Saturday, February 12, 2005
Exiting the Matrix
X-ers hold a unique place in Christianity. Whether one's background is IBLP or some other Christian subculture that emphasizes individual performance over Christ's grace, we've endured a level of spiritual scarring--a hardening of the soul. Some of us don't make it, and they become the spiritual washouts, the reprobates, the backslidden untouchables. Others of us realize the problem was in the system, and once we exit the system, we begin the rehabilitative process of discovering God's grace for the first time.
But leaving the program is not enough. The residual effect of the indoctrination controls our perception of God in unhealthy ways. Freeing yourself from years of harsh judgment and performance-based Christianity is a messy process; it is often accompanied by rage, substance abuse, moodiness and long nights of inner reflection. Exiting the Matrix is not pretty. At times, our suspicion of systems of thought makes it difficult for us to assimilate truth. Which, of course, provides plenty of ammunition for those still in the Matrix to condemn the X-er. "He has left us because he was not one of us."
God's love is powerful, though, and eventually we discover the joy of a life redeemed by Christ.
For those of us who have unplugged from the system, there's no going back. Supporters of the system label this abandonment as "rebellion," "anger," "pride," and "judgmentalism." If we speak out against the system, we're told to forgive those who have offended us--to go and share how we were damaged. We're advised to move on and get over our hurts. We're frequently told that we're bitter. But you're talking bitterness, and we're talking freedom.
We're told that unity in the Christian world is more important than individual suffering. But since when was the program we left interested in Christian unity? Systematic conformity is more like it.
Our intent is not to judge people, but to judge error. And we make no claims of a special insight into Scripture or a unique connection with God that sets us apart from other believers.
Have we been hurt, misled and damaged? Yes. Are we healing and experiencing God's grace? Yes and yes. That's the ethos of the X-er revolution.