Years ago, in my little corner of the greater Seattle area, people (me and my friends at least) were overusing the word, “epic”.
All. The. Stuff. Was. EPIC.
It got so overused, it became meaningless. Not to mention obnoxious. Everything was epic, so nothing was epic.
This is my problem with the word “Christian”.
The word Christian doesn’t mean anything anymore …because it means everything.
The assholes from Westboro Baptist and the many flavors of their ilk, who protest funerals of AIDS victims or hold up “God hates fags” signs at PRIDE parades identify as Christians. Just like… um… Mother Teresa. Pat Robertson and Rush Limbaugh and Donald Trump self identify as Christians. Just like the KKK does!
Catholics identify as Christians. Mormons identify as Christians. Evangelicals identify as Christians. Lutherans identify as Christians… Anglicans, 7th Day Adventists, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Independent Oriental Orthodox, Methodists, Anabaptists, Quakers, Pentecostals, Celtics, Calvinists, Emergents, Unitarian Universalists, the Eastern Orthodox… blah blah.
It’s like a wild card in UNO. You can put that shit on anything.
Each of those groups and more, then casts judgment on who the impostors are who “aren’t REAL Christians”. This has degrees of variance from “if they were real believers they’d stop praying to Mary” to “they don’t even believe in atonement/hell/trinity/healing/the millennial reign – and are therefore heretics!” Each group claims to speak for God on the precise theological positions a “true” Christian would maintain and are thus able to list who is IN the club and who is OUT.
Let’s pause to admit that Christianity isn’t the secret sauce to a just and beautiful society. Nazi Germany was primarily a Christian nation as was apartheid South Africa… and the genocide of indigenous Americans came at the hands and rifles of mostly committed Protestants living into their “Manifest Destiny”. Honestly the list is so long I could go on and on…
The word Christian is simply a word referring to a tribal identity that shifts its meaning based on the person who is currently identifying with it.
And frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.
All that, as well as the fact that Jesus himself wasn’t a Christian, lead me to the place of caring little for a word that has come to mean, at best; nothing (aka: everything), and at worst; anti-gay, anti-science, anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant, anti-women exclusivism.
<slow deep fart noise>
It’s so distasteful to me that at times I sincerely wish I could just reject the entire Jesus thing wholesale.
But I can’t.
I can’t because like Ghandi and Paramahansa Yogananda and Mother Teresa and Nelson Mandela and Thich Nhat Hahn, and the Dalai Lama …I agree that this Nazarene Rabbi named (Josh, actually) was up to some real shit.
(my phrase, not theirs) 😉
And you can’t be a serious student of human meaning systems and the evolution of consciousness without nodding at the absolute nuclear impact of his life and teachings.
The fact is, I can no more accept Christianity as it is, anymore than I can reject it wholesale.
So I’m not a Christian.
That’s true. I guess.
Well, I don’t know. Or care?
It depends on who is defining it in that moment.
But I AM a Jesus guy. All. Day. Long. Which does NOT mean I take the Bible literally or think everything attributed to Jesus was actually from this peasant teacher, Yeshua. It also does NOT mean I reject Buddha or Lao Tzu or Marianne Williamson or Yogi Bhajan or Wayne Dyer or Pema Chodron or Guru Nanak, or any other mystical teacher or system who has offered a path and practice to cultivate more compassion and love in our species for the broader body of life.
Yes, Jesus is my personal favorite. No question. But that probably has more to do with my upbringing than anything. There is a sentimental connection and a long history there for me.
But whatever is the Heart and Mind at the foundational holon of this incredible universe, the Singularity that gave birth to complexity, the Source of All that Is, the Great Radiance, the Primordial Om, Ultimate Reality Itself… it can’t be so fucking petty that it cooked up some celestial torture chamber to send “unbelieving atheists” or the deceived masses from the “wrong religions” into after they die, while the “chosen ones” head off to their own personal Chuck E Cheese in the sky.
That’s just fear based garbage that every year, less and less people with a global worldview find intellectually tenable – let alone motivating enough to inspire worship for the beastly creator of such an evil system.
A new approach to faith is rising within the path and practice of Jesus Christ… that universal cycle of suffering into death into resurrection… that way of being in the world that says you belong as you are… that message that says your truest nature is connection, communion and compassion… that path of inner wholeness that honors Divinity within all of our kin, both human and non-human…
That’s not only what I am trying to align myself with, or identify as… it’s what I want to BECOME.
And in case you didn’t catch this part:
I don’t care what you want to label it.