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Tied To The Whipping Post

         For the few people on the planet who go through life as living a fanciful dream with no worries or pain, having all their desires indulged and living in a state of bliss, ignorant or otherwise, good for you.

         For everyone else, theres a reason people sing the blues.

         I subscribe to a few blogs that deal with the issue of abuse. The people who author the blog posts therein have been through some bad stuff. Those who read their blogs have a place to go to read of the plight of others and know they are not alone. I consider these people heroes for not being defeated, for rising up as best they can, and for trying to help others find healing and a new life.

         The people on this planet who have suffered terrible abuse by others—people who have no concern whatsoever of the great pain they instigate or the tremendous suffering they cause—know that this place we call Earth is not some idyllic wonderland. Their ongoing suffering and the memory of horrific events perpetrated against them tells them every day that we are all surrounded by enemies, acknowledged or not and perceived or not, and such enemies must be dealt with.

         This is why all of mankind’s cultures throughout history have created societal laws or a system of laws. Such laws were created as a form of protection, to keep people from engaging in crime against those who do not, and to bring justice against evil people who act out on evil inclinations and desires. Of course, since sin was and remains endemic to all, all had evil inclinations and desires, though not everyone acted upon them. People were still blessed with a conscience to know right from wrong, though many individuals destroyed their conscience through ongoing willful sin with no remorse.

         Ever since sin entered the actual idyllic paradise God did originally create, mankind became the enemy of mankind. People could no longer trust one another. Everyone was watching his backside all the time. Thus, families did their best to gather together and remain together, and even grow with the addition of new generations. They did this to create some form of community where the goodness of humanity might exist and prevail. If their law contained the law of love, they were often able to remain bonded and life became better.

         For the individual, though, it was pretty rough. And for those singled out for abuse not because they necessarily sinned in some minor way as did everyone else, but because they were seen as deserving of abuse because they were different, they had no recourse toward love and protection.

         To relate this to the present day, imagine someone giving their life to the Lord Jesus and thereby violating the family code or leaving the family religion. Though most people living in a pluralistic Western society might not understand the violent reaction often received against such new believers, there are real Christians all over the planet who understand it directly, as they are treated with such vile contempt they are deemed worthy of complete rejection and extermination. Their treatment is based on the laws of the society or religious culture. In other words, had the new believers not violated the laws put in place to protect the members of the society against other beliefs, they would not be treated so harshly.

         We see the same reaction in the West, of course, but because we have freedom of religion in places like America, one doesn’t generally get killed for choosing to become a disciple of the Lord. One still receives their share of outright hatred and rejection, however. If they come from a family that professes no certain faith, one that is largely secular in attitude and belief, then the new believer will be seen as an idiot for “getting religion” or “joining a cult.” If the new believer comes from a religious family, it is worse. And if the new disciple comes from a Christian family or group of one sort or another, they will often be treated the worst.

         Why? Because religion contains the worst laws. Religious laws are not based on love. They are not based on fairness or justice. They are not based on the best outcomes for individuals. They do not consider the individual. They have little to do with honoring a person’s heart, good intentions, or dreams. And most of all, they have next to nothing to do with assisting an individual in finding his or her place in the Lord.

         Perhaps this is why religions love large congregations of submitted “like-minded” people where individuals are perceived as mere faces in the crowd who toe the mark and never question squat.

         Unreal Christianity hates the Lord Jesus though it openly avows love and honor toward Him. Because it is counterfeit, the love of the members is counterfeit. Their concern for others is counterfeit. Like other religions in the world that do not take kindly to someone casting aspersions upon it or rejecting it, the members of one of the various forms of Unreal Christianity will only accept you into their group as long as you abide by the laws, precepts, and cultural understandings of their religion. Barring that, one must at least remain one of them in name (which qualifies as a form of honor), though one rarely practices or honors the unique rituals or specific observances and bylaws.

         But the worst thing one can ever do is leave and become a real disciple of the Lord. This immediately puts one’s former religion in a bad light. It puts one’s former culture in a bad light. It puts the members thereof in a bad light. And unless a new believer formerly hung out with a bunch of cool people who try real hard to love everybody and never judge anybody, and usually never make a big deal of someone moving on toward whatever they may seek, the new believer cannot help but suffer some form of rejection. It simply goes with the territory. Real Christianity demands a full commitment. By accepting the Lord, one must say adios to any group not subjected to the Lord to which he or she formerly belonged.

         If you’re wondering about the title of this article, the Allman Brothers wrote a song called Whipping Post forty-five years ago. The way I felt today reminded me of it.

         I saw them perform live in a former life. They were an exceptional band and their music calls to mind a better time when the country was a tad more idealistic. The members did not necessarily live according to Christian morals, and in fact were hell-raisers. But they sure made great music. I quit listening to their stuff a long time ago, but I listened to that song today for the first time in decades.

         I can’t be sure, but I think Gregg Allman must have been thinking of the Lord when he wrote it. Either that or he was influenced by someone else. Back then almost everyone still had Biblical knowledge to various degrees from childhood, unlike today. There was a respect for the Lord then, even among sinners. Whipping Post is about a strong man getting his heart destroyed, something many people can relate to.

         Returning to the narrative, the whipping post was a further place of the Lord’s suffering toward the ultimate place, before they at last offed Him and got rid of the Man who kept making them feel bad about themselves and their sinister little arrangements, both religious and monetary.

         The Lord Jesus had also in effect left His family religion, so to speak, and prophesied of His nation’s destruction rather than come to its defense as a mighty warrior throwing off the Roman oppressors. The ruling religious leaders hated Him for that and deemed Him an anti-Messiah.

         Toward that same characterization, He engaged in way too many diatribes against the clergyites of His day and nation who foisted upon the people a fake belief system, but one in which the religious leaders deemed perfect. He exposed them for their complete lack of love and mercy, and their insistence upon religious legalities. He railed against them for putting the people of His nation in religious bondage and forcing them to remain there upon fear of excommunication.

         Thus, when they finally got their chance at administering the deadly 39 stripes they exulted in it. Tying the Lord to the whipping post and watching Him get ripped was a turn-on for these idiots. No doubt they exclaimed, “You reap what you so!” and “Serves you right!” and “That’s what you get!” and “We tried to tell you what would happen but you didn’t listen!”

         Such hateful rhetoric just adds to the affliction of the abused, as if their innocence and righteousness was the sanction of their suffering. How many abused people are told their maltreatment is their own fault?

         The same ill-treatment generally happens to real Christians in one form or another at one time or another. Yet, if a real Christian somehow manages to live life without suffering such things, I am not questioning their standing in the Lord and never will, but there is the question of effect. The New Testament clearly reveals the suffering of saints at the hands of non-disciples of the Lord. Each had their own form of being tied to the whipping post.

         Paul had a contract on his life pretty much his whole life after giving His heart to the Lord Jesus. He continually suffered abuse way off the scale. It was as if his enemies believed him to be the worst enemy possible and they must eliminate him at any cost or be eliminated. Maybe they had a point.

         We know real Christianity always wins the war though it may suffer loss in various battles, and though it often looks just the opposite at any point in time. Since the lives of individual human beings are infinitesimal in relation to the planet’s history, it is no wonder few can behold the long-term trend of real Christianity’s success. Yet the Lord is a winner, always was and always will be, and will not be judged according to a flawed standard.

         It is not about numbers and never has been. If the Lord ends up with three people in heaven He will be happy. He blessed us all with a choice and the choice is ours, not His. He did everything for us that He can possibly do, and honors our free will and individual choices always. This is something mankind’s religions never do. Their protocol always involves force and fear, and trying to cram as many scared and ill-informed people into their paradigm as possible. The leaders thereof then use them and their resources for their own purposes which is all part of creating a religious elite and maintaining its power.

         Step out of line and see what happens. You could be directed to the nearest whipping post.

         Always remember, though, that the Lord survived the post. They killed Him but He didn’t stay dead. And because of the love and power He grants to His children in this world, neither do they stay dead, even if they’re still drawing breath. We know it is not easy, and for some it is very difficult. But there is always the strength made available to get back up, get healed, and live again. It involves using the authority on our part to love our enemies anyway, and forgive them, and pray for them. It requires being filled with the Lord’s strength and love, and an ongoing refreshing of the Holy Spirit.

         The Lord forgave His enemies from the cross. He had the same attitude at the post. We must do no less.

         “But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men.” [Luke 6:35] [1]

         Hang in there. Be strong. Love everybody. The Lord will see you through.

         © 2014 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

[1] Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.