Take a deep breath…
I’ts rather ironic that after an entire life lived in the (attempted) footsteps of Jesus being dedicated to the church (a model servant) that I should now after so many years and a slow but steady exodus out of any religious/christian circles ask: Where is Jesus?
Let me explain: Even though I kissed the church goodbye I still very much consider myself a Jesus-follower. I don’t read bible anymore, I don’t talk about “religious stuff” that much either but when it comes to God then Jesus is it for me (take note he’s not the only ‘it’). Until I finally manage to reach that higher level on consciousness or come more in tune with my inner-self by understanding the pathless land of truth there is no better representation of what it means to live in rhythm with God, the universe or life.
Stating the obvious here but you don’t need church to be in tune with God or Jesus.
Here’s the catch and the focal point of my address today: As soon as you openly and publicly choose to align yourself to a certain set of rules/religion or faith then you better start acting like it. You can’t call yourself a christian but not try and follow/be like Jesus, you can’t be a churchgoer and live a contrasting life to that of Jesus. And this is why I am asking where is Jesus? Looking at the lives of these people IN church I sadly cannot with a clear conscious say that Jesus will be found there. Not the Jesus I follow anyway. Looking at people, neighbors, friends and even family that are Christians I came to realize that the Jesus I follow is drastically different than the one they follow. This trace back to our perceptions of God that are clearly not the same. This is the only explanation for why we are living such drastically different lives.
Here’s an example:
To the husband that cheated on his wife: Who are the people that are the most brutal with their opinions on what he deserves in return, comments on his sin, his deserving of punishment and lack of love and grace? Who are the people that’s swinging the hammer of judgement all over the place? Who are the people that refuse to reach out to the husband? Who are the ones that wish him nothing but suffering and pain? Sadly from my experience its the Christians who are the furthest from what I would have hoped they are…like Jesus.
In the life of a typical christian there is no place for a cheater and there’s no love for an adulterer. In the life of a typical christian the lines between “us” and “them” remain ever clear albeit very thin. In the life of a typical christian acceptance of all people regardless of race and faith only really happens when “they” start sharing the same faith or beliefs. In the life of a typical christian we hide the things we struggle with and are quick to expose the struggle in others.
In the life of Jesus there is only love and open arms for a cheater or an adulterer (John 8:7). In the life of Jesus there are no lines between “us” and “them” (Gal 3:28). In the life of Jesus there is true acceptance regardless of faith and race (Rom 2:11). In the life of Jesus we first remove the beam out of your own eyes (Matt 7:5).
I’ll ask again: Where is Jesus?
Do I have a warped perception of people in church? Are the people in my circles that call themselves christian really such bad examples? All of them?
It’s the people who do not go to church, who don’t proudly proclaim to be christian, who look past any religious dogma and prejudice that are truly to me what Jesus would have been like. They are the ones that have patience and love for the outcast, they are slow to anger and hold the tongue of judgement. Here you will find Jesus.