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Forward or Backwards

November 13, 2022

“Produce fruit in keeping with repentance.”

Matthew 3.8 

A time will come when the wheat will be separated from the chaff. Even though I am a Christian, I denied this bare truth of the gospel. There was a point in my life where I was so rooted in oneness theology and in neutrality, that I believed this separation wouldn’t come until long after my lifetime, if at all. Oneness theology made me doubt Jesus’ own words, because deep down I didn’t really believe the Bible to be true. I was drowning in new age and occult teachings.

Now that I am 9 years sober today and see how my oneness theology nearly took me out of my program of recovery the past week, I realize I wasn’t believing in or practicing oneness: I was allowing a corroding thread in the fabric of my mental health and sense of belonging in my community.  

The problem is that my belief in neutrality made me susceptible to the damaging truth about my life that I thought I had neatly evaded. It made me believe that my trauma can be mitigated and managed with positive thinking and prayer alone. My belief in neutrality fostered the false adage that time will heal old wounds. Now I know that is not true. Time will merely put those wounds to sleep, until they are awakened by some aspect or another of this world that I thought I made peace with. This self-imposed naivety helped me believe and act as though there was no enmity between me and certain elements in the spiritual realm. In contradiction, I raised a white flag, presuming I was safe while telling myself there was no war and no danger.

I accept now that I am either advancing my recovery, or I am resting on past accomplishments that stopped bearing fruit when I stopped working, and from which I ate long ago. In disenchantment I realized there is no sustenance in trying to live on yesteryear’s recovery. Oneness theology placed me in a camp with people who don’t have life-taking trauma and who don’t need to take the action steps that I do, which kept me stuck in isolation and deception.  

What a painful but liberating revelation. And when I think about the worldly people I know, who I believed were “cosmopolitan”, but who I now realize are just plain corrupted, I regret the time and space I gave to their causes of neutrality which are clothed in the allure of fame, but strike like a thief in the night in their empty promises that leave people disenfranchised and confused.  

The wheat and chaff must be moved from each other, it is basic reality. One is life giving, the other is waste that must be discarded: there must be a separation of the two. In my hopes that I could will a world that required no tension, no sifting, no rejection, I sat passive while the enemy whispered lies to me that I internalized as self-hatred. No, there is no neutrality; there is only the decision to advance the gospel, or go back into a fallen world that wants me to conceal my trauma and painfully “make do” with the remaining time that I have left.  

Coming up to 9 years of sobriety and feeling and behaving like a newcomer was one of my most humbling experiences to date. In my efforts to remain in neutrality I kept myself small and hidden, because with nothing to stand for other than a false oneness theology, I knew I couldn’t defend myself. In my fears of having to stand up for the truth, which I know now is the judgement of God that is to come, I abandoned the truth thinking I was safe. I will never fully be safe in this world, not until Christ returns. Until that day, I must remain vigilant, and there is no longer any space left for passive neutrality.  

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