Saturday, October 25, 2014

My journey continues: What would Jesus do?

I just read a post on Facebook, shared by a Lutheran pastor friend of mine.  It was titled "What Would Jesus Do?".  The post was actually a very tongue-in-cheek rebuke of those who CLAIM to follow Christ, and yet do not.  Without spoiling the post, I won't give the details.  For those of you who wish to read it, click here.

Jesus clearing the Temple - booksellers, coffee mugs, etc.
Even before I read the short article, I really made the conscious decision NOT to be a Christian anymore.  I have shared in other posts that I no longer like to be called a "Christian", because I find so many that use that name as a label for themselves, but like the mother in the humorous story, live lives that are sanctimonious, hypocritical, and judgemental.  Yes, that last sentence fits into that very definition as well.  I am being judgemental about others, and I should not be.  

Let's face it, to follow Jesus, to REALLY follow him, requires a lot.  I remember 20 or so years ago writing a letter to my pastor, saying that I questioned my faith, and was concerned that I was "lukewarm", in reference to Revelation 3:15-16, when Christ is telling members of a specific church that they were neither hot nor cold, but lukewarm, and he's going to "spit them out of" his mouth. Granted, I also believe, along with many Biblical scholars, that Revelation is to be taken with a HUGE grain of salt, and there have been some suggestions that John (the book is attributed to the Apostle John as he was in exile on some Mediterranean island) was drunk, or crazy.  Revelation almost did NOT make the Bible as it was being "assembled" hundreds of years ago.  But beside all that, the idea of being a "lukewarm" Christian has always bothered me.  And today, as I just LOOKED at the title of the post, I felt that I no longer wanted to follow Christ. 

Jesus and the prostitute "He who is without sin..."
That does not mean I'm going to toss away decades of church going, the relationships that I've had with teachers, youth leaders, pastors and friends - all of which have helped form my faith.  In fact, I still believe in God as stated in the Apostles Creed.  I still believe in Jesus Christ as revealed in the Gospels.  It's just that to actually DO what Jesus would do means taking me so far out of my comfort zone, that I don't think I can do it.  Maybe if I was single, with no family responsibilities, I could step out more.  There are so many easy reasons to say why I cannot do it, that I would rather make the statement that I CANNOT do what Jesus did, and so I'd rather be a cold Christian, still living in the Gift of Grace, still loving God, still being a dad and trying to raise a family, still wishing to search for the Truth.  

Conversely, I know that there are things I CAN do, things that Jesus WOULD do, or at least I can help others do things Jesus would do.  And in a small way, I am doing some things that Jesus would do.  I will not share those, since those are between me and God - which is as it should be, in my opinion.  But today, I just decided that I cannot "do what Jesus would do", because it's just so damned hard!  I will be cold, but believe.  Can you do that?
Jesus healing the leper

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