The Musings of Bek Curtis

Dark Horse Dahmer

Posted by on Jan 6, 2014 in Musings | 6 comments

Dark Horse Dahmer

There’s a reason I dislike and therefore write semi-regularly about judgementalism. I believe it is one of the most damaging blockages to our relationships and would-be relationships, especially for those of us who call ourselves Christians and are therefore supposed to draw people toward Christ with the light that is to shine from our own lives.

Let me start by saying, there is a vast and gaping difference between being judgemental, versus assessing the active behaviour of an individual to see if it lines up with the core values they may speak about.

In my very humble opinion, I believe one of the most dangerous forms of judgementalism is when it manifests as repulsion toward an individual or people group because of their sin.
Their sin just seems so different and so less palatable than our own.
Problem is, when we become repulsed by a person because of their sin, we fail to see their humanity, we fail to see them as people, we fail to see them as created in the image of Father God, just as we are.
This is just as dangerous as the sin we are repulsed by. It is a high form of self-righteousness, which inevitably leads to pride…. The very same view of oneself that led to the downfall of lucifer. “Woah, back up. You’ve gone a little too far there, Bek!”, you might be saying, but honestly, I doubt satan just decided one day that he wanted to be on par with God.

Pride sneaks up on us, one unfiltered, self-righteous thought at a time.

The reality is, EVERY SINGLE one of us has fallen way short of God’s glory (Romans 3:23).
Whenever I see someone whose behaviour repulses me, or I start to feel judgement rise in my thinking toward them, I remind myself, There but for the Grace of God go I.

I was listening to a song by Katy Perry recently, Dark Horse. It makes mention of Jeffery Dahmer, an infamous serial killer, who’s crimes are truly horrific.
I had never heard of him until this song. Yes, I must’ve been living under a rock. Yes, I learned a piece of history from pop music, who’d ‘ave thunk it?
Upon researching him, for the song had stirred my curiosity, I discovered that Dahmer had become a Christian whilst in prison for his crimes. Further research, super intensive research….via google, I know, sooooo in depth, led me to this site:

http://www.beliefnet.com/Faiths/Christianity/2006/11/Saving-Jeffrey-Dahmer

In this article, the Minister who performed Dahmer’s baptism, Roy Ratcliff answers one of the most common questions he gets asked; Was Jeffery sincere in his faith?
This is Roy’s answer:

….This question bothers me. Why question the sincerity of another person’s faith? Baptism represents a change in lifestyle. A person is expected to change after being baptized. When people don’t change, we begin to wonder. Why were they baptized? Did they did not fully comprehend what was involved?
I can understand those kinds of questions.
But Jeff’s circumstance was different. The people asking me didn’t know about his post-baptismal life. They were basing their question on what he did before he was baptized, not after. That bothers me.
Jeff was judged not by his faith, but by his crimes. The questioner always seemed to hope I’d answer: “No, he wasn’t sincere.” The questioner seemed to be looking for a way to reject Jeffrey as a brother in Christ instead of seeing him as a sinner who has come to God. The subtext of such questions was simple. They didn’t want to think of Jeff as a brother. Such ungraciousness is contrary to the Christian spirit.
Was Jeff saved? Were his sins taken away? Is he a Christian believer? Did he repent of his sins? Or was the blood of Christ shed on the cross somehow too weak, too thin, too anaemic to cover his sins? Did Jeff mean it when he said, “I’m so sorry for what I’ve done. God help me, I’ll never do that again”?….”

This should shake you up.
Now look, I understand that Minister Ratcliff is bothered by people questioning the sincerity of Dahmer AFTER conversion, but, I want to shake you up further….
What if, in an effort to move past our repulsion, we start to view those around us through the blood of Jesus Christ, seeing them for what they CAN be through a transformational relationship with Him, BEFORE they’ve entered into it…..whether or not they are yet portraying any glimpse of their redeemed potential?

Yes, this is an extreme case. Not all of us are called to ‘journey’ with serial killers as this Minister did.
But what this is, is the indescribable scandal of GRACE, that the dirtiest, filthiest ‘scum’ of society can be clothed in robes of righteousness and be called sons and daughters of God.

The people who stir within us feelings of judgement won’t reach righteousness through our lofty glares.

They won’t get there with our tuts and ’tisk tisk’s’.

They’ll start their journey to wholeness when we invite them along to journey with us, just as they are.
We don’t have to agree with, condone or allow their sin to impact us, what we do have to do, is recognise that something inside them bares the mark of our Maker and it’s up to us to introduce them to Him.
-Bek Curtis

 

6 Comments

Join the conversation and post a comment.

  1. Jane

    Wow, Bek!!! That was breath taking!
    I’ve come to the place of accepting people, not rejecting them just because my sin is/was more ‘socially acceptable’. You take it a whole lot further. I would like to emulate your example.

    • Bek Curtis

      Let’s be honest, I’ve not yet met a serial killer where I’ve had to put this into practice…. But through prayer ministry, I’ve had the opportunity to meet and pray with people who have walked down some pretty dark paths and done things that cause them deep regret and shame. Their stories don’t shock me, after all, we hear an awful lot, but once I look into their eyes, all I see is a picture of broken humanity crying out for redemption and the assurance that they’ve not gone past the point of ‘no return’, the desperate hope that maybe their sin is not ‘unforgivable’ after all.
      When you watch Father God meet them in that place and flood them with His love, reassuring them that they’re already forgiven, He was just waiting for them to come to Him, it is impossible to see them as unchanged. Their very countenance speaks of transformation.

      I now see people as, one Father’s heart encounter away from transformation, ’cause they are.

      • Jane

        One Father’s heart encounter away from transformation. I like that. My Pastor was speaking today about the church being a place where people have an opportunity to encounter God. We are to be God’s love with skin on. 🙂

        • Bek Curtis

          Haha. Yes, your pastor is right! The only caution I add (your pastor may have as well), is that we must never fall into the thinking (not insinuating for a second that you have) that ‘church’ is the only place for us to have transformational God encounters. Sometimes It’s as though some Christians are naively waiting for people to find their way to church where they will meet God. Others think they must invite people to church so that they can have an encounter there. I’ve been ‘guilty’ of this.
          Did we forget that Jesus said it is us that must go, meet people where they’re at & if the opportunity arises, let them encounter God there and then?
          Wouldn’t it be exciting if we all broke free from the fear of man and acted on the opportunities before us (talking to myself too!)?
          The harvest is truly ripe.
          The anointing strikes when we step!

          • Jane

            I agree totally.
            The sermon was the first in a series about our church’s vision. He was talking about the church as the body of Christ, not just a building. We, the church, provide opportunities for people to encounter God, to experience Him.

          • Bek Curtis

            Love it!

Comment Policy: Thanks for visiting. Feel free to camp out, it's warm, cosy and there's room for all. And that's how I want it to stay. So whilst I enthusiastically welcome and encourage comments, I ask that they be helpful and kind, and if critical, then constructive. If your comment is rude, or it attacks another individual, it will be deleted. Trolls and haters will be banned without hesitation, the definition of terms is left solely up to me. Thanks for reading, I look forward to receiving your unique input.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *