Well, I know as I begin this rant, that I will most likely get a lot of response…I know some are already applying labels to me based on who I have been hanging around and what I have been saying…but to your dismay I am still moving on.
The thought that I have been repeatedly examining in my mind is why? Why this, why that? And majority of the answers I have received are because or other answers from within that says it has to be so. I get that we can only see from our point of view, only from our background and experiences in life. These shape who we are at the core, myself included. And this is where- Why is frowned upon.
We like comfort, we like security, we like things the way they are. There is nothing wrong with this mentality, it is a common trait in humans. But, the why, questions those things, and questioning things makes us uncomfortable, because it pushes us outside our comfort zone. Some of us are forced into this questioning, due to life throwing us curve balls. While others, engaging in a good book or movie, or even a chat with a friend, that brings our attention to within. This inward journey really asks who am I, why Am I, and what do I really believe? Because what if our little neat world, was structured and built upon things that maybe were not true, or even just a little off.
Some of you know that I am on a sort of journey, a new way of discovering…in fact the best way I would describe it is, experiencing Jesus. And this is where my questions will begin…Jesus from my understanding was one of the most tolerant people towards others of differing ideals, backgrounds, and race. Why are Christians defined differently?
I recently thought to myself, Christians always like to play the role of God, or the Holy Spirit. For some odd reason they think it’s there role to convict, to judge, and qualify who is going to Hell and who is not. This is not a biblical idea, again, this is the role of the Holy Spirit. Sure, we have been called to the world as disciples, but its interesting when you think what Jesus really asked of his followers. It was simple, it was love. Jesus, in the most majestic simplistic fashion sums up the entire Old Testament by saying, Love God and love your neighbor as yourself. And at the end of his ministry he gave one new command, Love each other…this is how they will know you are my disciples.
What I find interesting in all of this, is that love is suppose to be the marker by which we are known. I am currently hanging around with an individual who is seen as a heathen I believe, people have labelled him a number of things—those in the church anyway…when you think of what we are to be known by, I wonder what is wrong with this picture? What is driving such behavior, what is driving such pride and forcing fear on others? And Why are we doing so?
I have been reading a lot about fear lately, and honestly in my opinion, I would describe it as the opposite of love. The other day I was chatting with someone who use to be one of my youth students, a girl whom I love dearly, and she said she was not going to church anywhere, and I was thinking, there is another one. She stated that she was always being condemned, and all I was thinking was, hmm…another good example of Jesus right? In my recent conversations with real people, I have come to recognize a very familiar phrase, “I hate church people.” The very people who are to be defined by love, are typically defined by hate. We drive fear into others, instead of the world transforming message, that “Jesus is Lord and Caesar is not.”
This is called the Euangelion, the word used for gospel. Caesar was bringing the pax Romana (peace of the Romans), through violent warfare…Jesus on the other hand was bringing peace through love, and love defined so deeply that he sacrificed his own life while others hated him- Yet, this loving message is typically defined by fear, you are going to Hell…the only one who says who is or who is not is God. That is not our role…our role is to love.
And love is not the idea of words, it is about action. It is about doing for others, without being repaid. It is about the emptying of self, about looking in the eyes of other people, about seeing them for who they are…human beings.
There has to be a problem with our system of church, because if this is how we are suppose to be, I don’t want any part, because this is not Jesus. We have more knowledge of him and access to his word than any generation before us, but the very thing that should define us from reading his word, is sadly not the word I normally hear.
We are surrounded with different churches and denominations everywhere, with people from within attacking the other…they are too old, they are too young, they are to comfy, they are too legalistic, and so on…Again, where is the definition of love in that? I can’t pretend anymore, I am not going to be fake. I am looking for real, looking for genuine, and honestly looking for Jesus in others, not defined on their ability to recite scripture, but their ability to recite and show love.