Friday, March 21, 2014

The skeleton in the closet

So I had a dream last night. I don't put much stock in what my crazy brain concocts, and I don't trust dreams over God's Word the Bible. But I had a very vivid dream in two parts that fleshed out much of what I have been working through in the whole Cult of personality at a certain Calvinistic mega church saga (please see my "on religion" posts for more information). Here is a basic dramatic summary. 

I dreamed that my eldest son and my husband were in a small town that for some reason had a little cabin you could rent instead of a hotel. We were passing through and decided to stay. We opened the door, and walked in. Quite nice. 

We walked into the bedroom, and a skeleton with ragged clothes lay on the bed!  We jumped in horror. Should we inform someone? Stay somewhere else? Call the police would be the normal thing to do. 

But we liked the cabin, though there were actually two hotels on either side of the corner facing the cabin. So as it is in dreams, we decided to do the abnormal thing and put the skeleton out of sight. We literally put the skeleton in the closet and sat down to eat and relax. 

The second half of the dream was scary. Two ordinary-looking men came walking into the house without permission. They saw that we had seen the skeleton. They turned on us and tried to hold my son hostage. They were fighting with my husband and he told me to get out and get help. 

I ran out. I guess I had my cell phone because I dialed 911. One of them started chasing me, so I ran into a mall and found somewhere to hide. I got on the phone and very emotionally told the operator where I was and that they had my husband and son. The operator was sending the police to help ASAP. With that I woke up. 

Why am I sharing this? Well, first, I don't put much stock in dreams, or in a guy saying he sees visions of people having sex. That says much about his psyche and little about his purity. 

Second, I do believe dreams are a God-given way of working things out. I read once about a scientist who was confused about something, and he dreamed about the concept at night and when he woke up, he had it all worked out. His brain worked out in sleep what he couldn't do with obsessing. 

Third, I do believe in the spiritual battle. I believe that my brain and God's Holy Spirit can work to show me what I can't work out rationally. These are mysteries. But in any case, an application of this silly story occurs to me. 

When a cult of personality and the mafia surrounding that person develops in the church, it is not the time to hide the skeleton in the closet. When abuse happens in family, we call the police, we tell the world what is happening lest it envelope us to our destruction. We cannot sit down and relax with a skeleton in the closet. At some point, the stench will suffocate us or the mafia will destroy us to hide the truth. 

We must, when faced with a skeleton in our bed, expose it, not hide it in the closet even though a crime has taken place. When evil has occurred, we cannot hide it. Otherwise, we are complicit in that evil and it will destroy us all. Even those we love. 

That, I believe, is what my crazy brain was trying to tell me. I have difficult decisions ahead. I cannot allow the bad to over-run the good. I do think it is time for accountability in large corporation-type churches, and as Toxic Faith (Arterburn/Felton) says, there is a time to exit immediately because (paraphrase) our butts in seats equal support for the leader. 

We must not support the continued hiding of skeletons in closets.  We must speak out without fear.  Expose the skeleton so it can be laid to rest. 

Or maybe I'm just crazy. 

The end. 

[edited for clarity 9/25/15]