11.24.2007

w.w.j.y.a.?

I've been organizing my little corner of the blog-o-sphere and came across this post that i wrote December 26, 2006 and never published. I've grown over the last year, but this is still a good reminder for me.

here ya go:

who would jesus yell at?

for a long time, i've been pretty confident in my answer to this question. religious people, religious people and religious people. i feel a sense of quiet satisfaction, believing that my perspectives differ in many ways from the american church at large. you could call it smugness or arrogance, but i prefer to think of it as righteous.

the way this plays out in my life is through a sort of informal personal mission to live my life in such a way that will challenge the church (read, all christians) to examine it's beliefs, hold them up to the light of christ's love and see how they match up. granted, not only is this a very lofty goal, it's also birthed out of a naive and pompous belief that i've got things figured out. ( i know, i know...i'm a jerk. but let's stay focused here, okay? i'm trying to explain that i've been wrong.) this belief has led to a lifestyle in which i take great pride in not listening to very much "christian" music, (is that music that has a personal relationship with god or music that's marketed to christians? whatever) disconnecting from pop "christian" culture and generally rebelling against anything that titles itself "christian" so that i can show people that following christ isn't about wearing a shirt with a fish on it or knowing the personal details for every member of audio adrenaline.

anyway, i read a christmas manifesto from moby today, and the comments awakened me to a blindness that's been in my heart. all this time, i've been seeking to set people straight. it's all been sort of under the surface, but it was definitely my goal. now, in processing who jesus was and how he lived, i'm realizing that he didn't seek to set religious people straight. he wasn't trying to show them where they were wrong. in fact, he seemed eager to support them in their search for truth without dismantling all their false ideas first. he was interested in helping people build on whatever foundation they had, not tear every weak or faulty foundation to the ground before rebuilding. however, that's what i've been trying to do.

so, w.w.j.y.a? me. he would try to encourage me lovingly, but in my passion and misguided arrogance i would believe i was doing him a favor. he would try again, knowing my intentions and wanting to build me up. still i won't respond. finally, he'll let loose a verbal lashing and i'll finally see that i'm today's pharisee. i'm the religious person who's trying to get all the other religious people to do it "correctly."

wow, i've got a lot to learn. i'm sure i've been the cause of much offense to my brothers and sister and for that i'm sorry. i don't have the answers. i'm not more righteous than you (probably much less given my attitude) and i have no right or responsibility to set anyone straight because i don't even know how to love. and as 1 john 4:7-8 states, we must love one another. god IS love and anyone who doesn't love doesn't know god.

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