i am waiting for the one moment that changes everything.
This is what breaks my heart. I was trying to convey a message of people picking and choosing what to believe / use as the basis for an argument from the Old Testament, that Jesus talked about Love, and to not judge others. But instead, I get this. Proving my exact point of what so many people do and say.
There is no such thing as a “true Christian.” That ideology and phrase is what gives people who believe in Jesus such a bad wrap. Is there some point system God uses to keep track of Christianity? No, I really don’t think so. There are not varying degrees of Christian. There are varying degrees of belief, i.e. belief in God, belief in a higher power, belief there is something out there, but not sure what it is, indifference, no belief at all, etc.
All in all, I’m still trying to figure this out, but I don’t think supporting gay marriage makes you any less of a Christian. If it does, I guess I’ll find out after I die, but as the Bible says, Jesus was God’s complete likeness. Jesus was/is God. And it is my opinion that Jesus would prefer compassion, love, acceptance, and grace for/of others.
For those who oppose it, if you quote the Old Testament to be your basis for not supporting gay marriage, please read all of it. There are so many things we reject today and Jesus explicitly spoke against in the New Testament. And in reference to when people use the Pharisees asking Jesus about divorce as a basis for the definition of marriage, to borrow the words of a friend of a friend, “Are Christians who oppose, protest and vote against gay marriage also demanding the government ban divorce? The difference between the two is that Jesus never mentioned one and had quite a lot to say against the other.”
I’ve written about God, my relationship with Jesus, and my journey with “What does it mean to be a Christian?,” here a few times. Honestly, you can probably somewhat track it all through old blogs, but today reminded me how far I’ve actually come.
I’ve always said believing in God has never been the issue. I have always believed, however, I have not always had Faith. In the past year this has completely changed, and I’ve been in awe of the incredible ways the Lord has worked in my life.
I’ve been going through some really heavy and hard things I never expected. An impossible situation and one you could never prepare yourself for. Today was brutal, and I was feeling so small and insignificant, but then God stepped in and John 16:33 found me.
John 16:33 I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.
Note: I originally wrote this as a song of the week for something else, not my personal blog. Unfortunately, it wasn’t able to be posted, but I was encouraged by a wonderful woman (and friend) to post it here. I figured I should listen to her since she is an editor and all.
I was hesitant on writing about this song because I don’t want you to ignore it or skip over it, thinking it’s just religion being forced on you. That isn’t what this is. To me, this song is about more than Faith. It isn’t about if you believe or don’t believe. It isn’t about being a Christian. I’ll do my best to give it justice.
Jesus, Jesus, if you’re up there won’t you hear me?
‘Cause I’ve been wondering if You’re listening for quite awhile.
And Jesus, Jesus, it’s such a pretty place we live in,
And I know we fucked it up, please be kind.
Don’t let us go out like the dinosaurs
Or blown to bits in a third world war
There are a hundred different things I’d still like to do
I’d like to climb to the top of the Eiffel Tower
Look up from the ground at a meteor shower
And maybe even raise a family
This song is many things. It’s about love and listening. It’s about questions and answers and things missing. It’s about how we hurt those around us whether intentional or not. I love the line, “There are hundred different things I’d still like to do…” It reminds me of the goals I have, the wishes I’ve made and the things I want. It encourages me to move forward and not focus on the parts I don’t have right now. Friends are getting married, starting families, traveling the world. And while I have a lot, and I’m so thankful, it can be so much easier to focus on what isn’t.
Jesus, Jesus, there are those that say they love You
But they have treated me so Goddamn mean.
And I know You said ‘Forgive them for they know not what they do’
But sometimes I think they do
And I think about You
I think this is one of the truest parts. There are so many people out there who do absolutely terrible things with the intentions of hurting others. I struggle with how we lose amazing people every day to things like cancer, yet drug lords, pedophiles and murders often live long, sometimes prosperous lives. I don’t understand the weight of it or what it means, so I look for answers. I used to fight with God because of how much it angers me. I still get mad about the injustices of this world, but I don’t yell at God about it anymore. I believe it breaks His heart ten times more than it could ever break mine.
If all the heathens burn in hell, do all their children burn as well?
What about the Muslims and the gays and the unwed mothers?
What about me and all my friends?
Are we all sinners if we sin?
Does it even matter in the end if we’re unhappy?
This song acknowledges how difficult it can be to proclaim something about yourself when others tarnish what it means to be that. I am disgusted on a regular basis by what others do under the guise of Christianity. And while I believe in God, that does not mean I support what so many others declare in His name. I don’t believe slapping the label “Christian” on something, makes it Christian, that God hates a single person on this planet, or that sexual preference should determine a person’s right to marry someone they love. So when others make their “God hates (insert label)” statements, I think of this song. It reminds me that I am not the only one who struggles with the confusion and anger associated with people who hide behind the words Christian and God in order to spread hate.
Jesus, Jesus, I’m still looking for answers
Though I know that I won’t find them here tonight
But Jesus, Jesus, could You call me if you have the time?
And maybe we could meet for coffee and work it out
And maybe then I’ll understand what it’s all about
Those lyrics are my favorite part. They are what have always struck a cord in me. It is a perfect summary of my struggle with unanswered questions, what justice is, the need for understanding, and a lack of Faith. I find it easy to believe. Faith is an entirely different story.
Religion aside, at the end of the day, Jesus was a person. Whether you believe he was just someone who lived and then died, or He was a prophet, or the Messiah. He was still a human. Just as you are. Just as I am. For me, what this song is about at its core is wanting to know if someone is hearing us. It’s about wanting someone to listen when we talk. This song is a need to know if someone can explain the purpose of everything and wanting answers to the questions we don’t always know how to ask. It’s about knowing this all meant something.
And aren’t we all just looking for that?
Anonymous asked: What role do church & religion play in your life?
That’s an interesting question. I don’t really know how to answer that. I’ve answered the “Do you believe in God?” question and a few other faith based questions before so I’ll try to pull from some of that.
I grew up going to a Lutheran church with my family. I’ve been baptized, and had communion. The easy answer to this would be yes it plays a role in my life, but it’s something much more complicated than that. I believe there is a God, and that Jesus existed, but I struggle with having trust and faith in Him. I struggle with His view of what is fair and just. To be honest, I’ve been in a Church four times in the last year, two for a funeral, one for a memorial, and once with an old friend’s Mom. I don’t think to believe in God or be a Christian you have to go to Church. God is in your heart, not necessarily in a building. Some of the most corrupt things have happened in Churches, so maybe sometimes the best kind of worship can happen privately.
I believe in God and Jesus without a shadow of a doubt. I don’t know if that means religion plays a role in my life. I don’t really know what to say about religion in general these days. There’s a lot of things I don’t agree with that people do in the name of “Christianity”, when it is in fact the furthest thing from being Christian like. I don’t want to be associated with people that picket military funerals, have protests against gay marriage, and tell people they’re going to hell. We do not have the right to judge. God does, and we are not the gatekeepers.
Simply, I believe. I struggle with faith and my lack of it. And I’m working on that. I’m trying to figure out something that I never will because God hasn’t asked for our understanding. He’s asked for hearts, trust, faith, and loyalty. So I am also working on accepting that although I may not understand I have to have faith that it is the right thing.
I hope that makes sense.