Do you hear the groan?
I hear it.
I've heard it since the mid-80s when I began to realize I was a young and ambitious Pharisee. We (I) were driving souls away. On the same scale as buck Saul of Tarsus, we were killing Christians' hearts. We meant to. We wanted to. We were strong. It was they who were weak.
And now the moans.
We succeeded as we had wished. We drove them away. They had done nothing wrong but men like me pounded until they finally gave up....and walked away.
Oh, they said they needed to do this and were looking for that because they didn't realize what had happened. They had been killed in church. The law was brought in. The Spirit was disfellowshipped...and they all died.
Do you hear the moans?
I hear them.
I hear the strains of many we now categorize as lost in our communities; former members we call them. They are lost. They think the law church was as it claimed; the right church. But they moan for something about them could not keep up with the dutiful legalists. You know; women can't wear pants suits and they better not pray. You know; if the giving didn't happen on Sunday it was a sin. You know; three times a week is....well, we don't need to explain it further.
Do you hear the moans? I hear them. They aren't only coming from the masses who were driven out by church sheriffs. The moans also come from men like myself who hammered in the name of Truth without regard for love in the name of the cross.
To my shame...I hear the moans.