Something I’ve been pondering lately is this: If the cross is what we who believe in it believe it to be, then it has to be about more than just black or white, good or bad, right or wrong, heaven or hell. It has to be! For a man to go to the extremes of stepping out of a celestial state to being born into flesh, born of a woman by means of supernatural seed, for Him to choose the life of consecration to the walk with God that He did, for Him to go through all that He did to die and overcome death, it has to be about infinitely more than just a bunch of rules and regulations! After all, the people who believed in and followed the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob whom Jesus descended from and was kin to had all that. They had rules to live by already – and plenty of them.
This is just one example of what I mean when I said in the previous post that I have way more questions than answers as to what this is all about and what it all means to truly love and follow Jesus. I am probably already edging toward it by my opening paragraph, but if I were to list every question that I currently have, I would probably be cast off as an anarchist (but, come to think of it, the authorities of Jesus’ time pretty much called Him out as an anarchist, so perhaps I am in very good company…). What I am coming to believe more and more is that where I am and what I am going through is not merely anarchy for the sake of anarchy. I just can no longer make myself adhere to a God of rules. When Jesus revealed Himself to me, I didn’t see a rulemaker. In fact, that day – and if I were to be completely honest about that day and every day since – He did not give me even one rule to follow. In fact, He didn’t even give me the rule that I should follow Him. He just appeared, letting me really see Him. I used to wonder if I missed something because I didn’t come away from that experience with any instructions or any idea, really, as to what I was supposed to do with His appearing. What I’m beginning to see now is that what He did was merely let me have a good long look at who I and others had been talking about and see for myself who He really was (and, by the way, what had been said versus what I actually saw that day couldn’t have been more polar opposite). He appeared then faded from view, leaving the choice completely up to me as to whether to follow and find out more or not to follow and dismiss the whole thing.
And that is the biggest problem I am having right now with modern Christianity. We have become experts at the in-your-face approach of telling others the rules and dictating how all should follow them or else brace for the wrath of God – while we simultaneously demonstrate time and time again how completely LOUSY we are at following the one and only rule Jesus did give us in the gospels, which is to love one another as He has loved us. I don’t see love calling out people, pointing out their “faults” and berating and condemning them for it and telling them there is hell to pay for it. Perhaps it’s because of what I saw when I saw Jesus that day, but I see Love simply being Love and allowing people choose for themselves whether to walk in the light of it – or not.
As much as it may appear so, this is by no means taking the easy way out. It’s easy to become rigid and make rules. It’s easy to bully people into following those rules. It takes no creative genius or deep thought or contemplative study of any kind to become a bully. In fact, bullying takes little to no effort of any kind. And that is what I see so very much of from those who profess themselves to be speaking on behalf of Christ these days. I see a bunch of bullies…mean, mean loud-mouthed bullies! And it makes me cringe every time I see it. I think it always did, but I was so caught up in the hype of “the movement” that I ignored it, pushed it aside…until I could do it no longer…until every sensibility I ever gleaned from the Christ who revealed Himself to me in the beginning could no longer sit down inside me and abide it. Something within me rose up (terrifying me in the process) and said, “No more! Enough! I will participate no further! I will not further this cause; for this CANNOT be the cause of the Christ who loved me and gave Himself for me and gave Himself to me!”
And here I am 4 years later, having had all this time to really think, really search, really look, really examine myself and what I am doing, to really take the time to find out what this is all about, and I am no closer to being able to regroup and rally for the cause of bullying in the name of Christ. If that makes me an anarchist, then I am pleased to be called an anarchist. Jesus called the leaders of His earthly time out for their bullying, and often. He refused to participate too. And He too was labelled an anarchist for it.
So yeah…if that’s what I must be labelled in order to seek and promote peace, I’ve decided I’ve no choice but to learn to be at peace with whatever labels the bullying type may put on me. Whatever it takes to be one less bully in the number, one less speck of the pollution that is causing the salt to lose its savour.