So you don’t say

I have a confession to make, one that I have only really stated to the Spousal Unit but now I am ready to share with the world. Christians scare me and I am a Christian. No, I am serious….while I attend a UCC Congregational Church which at times feels a tad light and fluffy, for the most part it meets my needs for a church home.

The larger issue is that as the director of a faith based organization, I come across a lot of Christians of all manner, some who are low key and some who are so over the top that even I, a person that tipped my toe into the more fundamentalist styles, find myself cringing.

For reasons of privacy and the fact that there are folks in my professional circle that access this blog, I can’t get specific as it would not be proper but I can share that personally I am sick and tired of folks that blindly praise the Lord and want to turn him into a magic genie who meets all needs.

Fact is since the death of my Mom five years ago, my faith has been in flux. During her illness, I never ever thought she would die. Even when a dear friend who was a medical school dropout (she did 2.5 years) told me that the type of cancer my Mom was battling had a low chance for long term survival. Yeah, I read all the stats but at that time I was still living in the land of where Jesus said whatsoever you ask in my name, I will do for you. (John14:13-14)  Clearly that meant Jesus was going to heal my Mom, and that life was going to be all good. Well that did not happen, not by damn far….

So one could say, I had a good case for ditching this Christian gig, right? Well, I did briefly toy with the idea but truthfully her death gave me a reason to study the word on a deeper level and when I did, I realized that in many cases we don’t get what we think we ought to have or need. No, for me I find I have found grace and peace, a quiet presence that seems to hold me tight no matter what. Christians often call it the Holy Spirit and I do think it is the Holy Spirit that Christ promised he would leave us with.

Yet even with the presence of the Holy Spirit in my life, I walk a fine line in that my brain has not been overtaken and that I use common sense which I think is also a God given gift. So many of my brothers and sisters in Christ are holding out for the fantastical supernatural experience, they are so geeked up that they bring others in telling them that Jesus and God will do this and that for them. Some even go so far as to say if you are broke, sick….fill in the blank of whatever afflicts you, that you are suffering because you obviously have a shortage of faith! Really, you don’t say.

So a cold or financial hardship is the result of lack of faith? What about Job, that was a whole book in the Old Testament about a man who had plenty of issues. Even the guys who followed Jesus did not exactly have great lives as a result of their involvement with Jesus. Heck, one could almost deduce that trying to walk the Christian path could bring more woes upon a person, almost like a supernatural battle between good and evil….

At the end of the day, I am no Christian scholar but I can say that selling Christ as the magic cure-all for everything seems to go against everything he stood for especially when the man Jesus Christ seemed to have led a simple life focused on helping others….quick aside, very few of these holly rollers ever seem to spend much time engaging with the type of folks Jesus did.

I leave you with the link to a great song from my youth that reminds me of many folks who I come across. (its Front 242’s Welcome to Paradise)

4 thoughts on “So you don’t say”

  1. Hi there Shay,

    This is a good discussion to have.

    A lady at my church lost her relative to cancer and was devastated. She had asked everyone to call on God. She too believed that WHATEVER she asked for in faith that she would receive. So then she began to wonder if she had not asked in faith and she started beating herself up for not having ENOUGH faith…

    I told her, “Jesus told the Father, not MY WILL but Yours…”

    Sometimes, Christians think that they are supposed to live by THEIR will…and not by God’s will… that God is “supposed to” make everything happen that THEY decide should happen…and stop everything that THEY feel should not happen.

    In other words, it seems that they want to become God of the entire world IF they expect that God will step up to the plate and make sure that all circumstances of their existence suit THEIR will.

    That’s NOT my view of Christianity at all..

  2. Good post Shay. You are certainly speaking my language.

    I think people fail to realize that the fantastical, supernatural experience happens every time they open their eyes, or hear a bird outside of their window.

    Nah, we’ve got Jesus so tied up in our mess that if he were here today, he’d be in therapy.

  3. Good posts.

    A preacher once told me that yes, God promised to give you the desires of your heart.

    That doesn’t mean you get everything you want. That means God will teach exactly what it is you should want.

  4. Great post BGIM. IMO Americans have put a very Western spin on an Eastern spirituality. That wouldn’t be so bad if this Western (read American) perspective wasn’t slanted toward capitalism, imperialism, consumerism – greed, haughtiness and judgement, and instant gratification.

    The Bible is a compilation of writings that are very contextual, which makes it difficult to interpret literally, but this hasn’t stopped anyone from doing so.

    Spirituality is a journey as you have said.

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