I have been watching the unfolding Evangelical internecine squabble, the civil war of social/theological embarrassment. I have been listening to the racial/cultural commentary of the “woke,’ the sometimes arrogant, condescending, and despising rhetoric from those seeking distance from the uncool part of Jesus followers. I too have been embarrassed by my so-called brethren excusing racial, sexual, and materialistic misbehavior in the name of political moral achievement. I was glad for the Christmas break, as people seemed to take some time off from bashing each other, separating, excluding, mocking, or excusing.
I am looking for a cooler tribe. I am seeking authentic, true, and reliable branding; at least until hypocrisy appears in my new self-identified group. In the end I suppose I shall have to run away from myself, sin just seems to keep showing up in this lonely group of one known as me.
Some of the old songs give me tags, though we have the ability to make hash out of them. “Lord I want to be a Christian in my heart,” and “I have decided to follow Jesus!” “I’m gonna treat everybody right!” Right.
Well, how can I tell you that I believe in Jesus, which means I believe the Bible to be true, but I am educated and intelligent (self-assessment confessed) and really like science, and I really want to follow Jesus by loving people, and think he wants me to pursue justice, and mercy, and love? Part of following Jesus means (for me) to not practice being a racist, and I see that as a very human condition of ethno-centrism but gets aggravated and complicated when we have power and privilege. Following Jesus means for me to actually hate evil, which puts me in conflict with those who think love means having no boundaries, standards, or penalties, but only tolerance except for those who think God draws lines. I mean, doesn’t he somewhere, eventually?
Following Jesus for me means that I believe that the God of the Bible is big, Sovereign, King, Lord, boss, planner and disposer and as such I call myself Reformed and think that God can use even delusional, paranoid, and narcissistic presidents for his own purposes but has the ability to make kings eat grass and be diseased in their legs when they take to themselves the idea that they are a god.
So, I’m not afraid, but I’m also a pragmatic American and a believer that the controlling God of destiny looks for someone to stand in the gap and make a difference. So, I’m an activist and want to struggle and fight for life, righteousness and social righteousness in the practice of equitable justice, and peace.
I want to live my life as if the future depends on how I live it, but with enough equanimity and humility so I can enjoy my life built on the assurance that God will work things out no matter if I fail, or others fail me, or you, or all of us. I also would like to be patient, not think so much of myself and be kind – at least on a personal level. I keep wishing others were teachable, so I suppose I need to have that for myself.
I suppose all of us have relatives that don’t know how to dress, or even if dressed we can’t take them anywhere because they don’t know how to act. It is so much fun to despise them. I am struggling with just how much distance I can put between myself and them before one of us loses the family name. I suppose I can always change the name, it is just the genetics I’m stuck with, and no matter my superiority to ugly relatives someone unrelated is still sure to claim there is a family resemblance. I just wish we all looked a lot more like Jesus.