I want to admit something to you. Maybe this won’t shock many of my friends, but in the last year I’ve had trouble reconciling my Christian faith with the love of Christ. Well, that isn’t exactly right. I’ve been having trouble reconciling my Christian faith with many (but not all) CHRISTIANS, and because of that, I’ve distanced myself from Christians in many ways. I usually refer to myself as “a follower of Christ” instead of a Christian……maybe that’s not fair. Maybe it is not kind that I don’t want to be pulled in with what I perceive as a group of (usually American) people who spend most of their time condemning others, closing church doors to people, and otherwise seem to focus on rules and regulations instead of “loving others….including your enemies”. I’ve written on this blog about many of the ways the American Christian Church has acted toward me as a lesbian, or towards “other” including people of color, non-Evangelicals, progressive Christians, or anyone that doesn’t fit into the little box of Evangelical Christians as defined by many in this country.
But, I have to admit as well, that I have missed the ever-present discussions of how amazing Christ really is. I have missed ongoing discussions of the Power that Christ represents to me, and even the worship that feeds my soul more than I can express in words. I have missed that fellowship. Not that I have left anything – believe me, I fellowship with Christ often and am blessed EVERY DAY by His love. No, I am not referring to Jesus……I am referring to the human fellowship of the Church, the ones who too often seem to rather say to me that I am going to hell or am somehow deficient in too many ways to TRULY be a follower of Christ.
Yes, I hear often that I CAN’T be a Christian, because of many reasons.
And yet, He has not forsaken me. He has not stopped loving me, at all. He is present in so many ways that even if I TRIED to put distance between us, I would fail. I have been grafted into His life, and no one can change that.
So, as I sit as a lesbian on my new porch, smoking a cigar and listening to the evening songs the birds are singing to me…….drinking water and considering the rich blessings that He has provided for me…….I came across this on Facebook:
What DID Jesus do?
1. He openly questioned the religion of his upbringing.
2. He quoted scripture from his ” Bible” said it was wrong and did otherwise.
3. He encouraged others to move beyond the commandments in scripture to follow their heart.
4. He openly embraced people his ” Bible” forbade him to associate with and he was NOT trying to convert them to his religion.
5. He never asked to be worshiped and did not start a new religion.
6. He did not believe scriptures were the “Word of God.” (He clearly called them “The word of Moses.”)
7. He was shut out, shunned and eventually killed by religious leaders.
8. He never asked anyone to pray a “sinner’s prayer” or to ask him into their heart.
9. He rarely attended religious gatherings and, when he did, it was often to denounce their practices.
10. He put “meeting human need” over any kind of religious activities or exercises.
Maybe you SHOULD follow Jesus after all!
This might sound weird to you, Christian who has not been struggling with religion being used as a club against other humans, but the above restored some hope in me. It reminded me of the beauty that first pierced my heart when I was 16 years old and KNEW that the Love and Grace of Christ wanted my held safely in His arms. It restored my hope of being loved, period. It challenged me to walk in the Truth that I am a King’s Kid, saved beyond any indictment or conviction. That I did nothing to receive this amazing gift, but also that no human could tell me I am not protected. I have once again been challenged to look at every human – yes, even those who spew hate at me and mine – as also King’s Kid, even if they’ve not professed their acceptance of the King. I recall that I am to love even the most vile person, as Christ did, though am so tempted to call out the self-proclaimed “religious elite” as a den of wipers as Jesus did. I have been challenged to truly try to emulate Christ and look at each person as someone of value, even if we have very different world views or even religious beliefs.
Because, that is what Jesus would do.