Denver: In a twelve year study of articles, a book, public speaking, music including playing, singing and broadcasting about our life and times, Regroup International has come to the sad conclusion that many people are somewhere floating on a "life raft" of the Dead Sea. Jackson Browne sang it: "I'm gonna be a happy idiot and struggle for the legal tender," a portrait of a lifestyle that starts with pretending to be something that we were not made to be. Operating somewhere at sea- and "get up and do it again-Amen." The idea of living in denial, caught in escapism; bursting out in anger; and going through a personal great depression is by psychological definition, the grieving process. The acrostic of hanging on for dear life in the midst of The Dead Sea, a body of water that ebbs and flows within itself- needing a person willing to dig a tributary. A way out is hard to find, and the flowing within is more like a washing machine that won't drain.
The Apostle Paul speaks to the issue of a key denial that in Denver and other major cities men and women have not come to grips with:
Denial: "If it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can you say there is no resurrection of the dead?' Paul writes to the in Corinth, that was struggling as many of our churches in Denver with the message of hope of everlasting life in a culture of death. (1 Corinthians 15:12) Regroup International is a new group of men and women who are drawing up mission maps to bring hope; peace; love and joy to people who need to regroup starting with perspective. Paul could be addressing world class media centers in New York, London; Glasgow, Montreal, LA or Toronto and Rome. "And if Christ was not raised; our preaching is useless- and so is your faith."
Escapism: Corinth is as notorious in escapism that perverts God's plan for marriage; sex; drugs and legalism as East Colfax is in Denver; and Times Square and eighth Avenue are in New York today. There were child sacrifices as the abortion mills like Planned Parenthood are now. There was substance abuse as ritual; and there was promiscuity that included homosexual; adulterous; and human sex trafficking. The underground and not so underground world is like many of our major cities and Paul calls them on it! The house church in Denver is a safe place where people who struggle with "escapism are welcomed." Participating in studies of peace and justice Regroup International finds that peace is often redefined to mean "tolerance and meeting demands rather than helping people to understand one another."
Anger: Lawyers are the cause of major breakups and breakdowns in our community. "When the message is get pissed; sue them and walk away," as the answer to relational strain; it is alarming to see whom and what influences our main issues and when you do the research, legalism at home, church and community provide lethal doses of bridge burning destruction than climate change," a legal expert from Regroup International asserts. "Writing- off people because we don't agree with them is the second cause of anger," in our grieving process. The escalation of anger also comes from name calling in the middle of demanding rights the Regroup study has found. "Many are people who have felt disenfranchised and since they disrespect God or deny His existence; they justify their lifestyle to force tolerance," the report states. "When people believe in gossip more than the Gospel," we escalate anger and depression.
Depression: The fourth pillar in the grieving process is often depression. The best anti-depression is to study Biblical Truth, get involved with people in relationships and to reach out to people who need help in our city. An outpouring of joy is something that springs from a reality and fact check of Biblical truth, systematic practice and living an evangelistic lifestyle. "There is nothing wrong with going through the grieving process," says a psychologist and Denver area counselor. "It is indeed a healthy part of the mourning process." "It becomes unhealthy, she continues, "when the cycle continues without counseling or intervention."
The Advent of Hope
Regroup International reports that "re purpose of life" is all about naming solutions to our worldview, and reexamining God's promises as a reality in our lives. "When Paul writes to the church, he is saying that there is no logical reason for disciples to turn back and suddenly become evangelical, in the midst of being scattered at the arrest and crucifixion of Jesus Christ," a theologian from Denver Seminary tells DEE. "That is unless they encountered the resurrected Christ!" There was no logical reason for Paul, known as Saul to give up his Pharisaic role of persecuting Christians, unless he encountered the risen Christ. And this is why he clarifies that "And if Christ has not been raised; your faith is futile, you are still in your sins..." The answer for denial is the preparation for the advent (coming of hope.) In our case it is being ready for Christ's return.
The great escape thwarted by peace
Escapism is thwarted by the scripture that "no temptation has overcome you, that you cannot handle." The promise is that God gives us a way out. Sadly many are caught in the escapism of substance abuse, sexual sin, and other addictions. Few are immune to addictions, but all can overcome and have a way out. Religion is one of the addictions that can be overcome by authentic relationship with God and our community. This can be found in the same letter from Paul and it is encouraging to note that we are overcomers. (1 Corinthians 10:13). Peace is understanding and it surpasses human understanding.
Pressure cooker averted by love
In a culture that has executed more than 50 million children in 40 years, it is hard not to be angry. At a time where wars, weather; and climate change have rendered us ineffective in stewardship of what God has given us to take care of, frustration turns to anger. And at time when mad men and women are so angry that they take the lives of innocence at schools, malls, and work-places, it is hard to see an end to anger. Fox TV Host Mike Huckabee says it best, "It's all about the greatest commandment to "love God with all your heart, soul and mind, and your neighbor as you would like to be loved." All of the other commandments hinge on those two.
36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[a] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b] 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Matthew 22: 36-40.
Regroup International is adamant that all issues of the grieving process can be intervened on the basis of what Christ called "The Greatest Commandments."
Poured our joy- The anti-depressant
"What is harder," the report asks, "to sink into clinical depression or to count persecution, or believing this truth that "we all must sleep," but the "body sown in dishonor; but raised in glory, it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power, it is sown a natural body but it is raised a Spiritual body." (1 Cor. 15: 39-44). These are the findings of Regroup International, who have the pulse on the Biblical facts, the scientific evidence of systematic theology, and the heart to reach out to their communities with evangelistic prayer and care for our life and times.
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