It’s natural. It’s necessary. There is danger that must be realized at times and to be avoided. Of course, the downside is we tend to believe that the danger extends to those around us of our ‘tribe’. Jack knows this is one of his obvious problems, is it yours too? Not physical danger but religious danger. We all have religion in us. After all, the philosophers on Mar’s hill centuries ago were religious too, as we all are. Every one of us. Paul of Tarsus was not successful in convincing these men of the truth of Christ. Why? Because they are just like us. Comfy in their own religion and not open to anything else. Well presented and truthful by Paul, but judged as wrong.

Jack has had a lot of experiences that can and have been judged by others. Is it your experience too? It isn’t too hard to see the response of incredulity and rejection immediately. A slight lift of the eyebrows or a small pulse in a carotid artery. Closure of the mouth slightly and an upturn of the head. The most obvious response is a crossing of the arms in front. Subtle, there are other ‘tells’ of emotion. You can see them if you get good at it. Oddly enough, they show when you lie too.

There are many subjects in conversation that trigger judgment, Jack finds the most reactions are those referring to conversations shared about communications from God, Lord of lords. Personal events of beauty and love. Especially if there isn’t any understood point, or worse yet, a prejudgment of himself as deceived or worse. As in Jack’s life, a judgment of doctrine or scandal in another church body or chain of faith. It leads to a loss, always. Jack has mentioned some mentors that have assisted him in his faith growth. Miracles of healing and visions while with old friends or where they were at the time.

The gossip usually goes on within and it is a ‘hot button’ often resulting in a total rejection of music written and sung. Music using scripture as a base as well! It is disappointing to Jack as he knows how he is being delivered from this what is called ‘discernment’. Jack has been a musical performer with folk music and country blues for a great portion of his life. A lot of songs that are not too useful in a faith gathering but this does not necessarily condemn everything Jack has done or will do. . Jack’s mentors of worship however, are shrugged off as soon as he mentions them or even exposes a sticker on his instrument cases. ‘Oh them’ Heretics, deceived people

Beautiful songs that bring tears to Jack and when Jack mentions them in groups or personal conversation some extraordinary things, miracles really that he has experienced; they are quickly ignored and put in the judgment bucket as the result of brainwashing or hypnotic occurrences. Jack has done this too and he is the lessor.

Think of how John’s Revelation was and is received. It’s similar in many ways. It is the way our life is supposed to be at times. Stunning to us and extraordinary to others. Why are we like this? Jack guesses it is his arrogance and belief that he is the judge of all things. After all, beasts with many eyes, a Man with eyes of fire and a burning sea of glass with infinite musicians playing and singing. Some folks even reject musical instruments.

Try and open up without the feeling of being dragged away on a sledge of sludge. Listen and look at something else, something that can have a lot of beauty and truth in it. Ask Jesus how he looks at these things, the song of songs which is dismissed as a fleshly song. Solomon was out of his mind and hallucinating perhaps? Actually, it’s pretty good. “I am lovesick, tell me if you find Him”. Jack Gator

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