The Jesus I Thought I Knew

24 09 2006

My apologies if the title of my last blog offended anyone. It’s just
that lately I feel like my theology is being rocked to the core. I
thought I had it all figured out. I thought I knew who God was. But I’m
starting to discover that maybe I had Him all wrong in certain aspects.
The more I read, listen and reflect I’m getting a better understanding
of what God likes and what He doesn’t like. What He desires and what He
doesn’t desire. I mean, things like what has more priority with God?
That I get rich or that the poor get fed? Does He really care how much
money I give or is He more concerned with how I give or whether or not
I give from my heart?

And I’m realizing just how radical Jesus
was. We say it all the time but Jesus came and hung out with
sinners–the prostitutes, the tax collectors, the liars, the
adulterers, the alcoholics, the–(GASP)–gays and lesbians. I feel like
we spend so much time bashing these people and judging them when Jesus
showed them love and their lives changed as a result. Jesus grabbed a
bunch of nobodies and told them "Follow Me." Those first disciples were
the outcasts of society, low on the totem pole. But Jesus said to
follow Him. And that’s just what they did. He shifted the paradigm all
over the place.

What angers me is that this Jesus that I’m
discovering now doesn’t really line up with the Jesus that’s been fed
to me through religion. I guess maybe I’m finding what Jeff Henderson
calls my holy discontent and reaching toward my frustration alignment
churches have pumped this fake Jesus like a cheap drug, this
counterfeit who tells people to judge people for not being like them.
Who delights in ritual and formulas to achieve holiness. Who forces
everybody to look and be a certain way and to look and be perfect when
the come in the door. It just doesn’t seem to line up with a guy who
went after nobodys. A guy who told rich men to sell all they have and
give it to the poor. A guy who constantly went off on religious
leaders. And a God who said things like this:

"These people
praise me with their words, but they never really think about me. They
worship me by repeating rules made up by humans. So once again I will
do things that shock and amaze them, and I will destroy the wisdom of
those who claim to know and understand." – Isaiah 29:13-14




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