed brows and hems and haws and statements about not wanting arguments. but... i'm still going to go anyway. i figure i have every right to know what is being said about me at the very least. as well as be available for any questions from the congregation so that they can hear what's really going on with me and not the skewed version that is going around.

but i have to tell you that i am really confused. i don't really understand the process that has been started. i have been told it has something to do with matthew 18 (calling witnesses and bringing a brother back to reason and whatnot...) but truthfully, i'm unsure exactly what it is i am supposed to be brought back to or from. i have always had the impression that truth and healing and growing fruit and sharing that fruit were foundational to our faith. and yet it is, in my world, for these very reasons that i am going through this. or perhaps because i desired to reconcile my two selves into one. you know... the two selves? your church self and your real self?

perhaps you do not have this problem. if you don't, i commend you. i hope it has been resolved in a fruit bearing manner. but for many, especially those who "grow up" in the church, we have two selves. because much of who we are is not acceptable inside of 'church culture', we come up with another version of ourselves to present to the church body. and when we leave, we can exhale and be ourselves again. i saw this problem earlier, at about 23 or 24 years of age, and tried to turn my church self into my real self. problem was that the more i made this rule-laiden life my real life and live it and try to make others live it, the more of an overbearing, arrogant, cold, distant, hard, insensitive, disingenuous, and unloving prick i became. having notived this about a year ago and being horrified when i looked in the heart mirror and saw that the person i wanted to become...the person i THOUGHT i was... was completely different from the person i really was as told by my actions and priorities. and not in a good way. i was a first grade asshole. don't get me wrong, i listened to christian radio, i listened to christian music, i DID read my bible every day, i DIDN'T drink or even go into bars... the list goes on. but it turns out, that doing those things didn't turn me into the person i believe god wants me to be.

so i took the other approach and decided to make my real life my church life and be who i truly am in my heart 24/7. this is what has not gone over so well. instead of putting up a front and continuing to be a LIAR, i have maintained that i am not perfect and that i am who i am right now and i'm not ashamed of who i am. i am a work in progress and i am not perfect, and chances are good i never will be. and i'm done beating myself up about that. and i'm interested in being with people and loving them and helping them to have better lives in the here and now. and being in a world where i can be who i am at any time, and whether or not people agree, they love me. genuine love. and they treat me in the same manner in which they want to be treated.

which i don't see much of in this situation i am going through. but because scripture "demands" it, people are doing things that they're hearts are telling them are wrong. because i don't think they know what else to do.

the biggest rift has come over how i came out to my wife with my pornography earlier this year. in opening up to her and showing her everywhere my mind and my thought life had been and WHY it went there, healing happened. it has been my upbringing in the church to fear sex and any sort of discussions about said EVIL topic. so in trying to understand my own desires and fantasies, i went to secret places and explored them apart from my wife. this should not have been so. i did it for fear of her reactions at me being vulnerable and sharing the things that genuinely excite me sexually. but i will never regret sharing these things with my wife and opening up with her so that i could explore these things apart from judgement and fear WITH her and not apart from her.(thank you, wonderful woman) and as a result, we have shared a much greater degree of connection and intimacy and excitement in our physical intimacy. apparently i'm supposed to "feel bad" about it and "repent" of being healed in an unorthodox way. and i flat out refuse. i'm not going to apologize for one of the best things that god has ever done for our marriage. and so, we have congregational meetings like the one tonight.

strangely enough, suddenly, i understand why the pharisees were so pissed off that jesus was healing on the sabbath. not because they were so cold that they didn't want people healed, they just didn't like how the healing came. it came in direct antecedance to their teachings. they couldn't see through the "law breaking" that was happening to see the hand of god at work. because they were convinced that god wouldn't break his own law. or at least, their human interpretation and life lived paradigm according to that interpretation that everyone had to adhere to in order to "prove" their sincerity and devotion to god. through this lens, jesus was an evil, evil man who needed to be stopped at all costs because he encouraged people to flagrantly, and unrepentanly, break god's law. i see no difference in the situation i am in here. whether it is a man whose withered hand gets healed on the sabbath or a man who gets healed by sharing his pornographic mind with his wife, the religious leaders are pissed about how the healing happened and want to deny god his due.

i'm not looking for a fight. and if i am asked to leave, i certainly will. and perhaps that's something people need to see. i just ask that you would pray for truth and healing to be abundant.


erin said...

jon, i commend you for your honesty and bravery in facing this rather unsavory situation. i have said it before but i believe it bears repeating. i know you are not perfect, and neither am i. far from it. we have certainly walked the path less traveled by on many occasions during our lives together. and i will admit it has been a tumultuous life together, filled with both joy and pain, but i am unwavering in my faithfulness as your wife. i have seen your journey and stood by you from the beginning (or as least as long as i've known you), and i have no doubt in my mind that you love god and want to let him do amazing (if unorthodox, and at times even scary) things through you and your life. i know you are not evil, dangerous, or on the path of darkness, but are simply unafraid anymore of revealing your true self against all odds snd despite all judgements from others. i have been and will continue to stand by your side no matter what happens at the meeting tonight, and i want you to know that you have my unconditional love. it is hard enough to stand up for onesself in todays world without facing ridicule from strangers, let alone from people who are supposed to love you and stand by you in times where the only thing you feel certain about, is that things need to change within yourself. i love and admire you.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure who met Erin "with furrowed brows and hems and haws and statements about not wanting arguments" but you are most certainly welcome to be with us at tonight's church meeting.

We wouldn't be in Matthew 18 without you.

Hope to see you and Erin tonight

Wendy ftfs said...

It's great to hear from you, Erin. You are Jon's helpmate and we get a fuller perspective when you join the conversations.

""in opening up to her and showing her everywhere my mind and my thought life had been and WHY it went there, healing happened.""

I wish more men would do this with their wives because this is where the sexes don't know each other very well ... we are made soooo differently. We understand each other in most other areas except this one. I was telling a male friend of mine last night that we women have such a limited understanding of male sexuality... and after another male friend of mine very tastefully explained to me how glorious men's sexuality was, I started to think we women have really been ripped off in a way ... but then someone on the planet has to be thinking without sexuality at the fore front... I think. LOL

LOL Is this the same church you've been haggling with all along or is this a different place?

What charges are you being brought up on this time?

The way they are behaving toward you it sounds like you are running a brothel.
You will probably be sitting in a room being questioned by men whose sexuality has a few question marks beside theirs as well. I know... I have seen the wandering, lustful eyes of many married men in my church attending life. Often those in leadership positions. That's how I have always known if a man's heart is pure in the Love of God.

Only the Love of God can make a pure heart.

Surely you desire truth in the inner parts; you teach me wisdom in the inmost place. Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean;
wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice. Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity. Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will turn back to you.

part of Psalm 51.

I will be at work tonight Jon but I am praying and will be thinking of you as I work, that the Lord will be the one to take over this meeting and all will be enlightened and His Love will reign.

jON said...

thanks erin for your words of support. thanks elderguy for your words of invitation. and thanks wendy for your words of wisdom as always. yes, this is the same church. and as to sexuality, i think woman have it much better. yet few men are patient enough and giving enough and few women are willing to explore their sexuality enough to discover their true potential. i mean, women are the only ones to have a body part with no other function than to bring sexual pleasure! not to mention the ability to have multiple orgasms in one session. staggering to me.

Wendy ftfs said...

How did the meeting go?

jON said...

i know you're curious. i'm working almost nonstop until next tuesday to make up for next week off for thanksgiving as we travel up north to spend time with family. hopefully i'll have some time in a couple of days for a full report.

A-Wix said...

I'd love to hear your recap over a beer. Maybe the Muddy Pig or some such place.