Restricting "Christian"

I'll try to keep this short, but I think I may be onto something here:I would like to propose a new restriction on using the word "Christian".

People should no longer be allowed to self-apply the the term "Christian". Instead, it should be up to everyone you interact with to determine whether you are a Christian or not. Your spouse, your kids, your boss, your employees, your plumber, the guy at Subway, homeless people, cops, black people, homosexuals, everyone.

What would they say you are?

I don't expect you to be a Christian

Unbelieving people seem to always have the same (or similar) viewpoint towards Christians and the "secret agenda" of all Christians: To make disciples of all people, everywhere. That viewpoint being one of disdain and total annoyance, because people don't want to be Christians, so leave them alone.And I understand that completely.

And I know that Jesus did tell us to make disciples of all people, but bear with me here:

I don't expect you to be a Christian.

How could I? It's a totally insane thing to suggest, really. That someone should feel pressured to pretend that there is some sort of perfect all loving all knowing all forgiving god inside and behind all of everything.

It is ridiculous, I know. I agree. We are on the same page here.

And why would anyone care if a guy named Mike forgave them for all the crap they've done? Why is it any different if the guy's name is Jesus? Why would I care what any dead guy thinks about me? What difference does it make?

Oh, it will magically save me from hell? Well what if I don't believe in hell? Why would I care if I am saved from it or not? It's like telling someone they can be saved from the Easter bunny tearing them to shreds some night while they sleep. I'm really not worried about it.

Then the Christians might ask something like

Well, what if you are wrong?

Which is a completely stupid question. What if anyone is wrong about anything? What if I win the lottery? What if giant lobster falls out of the sky and lands on my roof? What if I married the wrong person?

It's just a bunch of stupid speculative questions. It's not philosophy, it is a kid saying "I know you are, but what am I?" It is pointless banter. It is the Monty Python "I'd Like To Buy An Argument" sketch. Waste of time.

The sad thing is, a lot of people out there have become, and will continue to become Christians, because of this nonsense.

So I say again: I do not expect you to be a Christian.

Why?

Not because of any of these stupid attempts at "evangelism", because you and I are both smarter than that.

No, I don't expect you to be a Christian because you've never had an experience with the Living God that, despite all your greatest efforts, you were embarrassingly unable to deny.

Most Christians don't really believe God has any power at all. Most Christians hold way too tight to the obscure verse that says something about not testing God, like it is the 11th commandment.

Well I am not so easily convinced. I don't believe anything until I've seen it for myself. And neither should you. If God doesn't want to lift a finger to show himself to me, then I don't have any interest in God.

This must be where I pissed him off, because the moment that concept really hit me, he jumped out of his nest in the clouds and rocketed towards the Earth, smashing into me at terminal velocity.

And now I can't get rid of him.

You see, he won't be denied.

But you have to open up the conversation. You have to put the money on the table. You have to brace for impact. Or don't. It is going to hit you either way.

And my friends, my silly dimwitted friends who don't jump into waters, who don't taste new foods, who don't run with their eyes closed, who don't smile in the rain, you'll never know what it's like if you don't shut your blabbering mouths and do it.

You don't need a Bible, you don't need a preacher, you don't need a rosary. You need to have a raging bloody fist-fight with the Living God. And trust me, you'll come out of it alive.

Busted, bruised, spent, and euphoric.

Another One Bites The Dust

Unless you live on the moon (or outside of Arkansas, perhaps) you've probably heard about the most recent church leader who went down in flames when a 15 year old kid came forward claiming to have had a sexual rendezvous with the dude. The cops stung him, and he admitted to it. Game over, game over, too cold.This is really no different than any other pastor/kid bullshit scenario you might have heard, except that I went to the church.

It comes like a punch in the gut to me, and to everyone else who went there.

I thought about ignoring it as far as this blog is concerned, cause I just want to get as far away from it as possible, but I just can't. This is the place where I talk about real stuff and this is real stuff. I am not afraid of anything that might come out of this. I believe Jesus brings good through the burning embers of bad.

This obviously doesn't change anything for me. I am still in the exact same place I was at before this happened, and my king is still the one they call Liberator. They guy that once led our small and fickle church is not Jesus, he was never Jesus. He was and is just a dude, like me, and like you. Jesus hasn't changed.

And that's what I really want to make clear to anyone reading this who might think something has changed because of this. To someone who might try to use this as an excuse to slam the door in Jesus' face for good. I understand, I would probably do the same thing, but like I said, a fallen pastor is not Jesus.

Jesus doesn't touch kids inappropriately. Jesus cares about people, not himself. Jesus weeps over things like this. He wept when it happened and he wept when it came out in the newspapers. He weeps all the time.

He's just sitting there, weeping.

It breaks my heart, really. I want to comfort him and let him know that I am never going to leave him. That I'm never going to break his heart like that. I know it doesn't make sense to most people, even most Christians probably. Well I am not a Christian. Christians generally make me want to have nothing to do with them. Christians continuously disappoint me, to be honest. So I don't know what you should call me. Honestly, I'd rather there not be a name for it at all. We don't need a name.

Call us whatever you want. But don't throw us in the pit of lunatics most commonly known to the world as Christians.

I'm sure Muslims don't want to be known as Muslims either, now that I think about it.

If there is an enemy in the world he is not in the gutters, the strip clubs, and the crack houses, he is sitting in the front row at churches and mosques. Looking great. Smiling. Handsome. Knowledgeable in the Bible and the Koran.

Well I reject all of it.

The Jesus I know lives on a mossy rock at the Buffalo River.

He sleeps in a hammock in a tree.

He shows up when the stars come out and the clouds drift over the moon.

And he always has.