Sunday, 15 December 2013

Isaiah and Jeremiah are Contagious (the writing style)

1   Woe unto us, oh brethren!
2   For we have turned the fear of the Lord into a terror of being judged by other men,
3   We are proud of our shame; we clutch it to our breast as a mother clutches her newborn babe to her teats, and we suckle it all the day so that we may take pride in how it has increased and grown.
4   We have turned unity into narrowness, and durst not join ourselves to other Christians, lest we be mistaken by others as being no more righteous than they are.
5   We do not love.  (Not even as men measure love.)
6   Behold, the Lord is doing a great work in us, but we will have none of becoming it, and will not  do it, for we know not exactly what it shall be; we say "he is an austere master; him we would not anger."  And so we do our own work and call it his.
7   We are not servants of the Lord. We choose to follow men, and to give lip service to the teachings and traditions of the sons of men, even unto the seventh generation.
8   We bury our talent in the ground, lest another man judge us.  Every one of us has hid his light under a bushel lest our brothers see it and mock at how small a light it is;
9   We are full of care about the smallest of things, straining at a gnat, and do not let him care for us.  But when those who have the rule over us ask us to swallow a camel, we do so, unthinkingly.
10   We sell our lives to false shepherds who do not spare the flock, putting ourselves under their power for our whole lives so that we may be sheep forever, and never young lions, eagles or men;
11   We imprison our hearts and sell our birthright, the liberty we have in Christ, for a bowl of ancient manna and long-dead maggots.
12   From our ecclesiastical battlements we spy the naked worship of others, and lo it is beautiful; therefore we fire arrows at her and pass laws in our own palace that it not be seen among us, despising any who dance before the Lord.  We teach that worshipping the lord is to lie as still as a dead man, and to keep silence among the tombs, in our chains, railing upon our brothers who walk free before the lord.
13   We leave with the Lord what he has left to us to do for him, yet we do not wait to see his salvation when it is imminent; we do not wait for him to do any great thing, for we have no faith that he wills to do so.  "The Lord delayeth his blessing of me!" we say.  "How long shall he tarry?"
14   We do not trust in the Lord. We say unto him "Why hast thou made me thus?  There is no wisdom in it at all."
15   We will not live as who the Lord has created us, neither do we allow the Lord to be himself in our eyes, nay, not in any of our dealings with him. We are hypocrites, professional play-actors, playing characters, even in a play we have written, filling it with our own foolish imaginings.  And the part we have written, even created for the part of our creator, is one he will not consent to play.
16   We will not lift ourselves up and stand on our feet like living men.  We crawl on our bellies in the dust from whence we came, and to which we will return. We eat dust all our days.  The breasts of our wives give forth dust and not milk. Our children are clothed in dust.
17   We have been called forth from the tomb, but wrap our bindings around us, saying "Yet a little slumber, yet a little folding of the hands to sleep; death is upon us if we only wait for it.  Oh, ask us not to come forth, for we have put our burial raiment upon us and cannot rise, our bodies have been washed for the grave and so we cannot walk."
18   We are a valley of dry bones, singing piously about our deadness and our dryness, unwilling to rise up.  Smiling we say "Sing unto us again that song, yea even that song about how it is the last days, how it is a time of weakness, and how we are all dead. We like that one." We shut the door fast upon us; we sing and hear stories and neither go out, nor bring any man in, for it is death in there, and there is no water for them, but only dust. We lie in state, as if we were dead kings.  We rest in the peace of dead men, though we have not lived lives.
19   We bite and devour one another in endless disputings as to whom among us is least, that our shame may be victorious and justified; we are destroyed by each other, bloody with wounds.
20  We cannot hear sound instruction, but follow foolish fables, cunningly devised myths and admonitions to not repent of what we collectively are; we tell tales of how our fathers failed to do various things before us, and yet were humble about it.  Whose faithlessness we follow.  Who sold us into slavery to cruel men.  Who haul us before the church magistrates. Who banish us to far countries, to other churches, and make prodigals of us all.
21   We preach another gospel.
22   We have turned our father's house into a house of slavers, selling the freedom of his children to any who is rich in legalism, closed-heartedness and ecclesiastical ambition; we will turn our children over to any man with a scourge.
23  The lord is the light of the world, but we will have no light shed upon the private doings of our assemblies, for our deeds in them are oftentimes evil and merciless, so that women are forbidden to look upon them; we are the ecclesiastical offspring of church vipers. We the dead judge the living, and we turn away repentance.  The lord is not our lord.  We walk paths of suspicion, spite and darkness in the assembly, though he is peace, love and light. Nevertheless, we claim his presence and say we are surely his true children, even the fruit of his loins and the offspring of no other.  We are the children of who we serve.  Selah.
24   We are loved from heaven and yet we will have none of it, declaring ourselves unworthy, saying that the lord of all heaven is wrong to love us.  We turn his love into an occasion for shame, changing blessings into guiltiness.  We are like one who turns away from a glass and straightway forgets who his lord is making him.  We invent evil so that we may deny good.
25   We insist upon a form, an appearance of godliness, but reject any manifestations of the living power of what is godliness indeed; we are whitewashed tombs rather than mansions in the country of the lord.  We hold only dead men's bones.  The laughter of a child is cut short in us.  The children of the fathers have gone forth and will not return unto them.  Stillness descends.  Selah.
26   We know how to do good, and do it not; we do what is not of faith, and to us it is sin.  We are ignorant of Satan's designs, and we serve them. We are devoured daily and know it not.
27   We judge outer appearances, and not the inner things of the heart; we memorize the scriptures so that we may make others look wrong with them.
28   We are respecters of persons, saying to a man wearing a tie, rich in lofty doctrinal knowledge, "Sit thou here" and to a man in a bright t-shirt, newly discovering the light of the holy scriptures, "Sit thou there. Perhaps a different church....?"  We schedule everything and say "Surely the Holy Spirit hath done it!"
29   We do not hope. We have not tasted his blessings, but we have judged that the lord is not good.  We have failed to earn his generosity and so we will have none.  Our lives are not finished, and yet we have judged them already to be vanity and vexation of spirit, emptiness and pursuit of the wind.
30   We bow down to ordinances: touch not, taste not, handle not, see not, purchase not, download not.  We do this so that we may have our shame, and clutch it greedily unto ourselves.  We love our shame.  Above all things, we hate joy and rejoicing.  It does not go unpunished among us.  We buffet our flesh with scourges of shame for tiny pleasures, and forgive ourselves ecclesiastical iniquities the Whore of Babylon would blush at.
31   We do not restore those we cast away, judging life to be simpler when they have gone. We hide from one another. We shut our doors and quietly sing hymns of death and dust.  We have made the house of the lord into a tomb.
32   We live lives which deny mightily that we are one body, one church, one faith, one hope and one baptism, so that we, yea we only may claim to be the true and obedient servants of the lord;
33   We will not be hot nor cold, but mandate and revere lukewarm, stagnant tepidness, teaching that being so is the will of the Lord and is a delight unto his mouth.  We spit on those who have fervour and passion.  We laugh at them that weep and weep at them who laugh.
34   We are fat and filled with vintage translations of scripture, which we belch in the faces of the hungry without feeding them simple food they can eat, without giving them faith, hope and love, as we have none.  We are fat with with vivisected scriptures, puffed up with prophecy charts and bible knowledge, and cannot rise from our couches.
35   We love to have the preeminence.  Woe unto us!  We have our reward, and our reward is dust and shame, which things we love. 
36   Who are we to scourge and reject ourselves, whom the lord has loved, yea even accepted as his own?  Awake, oh fearful sleepers!  Arise from the tomb, ye exhausted dead men, and ye shall find rest! Cast off thy burial raiment and the lord shall clothe thee with glory!
37   Seek ye the lord.  Those who claim to have found him already cannot be seen to seek him.  Seek him, oh my brethren!  Repent of thy collective ways, for they are a snare, a trap, a pit. Follow paths of seeking and ye may meet him in the way.  He speaks through the mouths of babes, beggars and drunkards yet forsweareth the company of the mighty, the pious and the devout.  So go out, therefore, and seek him.
38   For if we turn from our ways and seek the lord to love him, if we trust in him to seek us and be a rewarder of them that seek him, then surely we will sit down together with him and we will eat and drink and be filled with one another's company.  We will talk and we will sing and we will have rest.

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