I make no apologies for my Christian faith. I do believe in Jesus.
Historically, I believe he was an actual person who lived on this earth with revolutionary ideas and truth claims. As I’ve tested them, I’ve found them to be quite true. But I never met the man. I never looked into his eyes or heard his voice or smelled the fish on his breath or shook his calloused hands. Like most people, I’m a “Virtual” disciple, and as such I am far more acquainted with his work that transcends time-his cosmic work. So while I believe in a personal Jesus, it is the work of the cosmic Christ or his spirit, the function of the messianic story, that I’m most aware, for there is nothing else now to know if a person is to know Jesus.
I love the fellowship that comes when people who have different experiences with the cosmic work of Christ come together and share stories. I get to live vicariously through a very different story being told by someone else about how Jesus turned everything upside down for them. It’s so fascinating to me to here all the ways a person connects.
I’ve learned that literally anything, and any path is used by Christ to help a person gain a higher consciousness and awareness of who God is and how his/her love for that person knows no bounds and has no limits.
But sometimes I’ll meet a Christian that I just know will hate me.
For these people, the fluid work of Christ has been frozen and fixed within their doctrine. They are exactly like I used to be. It’s as though God brings a version of myself back from ten years ago back around to remind me of where I’ve been. Once humility is replaced with certainty, a person develops a blood lust for doctrinal precision. It starts out with the greatest sincerity and always ends in an elitist disposition. It’s a dark prison of fundamentalism, that convinces the captive of their right standing.
The worst offenders are usually those with either too little or too much theological training. It seems both extremes make a person very needy for the approval of peers, thus they really tote whatever party line is given to them.
We usually get along just fine until they learn that I don’t participate in a local church somewhere. Their default mode is instantly that I must have some sort of deficiency. In their mind there can’t possibly be a richer way to participate in God’s family than the Sunday big show.
If we get to eschatology and then learn that i don’t believe that Jesus is coming back at any moment with a giant can of whoop ass then a blank confusion comes over their face. Most have never heard of the amazing hope of post-millenianism and how that dove tails into integral theory.
And usually its all over by the time they learn that I am pro gay marriage and that I actually believe the Shama which says that the Lord is one. Most Christians are just not that monotheistic, and are less conscious of what that actually means.
Their common conclusion is that I just don’t know the bible or must not see it as an authoritative voice of God. I’m a heretic. Again this is another assumption that stems from their dualistic thinking. (I wonder if they understand just how much faith they are putting in Plato rather than Jesus). Nonetheless, I didn’t get these conclusions from NOT reading my bible, but I got them from actually reading it.
In fact I’ve read it cover to cover nearly forty times. I’ve studied the original languages and I did so because I love it. The end result is that now I actually have a skill to see what I couldn’t before and a hunger to learn what I can’t see now. This means my beliefs are changing. Thank God.
I could of course argue and fight and throw down chapter and verse and engage in a bible battle, but that is a war that is never won. I would rather love this person and pray that they are somehow drawn to the Jesus that is on display in my life. I will teach all comers the word as I have learned it but I will never use it a weapon.
“Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it. How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing.” Matt 23:37
I guess they will have to hate me. Just as I used to hate others. Until that work that Christ is doing in them and me is finally complete and that hate turns to an immense love. That must be why we will one day have an tremendous celebration. I look forward to it.