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Thursday, June 6, 2013

Can I Love Jesus Too?

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I used to love Jesus.

I used to talk about it all the time. How my life was fully dedicated to God, and I wanted to live for him. I used to pray and seek God and do everything I could to follow him.

And I want that again. I want to say "I love Jesus." And really value that, and live like it.

But...

But who would believe me?

You love Jesus? Oh right, I'm sure you do. Perfect Number, you're not fooling anyone. If you really loved Jesus, you would submit to him and his will in your life, rather than becoming a feminist, rebelling against God's role for you. And how you rejected the idea of a boyfriend or husband being your spiritual leader- I mean seriously? God established the family, but you're rejecting God's design and trying to get power for yourself. That's not very Christ-like. You love Jesus? You're not fooling anyone.

"But, but," I would protest, "it's not like that! I'm just being honest in saying that it doesn't make any sense that 'the man has to be the spiritual leader', and here are the reasons..."

Oh, really? "The reasons"? Now you're trusting your own reason rather than God's explicit command? Oh geez. God's ways are not our ways. We have to obey regardless of whether we understand his commands. Wow, and you have the audacity to claim that you LOVE JESUS. You're picking and choosing what you want to obey based on whether YOU like it or not. Like you think you know more than God.

"But, but... I... I really do love Jesus..."

No. If you loved Jesus, you would believe in his word, the bible. Some of the things you wrote about homosexuality and same-sex marriage... you're rejecting the bible and just going along with the culture. If you loved Jesus, you would support his definition of marriage. You've been deceived, you've let your emotions lead you. You talk about love but you twist the meaning, you twist Scripture.

"But, but, you don't know what it's like for gay people! Please, just listen... we need to support them..."

"Listen"? You gotta be careful listening to that kind of stuff. You've been led astray. It's so sad- you used to be so committed to God, so on fire for him. And now, somehow, you've been deceived and bought into the lie that you can be a Christian and vote for Obama, you can be a Christian and believe in gay marriage, you can be a Christian and a feminist, you can be a Christian and pro-choice... We can all see right through you. You might say you "love Jesus", but you don't. You're just taking the easy way out, you don't want to take up your cross, you're just going along with the culture. You're selfish. You want excuses for your sin. You're afraid to stand up for God.

"But... it's not like that..."

You say you're a Christian, but you're really a false teacher. And now you want to claim Jesus' name. I don't think so. If you really loved Jesus, you would agree with him. And everybody knows Jesus is a conservative American Republican.

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But I really do love Jesus.

But all my life I've judged other Christians, judged who is and who is not a "real Christian."

I KNOW this about evangelical culture. There is SO MUCH JUDGING. This isn't me being paranoid- I am ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN people will say these things about me. Because my whole life, I've seen conservative evangelical Christians say these exact things- "he claims he's a Christian," "she's a false teacher," "they've been led astray." And I fully participated, evaluating little details of people's statements, looking for evidence that they are not "real Christians."

And now I don't make the cut anymore.

But would you believe me if I said the more I question and find out what else is out there, the more certain I am in my identity as a Christian?

Would you believe me if I said I love the gospel more than I ever have, now that I understand it to mean so much more than the spiritual consequences of individual sin? And now I truly believe it IS "good news", more than I ever have before?

Would you believe me if I said I'm more and more fascinated with Jesus as revealed in the bible, now that I no longer believe in having all the answers, now that it's okay that he can be baffling and challenging and amazing?

Would you believe me? Would any of my evangelical friends believe me?

Would Jesus believe me?

Will anyone believe me, or will I be like Severus Snape? [Harry Potter spoilers here] Always working to protect the good guys, but from behind enemy lines. Everyone was sure he was a bad guy, until after his death.

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I'll be Severus Snape, and Jesus will be Harry Potter. I love you, Jesus, but will you ever know? Will you ever believe me?

4 comments:

  1. If Jesus is Harry Potter, the Father is Dumbledore. And Dumbledore always knew who Snape really was. The analogy breaks down here, of course, because Jesus and the Father are One. So if anyone knows you love Jesus, it's Jesus himself.

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  2. For the record, I thought Snape was good from the fourth book on! *sniffle* :P But anyway, I've found the same- that being a Christian doesn't always look the way people want it to look. I believe you love God. :)

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