On this, the early hours of Easter, I have found myself in spiritual reflection. One large topic I haven’t really addressed in this forum is my faith. And I will be honest with you why I have not. Although I love Jesus with all my heart, I have found the label of “Christian” is something that has been hijacked by a collection of organizations and people that I simply do not want to be identified with. This is why I refer to myself as a Follower of Jesus rather than a Christian. It’s all semantics, but people have very set ideas on what Christians believe and how they treat others. Some hear it with a very positive connotation, yet others still hear the word and assume narrow mindedness and judgement. It is one reason why I have refrained from addressing my beliefs on this site until now.
Jesus in his mortal form was THE MAN (also in His risen form, but I’m referring to the time before the crucifixion. He loved unconditionally. He sought out the undesirables of society and was intentional about spending his time and energy with and on them. He did not judge. He just loved his flock, warts and all. He had the answer to remedy a flailing, tumultuous society during his earthly life; love, be loved, do good whenever and wherever you can. It’s the simplest set of rules ever if you think about it.
Jesus was abundantly clear about the issue of judgement of others; don’t do it, because that isn’t your job. It’s God’s job. It’s not your job. Your job is to love.
I was, am, and always will be an unapologetic supporter of equality for homosexuals, including marriage. People have often asked me, “How can you consider yourself saved if you go against the teachings of the Bible?” Such a many layered question, but I will go with this: because Jesus himself spoke about homosexuality exactly zero times in the Bible. And also, remember that part about how Jesus sought out the disenfranchised and outliers of society to teach them and walk with them and love them because that’s just who Jesus is? Does Jesus sound like a guy who would be holding “God Hates Fags” poster board signs above his head at the latest “Preserve the Sanctity of Marriage Rally?” How about the guy outside Planned Parenthood laying in wait for a young woman to exit so he can scream at her she’s going directly to hell, do not pass go, do not collect $200. Maybe she had an abortion, maybe she’s there for the free birth control. Either way, that is not how Jesus rolled, and some acknowledge it and some don’t. Political issues that use the Bible like weaponry really aren’t about the Bible, or Jesus at all, in my opinion. Although Jesus rose from the dead and LIVES, his physical form is not occupying our current space and time on Earth. If he was, I believe he would shake his head in disbelief that as a nation we have allowed ourselves to be mired down by trumped up religious issues: does anyone truly believe that Jesus’ first order of business in the mortal world would be to deal with recently legalized marijuana laws? Or same sex marriage? Or would he zoom in on the real issues, such as abject poverty in a land of plenty, or war after war, or children not getting enough to eat. I think he would see a society that never seemed to quite “get” what He wanted of all us in order to thrive: to do OUR jobs. Our jobs are simple; we practice love, we practice acceptance, we shun judgement of our fellow human beings.
My family doesn’t currently attend church. We have in the past, but until we find one that embodies the unconditional, non judgemental spirit of Jesus as their bedrock, we will continue to pray and worship in the comfort of our home. And if any of my readers happen to know of a church that operates like Jesus did, I’d love to know! I dream of finding a church of people who think like me. Until then, I feel pretty great about my relationship with God and His son just the way it is.
On this Easter Sunday, I sit humbly as I remember God’s sacrifice for the world; giving his only son over to death so that Jesus could conquer mortality and rise again to become the ultimate salvation of all who seek him.
Be a Follower of Jesus; accepting Jesus does not mean your only option is to glom on to the thinly veiled hate groups who act in the name of Christianity but have none of Jesus’s charactistics, traits, or intentions. Dare to be different, just like Jesus was! 😇