Saturday, March 25, 2006

An Open Letter to My Enemies

First of all, a disclaimer:

“Enemies?!” you say? Oh yes, enemies. Believe it or not, there are quite a few people out there who really don’t like me and to the point where they would align themselves in direct opposition to me, my ministry and even my family. But are these folks just sinful, wayward unbelievers without a clue? Nope. They are self professing, Holy Ghost filled believers in the Lord Jesus. They go to church and they pay their taxes. By all accounts they are good people. But they have a dark side. When they don’t like what you do, what you stand for or what you believe they actually “pray”, to God, for your destruction. They secretly hope for the downfall of your life, marriage, ministry and family. They “believe” for you to commit a grievous sin against God. Why? They want what you live and stand for to be discredited. They want to be right more than anything, even at the expense of your wife, your kids and innocent unbelievers that your ministry may affect.

I know these things because, when pressed, they will let you know what they really think of you. You see, I’m very confrontational. If there is something under the surface, I go after it. And when I go after it, I find all kinds of disgusting stuff. If you can get them past the point of being polite and really invade their private world, they will let you know what’s really on their mind. They have actually said things to me like, “I pray to God that you commit adultery!” or, “I pray that you get sick and die of cancer!” I even had one very sick individual gloat when my one week old daughter was hospitalized for a kidney problem. Why? Because it showed this person that we weren’t perfect concerning healings and miracles. They were actually happy that our daughter was sick because it “proved” their point that we were wrong concerning healing. Once again, these were all professing Christians who go to church and “serve God”.

So what have I done to rally a mob of angry “Christians” against me?

I’ve taken a stand against impotent, powerless Christianity. I’ve dispensed with the pleasantries of “Churchianity” to pursue Kingdom Christianity. I’ve let go of all the excuses for why they don’t get healed, repented before God and asked for grace and mercy so they can get healed. I’ve stopped “trying” to serve God with an outward show and now serve God out of my heart with the grace given to me. I’ve stopped pretending to be nice and started getting real. I won’t pretend to be your friend when we’re not. I’ve cut all of the unproductive relationships out of my life. If you aren’t pursuing God, I’ll drop you like a hot potato.

So what’s the fruit of my lifestyle? Almost daily I get the privilege of seeing the power of God in action, Sinners are saved, the sick are healed and the Kingdom of God is advancing with POWER! Miracles are the norm. Churches are being planted, new believers are being discipled and demons are being cast out. It’s exciting! But that’s not what this is about…

Here’s the letter:

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To My Enemies,

I love you.

No really, I mean that. I’m not just saying that because Jesus told me to. It’s authentic. I really do love you; and for a variety of reasons. Yes, your scowls are unsavory. Your gossip and slander sometimes really hurt. Your "white witchcraft" and “prayer” curses, while not very powerful, sometimes get through and sting a bit. They are especially unwelcome when directed at my family. But I forgive you. You don’t know what you’re doing. For I’m sure that if you did, you wouldn’t keep on with what you do. Yet, in spite of all of what you do to me, my family and my ministry, I love you.

I love you because you are an ever present reminder of what I have come out of. Every once in a while, I’ll attend a religious church meeting just to be reminded of the games, the gossip and the religious politics that I have escaped from. You remind me on an almost daily basis what it’s like to hope for and not have. Your lifestyle is a landmark to me of what not to do and where not to go. I remember playing make believe Christianity and it’s because of you that I haven’t forgotten. You keep me sharp and on my toes. Whenever I start to “coast” I get a friendly little reminder from you in the form of gossip that snaps me right back into reality.

I love you because your ministry provides the contrast to make mine look really good. You see, when I meet unbelievers or burnt out Christians, it’s always because of religious people like you that I have something to offer. When they have been fed barrels of religion, just a teaspoon of the life of God brightens their eyes. When they have been given excuses as to why God won’t heal them, all I have to do is give them a demonstration to get their attention. Your social, feel-good Gospel makes mine seem all the more radical, and I appreciate you for that.

I thank God for you. You make me feel alive! You remind me that I am standing for something, in stead of falling for anything as I once did. I am energized by your gossip and slander. I am motivated by your curses and backbiting. I am moved to action by your accusations. The name-calling especially gets me going, my resolve is strengthened and I am determined to serve God with all of my heart and prove you wrong. Every miracle, every healing and every salvation is a testimony against you and your “ministry”. I like you because you make me laugh! In spite of your colossal personal failures, you somehow manage to find something wrong with the “way” I do things. I have to say that I sincerely appreciate your creativity in fault finding, it is truly awe inspiring.

I’m sorry, but in spite of your best efforts, my marriage, my family and my ministry will continue to blossom and produce good fruit. We are immune to your disdain and we are insulated against your witchcraft. We pray heaps of blessings upon you and thank God for you daily.

Because of you, we are truly blessed.
Ryan & Family


6 comments:

Prince Valiant said...

Preach it Brother! I love you man. You brought Words of Life to Newnan and demonstrated the LOVE of CHRIST. Keep up the good work!

Your Brothers in Arms,
In Christ Jesus,

Howard Jones
SONS OF THUNDER

Nikolaj said...

Thanks for the reminder. Keep spreading the light. And brother, don't get bittered!

Tim Urberg said...

That letter says it all, may God continue to work His mircles through you!

Anonymous said...

Hallelujah brother, it is a command to love those who dispitefully use us. Praise God! There are more with you than against you brother! Keep Christ The Hope! alive! and continue to demonstrate The Matchless Love that Christ exemplifies. Be the example for the body that God has called you to be. To Hell with all condeming spirits! Amen?

N8Thom said...

Ryan:

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARGH!!!

Bless you, man. Keep doing what you're doing. You know in your heart you're doing the right thing, and this brother knows it too.

See you there,

N8

Anonymous said...

i feel ya. my pastor hates "churchianity" and preaches, teaches and manifests kingdom and is vilified as much as he is honored. it still baffles me that "christians" can try to tear down the brethren that are obeying the word to "be" the manifested sons of God. i guess they just want us to be the pew warming disciples of satan. keep ya head up. you are obeying God and you have an army of brothers and sisters that God is raising up that are doing and learning to do the same. you are NOT alone.

katrina