Be sure to set the mood by listening to "Heathens" by 21 Twenty One Pilots HERE, on Spotify!
Being a Christian isn't meant to be a "popular" thing, though it most certainly is a popularity contest. "Look at how great my God is; only he can absolve your faithlessness" is an idea I see come out of people who try to not only impart their perception of Christ onto me, they assume it's the only means of keeping faith. So many Christians think their devotion to God means they can use The Bible's tales of morality to, excuse the pun, crucify others who don't have a similar construction of "Christianity" in their minds. Christianity has had its fair share of controversies; money in megachurches seems to be a big issue. Though, money isn't the focus today, it's oversharing your desires for others.
It's not your business as a Christian to remind people they're falling, have fallen, should believe differently, or could become evil. Your pastor may have emboldened you to assume your perception of the "secular world" means something. In all honesty, you, person, mean something. But, your faith doesn't mean much to me, especially when you impart your biases on me during stress or grieving. Your faith-filled single-mindedness doesn't provide you the right to assume people need to hear what you've got to say in regard to their lives.
If I haven't lost you yet, I'm glad. This article doesn't let up too much. What I've been experiencing recently is this shift in my public life. To be truthful, I've felt as far away from God today as I did ten years ago. The big difference here is, I'm reminded of Christ's anger toward the world, and how bold he was for being angry in the faces of his detractors. Jesus made sure everyone knew how he felt, and he never let up. Now, he loved people a whole lot more than I ever will, so I suppose that's a conceit you need to be aware of; I'm not Christ, if I may. But, I am Christ-like, even when I'm calling into question using The Word as a means of emotionally binding and crippling those different than your pastor and your favorite Bible verse.
You see, I love gay people. I love Muslims. I love "sodomites". I love the people who string themselves up by hooks and swing back and forth while they bleed all over the floor. When I hear those people say it's the only way they can "feel" something in life, I can relate to them, though not in the physical way they're coping. I love people when they declare I'm backsliding because I pushed back against their ideological and idiosyncratic belief that their internal rightness is the rightness the world is missing. In 2016, I lost people whom I deeply care for. What I also lost was my desire to thump The Bible, as if I'd even done that years before my family died, but even less so afterward.
Guess who else loved the unlovable, destructive, backsliding, crippled, overlooked, diseased, different, gay? Christ did. I guess when it's not convenient to remember Jesus loved everyone, Christians just tune that out. Jesus wanted to work with people; he put in effort to see the world from every angle. He only had one pastor, and that pastor told him to love everyone, and to save them, and to absolve their sins. I guess Christians overlook this because it's more convenient to wrap up their fear of where someone not them puts their reproductive parts for sexual pleasure. I guess it's easier to distract their confusion regarding folks who are biologically men who don't feel that way by disregarding their rights, in favor of making sure their Nest Egg of Christian Comfort isn't upended by birds not a part of their flock.
The fucking hypocrisy in telling me to give my problems to God is not lost on me, when the person telling me has had more problems than I'll ever face. While all I do is impart Christ-like behavior in the world, even through my anger at God, I'm reminded often, four times last week, in fact, that my perception is incorrect, and then I'm offered the "only way to salvation" by way of pastoral construct that if I don't believe an exact way, I'm some kind of "heathen". I've got your "heathen"(s) right HERE.
Guess what? I am saved. I am saved from the arrogance of the pastor asking his congregation for $300k for a plane. I am saved from the Christian who believes they've got my life figured out. I am saved the problems of the world because I don't involve myself in indiscretion. I am saved in Christ, not in the Christ of Perception people wear around their necks. I am saved the trouble of tithing to someone who will never know my name or my problems.
Where did the best advice I get come from last week, you ask? From three pastors, and my mom, as a matter of fact. They reminded me that Christ loved all, and that my anger was justified because Christ also used his anger to change the world. Now, I'm not trying to change the world; I'm trying to change mine. So, soak in that dichotomy for a while, would ya?
I am saved.
If only those people had saved their breath and given hugs and an ear to all of us who don't see their Christianity the same way. If only they'd saved their kids from drugs when they instead prayed to a deity who was done with us once Christ died.
I am saved from the perception of the Perfect Christian, who cannot see the telephone pole in their eye because they seek to find (and cure) the toothpick in mine.