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The Satanic Lullaby

The Satanic Lullaby

This one is for my sisters and brothers in Christ. If you don’t share our faith, you are most welcome to read and join in the conversation. Just giving you fair warning these are the ramblings of an imperfect and continually questioning follower of Jesus.

Certain questions weigh heavily on my mind these days. Questions like, why are so many Christians going through life feeling beaten down, anxious, depressed, exhausted, overwhelmed and powerless? Why are so many of us uninspired and half-hearted in our pursuit of Christ? Why are American mega-churches packed with tens of thousands every week who file in to hear an inspiring message and sing their hearts out, only to file out and live lives that look strangely like the rest of our unbelieving society?

Please understand, any finger pointing comes right back to myself.  This is not meant to be an attack. More like a wake-up call.

These ponderings come in the wake of hearing stories and watching documentaries about some pretty crazy ways God is moving in countries where Christians are persecuted for their faith. Throw in some Francis Chan Letters to the Church and lots of digging deep into Jesus’ heart for the church in the gospels and the book of Acts – and I’m left feeling a bit dazed and confused. What in the world has happened to us – the church - along the way?

Photo by    Akira Hojo    on    Unsplash

Photo by Akira Hojo on Unsplash

Why do we pour millions upon millions of American dollars into building the latest and greatest facilities while half the world lives in extreme poverty? While 22,000 children die every day from lack of food? While sex trafficking of children and persecution of our fellow African and Asian believers and other horrific injustices happen right under our noses?

There’s a verse in Ezekiel that says “Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned.” (v.49-50) What? We blame it on the sexual sin and somehow secretly think they got what they deserved, but this hits dangerously close to home. The Message version says “She lived with her daughters in the lap of luxury – proud, gluttonous and lazy. They ignored the oppressed and the poor.” I don’t know about you, but I find that convicting and a little bit terrifying. 

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At the risk of sounding like a heartless attack on the American church, please hear my heart. I witness stories of life change happening through the church on a regular basis. There are some amazing churches in this country and some amazing pastors who, by the way, are asking these same questions. I love my church. I don’t think leaving the church is the solution. I don’t believe the American church is dead. I just think a lot of us are sleepy.

I read a fascinating article about the fastest growing church in the world. Surprisingly, it’s in Iran. And it looks nothing like church as we know it in our culture. It looks a lot more like, well, the New Testament. It’s led by men and women who literally risk their lives every day to go out into the highways and byways with the message of the hope of Jesus. They love so much and believe so deeply, they are ready to give up everything so others may know. They make disciples who go out and make disciples… and the church is multiplying rapidly!



She saw the possibility of death, prison and persecution in Iran as less of a threat than the satanic lullaby.


There’s a story within the story of an Iranian couple who had the opportunity to move to the U.S. After a few months the wife was begging her husband to take her back to Iran. “There is a satanic lullaby here,” she told him. “All the Christians are sleepy and I’m feeling sleepy.”

She saw the possibility of death, prison and persecution in Iran as less of a threat than the satanic lullaby.

Sadly, I believe she’s right. It’s hard to stay on fire for the Lord when we’re surrounded by so many comfortable distractions.  Friends, we are being lulled to sleep. And we don’t even know it. We’ve lost the joy of our first love. This makes me want to fall on my face and repent. It leads me to question, do I really KNOW Jesus? Or perhaps I’ve created in my mind an easy Jesus who tells me to only do the things I’m passionate about, to take it easy and stay safe. Forgive me, Lord.

“Jesus came to cast a fire on the earth

and I am almost certain He expects us to be part of the kindling.”                   

Macrina Wiederkehr

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Awaken us from our sleep and set a fire down in our souls, oh God!


Much love,

Jana

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