's counselor told her the other day that our society has been inoculated against Jesus.
that is to say, that Christianity is so commonplace, so mainstream, so paraphrased and clichéd and bumper-stickered and neutered that it has become unremarkable and tame. or at least, that's what i inferred and interpreted from the statement ;-)
it's why i have a difficult time identifying myself with the term Christian, because if i describe myself to someone as such, they've seen the televangelists
, they remember the church person who condemned them, and they hear the squeaky wheels of the church at large that don't represent my views, my beliefs, my desires. saying i'm a Christian leaves no questions to be asked.
calling myself a disciple of Jesus, a Christ-follower, or "just a fucked-up guy trying to follow Jesus" might be as cheesy in some ways, but still i occasionally get some conversation out of it.
when we were at Short Mountain Sanctuary
for Beltane this year, i couldn't help but think that were it not for Constantine's vision
and the subsequent rise of Christianity from persecuted underground spiritual community to state-sanctioned/enforced religion, it would be Jesus people hiding out in the woods while the stolid, upstanding citizens went to the temple to offer sacrifices to the gods.
i kind of wish that it was that way.
not that there aren't Jesus people doing some different things
, and places like the virtual cafe
document some of the alternative ways church is taking place.
but on the whole, the term "Christian" invokes a whole lot of negative feelings and actions and statements that i can't and don't want to defend.
at the same time, these other people love Jesus as well, and are family in that regard, as embarrassing as it occasionally is.
like your obnoxious Uncle Lenny grabbing the waitress' ass at the family reunion, and you're trying to explain, "we're not all like that"
i just don't want to make summation statements about myself, i suppose. i want dialogue, not monologue.
and i feel like so much of what the Bible talks about, and particularly what Jesus says, is
countercultural, is radical and strange.
take this passage
for an example.
if i was really doing all those things, that would be different, so different than the norm of the culture that surrounds us.
or from the norm that lives down the street. you know, that creepy guy.
and i want to read these verses again, and hear what people heard when these things hadn't been spoken before, and interpreted, paraphrased and dissected ad nauseum
for it to be fresh and new again. for me, for the people i talk to.
Tags: church, community, jesus