And yea, I shall be great upon thee. Yea, My hand shall lead thee unto great things, and thou shalt be a conqueror for Me. For I shall lead thee and thou shalt conquer the enemy, for he shall have no place to attack thee. For thy walls shall be built, and yea, he that keepeth his own spirit is as one who has mighty walls. And yea, thy walls shall be great, they shall not have cracks or holes; for as the enemy does go around your building, yea, your walls, he doth seek for cracks and he doth seek for holes. And yea, thou shalt have no holes, and he shall go on hopeless; and thou shalt be a defeater of the enemy. And yea, thou shalt lift up the brokenhearted. Yea, thou shalt be a repairer of the breach in the walls, for thou shalt have no holes and thou shalt be able to repair the breach because thou hast no holes.
But even as I have said unto thee before, and I say unto thee even this night, I shall say unto thee in the future, submit ye unto My Word. Let it set thee apart even unto Me. Yea, let it sanctify thee. Even this night it shall be given thee if thou wilt be submissive to My Spirit, if thou shalt go where My Spirit goes. Yea and thou shalt walk in the light of My Word and thou shalt know Me, and shalt know My face, and My hand shall be heavy upon thee.
Thus saith the Lord even unto His children here this night.
The above prophetic words were given on July 3, 1973, at a family Bible camp where Rebekah and I were spending our honeymoon. They are as alive and challenging to me today as they were then. These words belong to and should challenge every generation—past, present, and future. I write them down and explain their significance in my personal life in order to challenge others and invite them to become “Repairers of the Breach.” If the prophetic challenge rings true in your heart, dear reader, God has singled you out and you are called to be a “Repairer of the Breaches in the Wall.” A repairer restores broken relationships wherever he might find them, including those he discovers in his own life.
In previous epistles I have touched on unfinished and unresolved issues in my life; but I have done so from a place of woundedness rather than a place of victory. Today I write from a position of victory. I am a Jew by birth, Protestant by heritage, Catholic by inclination and Charismatic by the grace of God. But why do I tell you this? I do so for the simple reason that I am now asking you to make room in your heart for all of me: Jew, Protestant, Catholic and Charismatic. If you can do that or are willing to try, you are a “Repairer of the Breaches in the Wall.” If you can do that, you can help bring healing to the fragmented Church and many fragmented lives.
For many years I have known and acknowledged that Jesus is the Christ, yet I continued to reject Jesus the Jew and my many Jewish ancestors. That seems like an oxymoron to me now. But you will understand why I fell into such a trap. I was born and raised in Germany and did not immigrate to America until 1946. It is by the grace of God that my immediate family and I were able to dodge both the bombs that incinerated many German cities and the secret police that sent many Jews to their death in concentration camps. Immigrating to America was a dream come true. But one day that dream turned into a nightmare. A coworker in my department volunteered these words, “We have a great department. There is not one Jew in it.” I was wounded to the very core of my being. I was numb and speechless, and hid my Jewish roots for forty more years.
For forty years a wound festered that would not heal. I went through all the motions of forgiving the man who spoke those ugly words. Yet the anger, the fear, the confusion engendered by his remarks clung to me like Super Glue. But today I can look honestly and courageously at the incident. I can and must talk about it. I can and must write about it. And I now must challenge others to examine their own fears and prejudices. I am talking about some very ugly emotions that cannot be suppressed forever. Prejudice is a tame word that equates with hate. Eventually hate will culminate in unprovoked and ugly insults, insanity, suicide, murder, and wars. And generally, totally innocent bystanders bear the brunt of man’s hideous prejudice. The holocaust must never be erased from our memories or history books.
I have always believed that there is no tragedy that cannot be turned into triumph, no loss that cannot be turned into gain, no pain that does not conceal a gift. I am healed. I am healed because I no longer take such remarks personally. I am healed because I no longer need to hide my Jewish roots. I am healed because I am no longer angry at the man who insulted me. I am healed because I am no longer afraid. I am healed because I have forgiven, including myself for being a wimp. I am healed because I no longer need to hide who I am. And now I extend this same gift to you who have been wounded because of your God-given heritage, whatever that might be. I ask you to be proud and grateful for your heritage and your humble start in life. Do not be afraid to acknowledge your heritage. God did not make a mistake when He chose your parents, your country of origin, your social and economic climate or the religion your parents and ancestors embraced. Wholeheartedly saying “Yes, Lord” to these events over which we have no control is the beginning of healing. In other words, don’t be mad at God and don’t hide your roots!
Let me go on. There is more healing to come, and there are more fragmented relationships to be exposed, more walls to be torn down, and more walls to be repaired. What I tell you comes from my personal journal; but it could have come from multiplied thousands of journals. I am not looking for sympathy. Neither do I want to provoke anyone or ask you to take sides. But I do want to provoke change, a radical change in the way Protestants speak of their Catholic brothers and vice versa. No denomination has been given the right to lord it over another denomination. Those who do are as a stench in God’s nostrils.
For some ten years I wore a bronze crucifix. I wore it all the time. I only took it off at night. It was a very bold crucifix, about 3 1/2 inches in length. It weighed between two and three ounces. I had made a covenant with God to wear the cross come hell or high water. And hell and high water did come as a direct result of wearing not just a cross, but a cross with the crucified Christ. At the outset I felt very conspicuous and out of place. But since I had made a binding covenant with God, I did not permit anyone to intimidate me. I was reminded of the time Jews in Germany were required to display the Star of David on their clothes. That symbol became a death sentence for most Jews. By comparison, the crucifix I wore was a light burden.
Some people treated me with unusual respect, thinking I might be a Catholic priest, while others avoided me and sometimes made some very unkind remarks. “The crucifix does not belong in our church. Don’t you know that Jesus is risen? It’s time to get rid of that crucifix,” they would say. After a while I figured out what the problem was. Those who loved my crucifix and encouraged my wearing it were Catholics who loved their church. Those who despised it were mostly Protestants. Those who were most vehement and outspoken had at one time been a part of the Catholic Church. These people were especially hateful. I was able to deal with most of the abuse. I somewhat expected it and therefore was prepared to either deal with it or ignore it.
I am not wearing the bronze crucifix any longer. During an unguarded moment, a “trusted” friend took my cross. When I asked for it to be returned, he said, “I cannot return it. I have thrown it on the dump.” I wept bitterly. It was as if a sword had pierced my heart. After regaining my composure I asked, “Why did you throw my crucifix away?” He replied, “It reminds me of my Catholic roots which I have rejected.” How very, very sad!
The crucifix was like a red flag waved in front of a bull. Many people, like this man, have invalidated their ministries by lacing them with tons of resentment toward a particular individual, church or denomination. It does not take long for me to become aware of someone’s prejudice, whether the target is an individual, church, ethnic group, or political party. It might be good for us to memorize this jingle: “When you get to heaven, do not stop and stare, others will be surprised to see you there.”
The sword that had been plunged into my heart is now in my right hand and my writing hand. It is designed to expose the villain of prejudice and ignorance. I must now write and speak honestly, convincingly, and courageously about these painful events. I am now able to say, “I forgive you my friend, but don’t do it again if you want to sit at the same banqueting table with me.” We give Satan the legal right to torment us and others through us as long as we harbor hate in our hearts. The strong man in each of us, and we all have harbored at least one, must be exposed and bound before the breaches in our walls can be permanently sealed.
No one should accept the Gospel of Jesus Christ through our lips as long as we harbor prejudice. I am thinking of a particular Bible teacher just now and also a few churches whose hatred towards Catholicism is unmistakable. It pops out from time to time and greatly diminishes the validity of the “God-things” they do and say. Unless there is repentance, the destruction of these ministries is inevitable.
I am almost done. There is just one more cancer to be exposed, one more breach to be sealed. Now that I am healed of the injury and no longer take this incident personally, I can talk and write about it without condemning and unkind words. I mentioned earlier that I am a Charismatic. What that means is that I have asked for and accepted the gifts of the Holy Spirit. One of these gifts is the gift of speaking or praying “in tongues,” which I have done profusely. The “gift of tongues” seems to be the most controversial, least understood, least acceptable, most objectionable and most divisive of all the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Some churches and numerous mental health professionals have bashed this gift. Many have equated “speaking in tongues” with speaking gibberish.
My personal experience of “speaking in tongues” was outrageous and actually deserves public scrutiny. Those who introduced me to the gift of tongues cautioned me to use it only when I was alone. I had no idea that objections could be so strong that it was considered a sign of insanity by some. You may believe this or not, but one night as I came out of my prayer closet, an ambulance was waiting in front of our house to take me away. And it did, all the way to General Hospital in Los Angeles. The sad and inexcusable part of this incident is that both my pastor and a mental health professional equated the gift of tongues to “gibberish.” With that kind of odds, I didn’t stand a chance. After that incident the relationships with my pastor and my counselor were shattered. I had been betrayed by both. There was only one safe place now, “under the shelter of His wings.” (Psalm 91)
Don’t you think it’s time to rewrite our mental health textbooks? I would be glad to collaborate with anyone who is ready to undertake such a monumental and urgent task. I could make a substantial contribution to such a textbook if I were asked to do so. There are some major cracks in our walls. Yes, ignorance and prejudice are two of them. As long as we are unable to distinguish between who is sane and who is insane, who is right and who is wrong, we will continue to invent new ways to legitimately crucify one another.
It’s time to start over. It’s time to question everything we have learned so far. We need some far better tests and textbooks to determine who is sick and who is healthy, who is normal and who is not. So far there is no better standard available than the Bible. The Word does not change to accommodate our decaying values and morals. Whenever we deviate from the Word of God, we produce deviates.
I invite you to join me and be a “Repairer of the Breaches in the Wall.” You can become that “Repairer” by signing your name to this epistle and sharing it with family, friends, and anyone else you can think of. Do not let these words fall to the ground. You are welcome to post them on your web site or reprint them in your own publication.
“And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul, then shall thy light rise in obscurity and thy darkness be as the noonday.
“And the LORD shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones; and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water whose waters fail not.
“And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of paths to dwell in.”
Peter D. Laue
Jesus’ Crusader & Stretcher Bearer