Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Taste and see why don't ya?

"What do I need Jesus for?"

I don't like to even answer that question beacause it completely misses the point. If you come to Jesus on a need-to-have basis, fine, but realise it's not about needing Jesus. Yes, there are resons, life without Jesus, I would argue, is leading to a life you don't want, but that's not why Jesus came.

Jesus didn't come just to give us a "get out of Hell free card," Jesus came to redeem the world. The Gospel of Jesus is good news especially for those who don't believe it. If all your neighbors were Christians (living like they say they do) your life would be easy.

So, if you are one who asks "what do I need Jesus for?" good luck finding the answer you're looking for. I suspect those who seek this question have a barrier up anyway. I don't follow Jesus just because I need Him, though I absolutely do need Him, I follow Him because His way is the best possible way to live life and in Him there is hope. It's not simply about me getting something, it's about His promise being true, that the Whole world will one day be redeamed and His people will live in it (maybe they can live in it now, topic of later discussion).

We often sell Christianity like it's all about what you'll recieve, it's all about getting. Then when someone says, "that sounds good" and "accepts it" they feel gypt to see that life in Christ is difficult and filled with struggle and submission.

Christianity is not what we've created it to be. Life under a Christian label is still life, we're all trying to figure it out. If I knew you, who ask "what do I need Jesus for?" I would not answer with doctrine or dogma because the answer is deeper than words anyway. I would invite you to join with me, to seek the answer you're looking for down a different road. Being a Christian is not, as some have said in the past, "being responseble to have these answers." I would invite you to live in the life of Jesus, then decide who or what He is, how or why he came.

"Taste and see that the LORD is good"

9 comments:

Ashley said...

Very good post Wes. So many people think that the reason to follow Jesus is to get something out of it. This only sets us up for disapointment. As humans when we expect to "get something out of it" we are thinking in a physical sense. Then when we enter into a relationship with Jesus and we don't always see "physical" things we are let down, disappointed, and then angry. When we go into a relationship with Christ willing to give or not expecting everything in return, I think it is then that we can really "taste and see that the Lord is good."

Teresa said...

Thanks Wes, I forgive you. The shock value in the beginning of my post with the picture evidentally, spured those to read on--a good thing.

Eric said...

hey man its eric from yli i am as you would say in group 2 and if you want to here my more indepth view there is and easy i wrote on my blog you can cheek out but the basis of it is as follow. homosexuality is a sin like all other sins, and unless they stop practicing homosexualitys then they are expossing people to an emoral life style... which i dont like but understand that i can not control the person they desire to be>
hit me up man
eric

Eric said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Tom said...

Hi Wes -- Long time no talk. I just needed to respond quickly to Eric's comment about homosexuality being a sin. Obviously, this is too broad a subject for the comments section, but I have to say...well, sin involves choice. (I hate using the word sin because I don't believe in it, but for the sake of this space, I'll use it.) Lying, murder, adultery, are all actions I can choose to participate in. But being gay is an essential part of who I am. It's as inseperable from me as my red hair and blue eyes, as deep a part of my personality as my good sense of humor (something I've always had). I've tried all manner of things to arrive at some other destination other than acceptance of my attraction to men and they're all dark and lonely roads. Truly, when I'm in denial about being gay, my life is incomplete. Therefore, if I were to believe in a god -- and you know I'm a Questioner -- then my only conclusion would be that god made me this way. Besides, why would anyone ever choose persecution, being disowned by their own families, fired from jobs, rejected from public housing, or being dragged out into the middle of nowhere, tied to a fence and beaten to death? PLEASE, please, I beg you, Eric, to think a little harder about what you're saying. My life (not lifestyle) isn't 'emoral.' It's natural, normal and god-created.

WES ELLIS said...

Tom,

To be truly honest, I'm still struggling about this. I can't ignore the scriptures, they seem clear tome that sin is not good, not natural and damaging to one's life. Then I read your comment and I have little room to disagree with you afterall I have no first hand experience.

There's a guy who writes on the subject who lived a homosexual lifestyle and changed his whole life and is now married and has kids (married to a woman). That sounds like choice. (his name is Cy Rodgers look him up)

Some people are gay because of some childhood abuse or simple lack of influence and it stays with them. I don't know your situation so I have little to say. If someone like Cy Rodgers is gay because of something deeper and wrong then that's what we fight.

Like you said "sin is a choice" but it's so much more it's a symptom, fighting the symptom won't get you very far.

I hope I didn't make you hate me, I gladly consider you a friend. keep blogging.

Tom said...

Hey! I don't hate you at all. I appreciate you're honesty, and you're willingness to hear my side. If there was more of this type of dialogue, the world would be a better place.

I think my first critique is that you're coming from a basic stance that claims wholeheartedly that homosexuality is wrong. So you end up saying things like, 'Some people are gay because of some childhood abuse or simple lack of influence..' Listen, homosexuality was taken out of the AMA Guide back in the '70s. It's not a medical condition or a personality disorder. I'm not gay because my father was an alcoholic. I'm just gay. It's not a problem that needs to be rectified.

Also, we could go on for days talking about the breadth of the spectrum of sexuality, but we won't. So as for Cy Rogers, maybe it was just a phase for him? Sexual exploration and curiosity are actually quite normal. Maybe he realized he wasn't gay? That would be fine, too. The basis for the legitimacy of homosexuality isn't whether or not it's a choice. Sometimes it's love, or lust, between two (not so) straight men, and sometimes it's those things between men who've NEVER thought of being with a woman in their entire lives. (And trust me, they exist. Some of them are my friends.)

Also, I was just speaking with a guy I know who has the exact opposite story as Cy Rogers. He actually went to a Christian college in Kansas(?) knowing he was gay, but he wanted to follow the faith. So he decided to follow the doctrine of not 'practicing' being gay. It wasn't long before he was abusing alcohol and drugs. He also tried to kill himself two or three times as well. Now he's out, living a gay life, and much happier and serene. And more importantly, his relationship with God is still intact. So I'm not sure where that leaves Cy Rogers...

This is probably going to be hard to process becuase you're accepting the Scriptures as perfect. I challenge that -- based on my own personal experience. I'd say they're fundamentally off the mark. Your Book might be a good reference point, but you're on your own in 2005 to figure out the how and why of this world. And I guess that's what I'm begging you to do. Don't just accept what you're given as fact. Explore. Be open to truths you might be afraid of or don't yet understand.

It's great talking with you, tho. Keep it movin'.

-Tom

P.S. -- You said sin was a symptom. Of what? Lack of communion with god?

Tom said...

Here's a link I came across randomly (I swear!) while looking for content for WetBrain: http://www.hatecrime.org/exgay.html

Enjoy.

Ryan McGivern said...

Taste. You finish by saying that
you invite others to live in Jesus
and then decide who or what He is.
That seems strange to me. What would a commitment to 'live in __'
be without some sort of understanding of what that ___ entailed? Also, "gypt" is derogatory, I wouldn't use it in mixed company. But, I think that you are missing a bit of a point. Only the worst of theologies or ideas about Jesus will see him as a 'get out of jail' card. There must be a 'here and now' quality, right? One would hope. However, I think that when people ask "what do I need Jesus for?" it might be in the vein of "what do I need another hole in the head for?" Many only see hurt, spiritual abuse, exclusion, and worse in Jesus and some forms of Christianity. Anywho, you say that you follow Christ because of your choice: you like Him. You don't only because you need Him. Again, I think that its rare to find the "fire insurance" Christians. (I haven't met any, ever.) But again, I think its also important to reflect on how 'our Jesus' is sometimes a 'deal breaker' for others. That's when a distinction between 'our Jesus' and 'Jesus' becomes necessary. And lastly, I hear in this post a heavy tone of exclusivism, as though only in Christ can people have hope and He is the only best way. Exclusivism as a soteriological stance is one that's been passed over by a huge chunk o' folks out there, and I'm just wondering if that's really what you're going for here.
Kindly, RMcG