Sometimes I go to church and feel like a heathen. Not because I don’t believe in Jesus…but I think because I believe in Him too much and want Him to be someone I can believe in. I believe He is good and choses love over all other emotions…hate, fear, anger.
It is probably because I spent most of a decade skeptically digging into the Scriptures, discussing faith, debating faith and seeking answers in the earthly and spiritual realms. At the end of that I found a lot of middle ground that most Christians with pulpits don’t seem to like to be near. I believe He created an evolving creation on His timeline. I believe He mourns and cries out about divorce and the purity of marriage as much as He does about the sanctity of traditional versus same sex marriage. I wonder if He is offended when churches use a one off or annual event as “mission”? If maybe he wants his name to be praised and lifted up in word as much as deed and vice versa? If things like a van ministry should be more than just driving people to church and if anti-abortion pro-life movements should operate outside of the church walls as well as in? If those who are pro-life for the unborn, but support and defend governmental procedures like the death penalty, war(s), personal firearm ownership, and profiteering healthcare makes Him shake His head. If He looks at humanity and wonders how we have taken our free will for granted so much…or if it is just me that thinks that way?
Now before you think I am ragging on some small-town church or specific Christians, I am not. I am talking about all those who identify as Christ follower, Christian, believer in Jesus or followers of the Jesus Way, or however they decide to self-identify. And all churches are flawed including the one I call home, which spends as much on the decorations for a 200 person dinner as the entire monthly food and supplies budget of a small ministry that feeds the forgotten and under resourced weekly. We are all at fault in this it seems whether socially, politically, or Biblically liberal or conservative.
I wonder if those red letters (as applied by humans and machines) are enough or if we should follow his follower’s words as gospel too. If the red letters are the ones we should focus on. If the Beatitudes of the Sermon on the Mount are as important as the Book of Romans. If the Lord’s Prayer is as important as the partially manuscripted verses of the Gospel of Mark 16. If the Golden Rule is as important as the Ten Commandments.
If He lives and speaks to us as much today as in -5 BCE, 28AD and 100AD. Because when I was doubting Him at church twice in the last month He showed up…and those moments were more powerful than any sermon I have heard in the last decade plus.
Which leads me to wonder…
Is it wrong to be a skeptical Christian?
Is it right to claim God’s authority as final on social and governmental issues?
Aren’t we all heathens for worshiping false gods and sinning 90% of the time no matter how hard we try to be exclusive and sinless?
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