Psalm 86:11- Teach me your way, LORD, that I may rely on your faithfulness; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name.
During a boring episode of today’s training, I was distracted by self-reflective thoughts regarding the circumstances that have led me to the chaplaincy.
This isn’t just any chaplaincy job… this is Hospice. The Lord has led me to minister to persons that are suffering through their last days on earth, leading them gently through the valley of death and unto a hope of light and peace that lies beyond their last breath.
Falling into the chaplaincy wasn’t an overnight thing… For the last few years I’ve been going through a metamorphosis that has catalogued me both as a religious zealot and a liberal apostate, by both laity and clergy.
Yes, one could say that I’ve become a contradiction in the eyes of those who are not used to thinking beyond the externals of religious peer pressure. But if anyone should claim that I am a living self-contrarian, they should also admit that I’ve had good teachers from among the many who claim to be disciples of Christ, yet live contrary to His Teachings.
On the one hand, I admit that I am a religious zealot. I am an orthodox Christian. I believe in a Christianity that has long evaporated into the ethereal realms of old history books that no one ever reads anymore.
I am a zealous son of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. I believe that Lord Jesus Christ is the incarnate Hope of the Nations, and that the fullness of salvation is found only in Him.
I consider my opinions to be refuse in light of the Teachings of the Apostolic Fathers, and I concur with St. Paul, that all should be anathematized that do not love Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Cor. 16:22)
On the other hand, in the midst of the ocean of hypocrisy that I’ve had to survive, I’ve met wonderful people who love the Creator and who seek after Him with all their might, even though we do not concur dogmatically.
I have learned that although there are major differences in the externals of religion, that man’s spiritual yearning is synonymous around the globe. And greater still, that God meets EVERYONE wherever they are, through whatever creed they profess, and whatever culture they’ve inherited.
I have learned that there is a great chasm between “religion” and “spirituality.”
God is more than what your religion says… whether Christian or Hare Krishna.
The Bible teaches that GOD IS LOVE. (1John 4:8) No one can claim to love God while hating (or deprecating, or dismissing) his neighbor.
I guess this is why I was suddenly cut off from congregational ministry… and replanted as a Chaplain.