The truly discerning
person will look for the Answer in the most unexpected places.
Throughout my short
life, I have sought the Answer. The Answer to life. To death. To pain. To suffering.
To frustration. And I’ve found the Answer. The panacea. The end-all and the be-all.
The Alpha and the Omega.
But not the
Jesus you’ve been taught about. I’m talking about the Jesus best represented
by Jesus in the Christian Bible. The “eating and drinking” man.
The man who ate with sinners; the prostitutes, the whores, the lepers,
the tax collectors.
This represents a God
who favors no one.
The God (represented
by the man) who was hated by the religious elites. The man who, by his very existence,
overturned every single thng that the pious held dear. The man who was, ironically,
the definitive Christian iconoclast.
was the man who saw beyond the ethnic chauvinism of his Jewish compeers and befriended
a Samaritan whore, blessing her by giving her the most profound Christian doctrine
The time is coming when
the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, and that time is
here already. You see, the Father too is actively seeking such people to worship
him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth —
John 4: 23-24, New Century Version
This was a man who was
a friend of the friendless and was an enemy of the religious.
As I looked for this
Jesus, I was sidetracked by religion — i.e., the preachers, “teachers,”
“evangelists,” and other hireling-hucksters trying to make a buck off the
Gospel by controlling
and other forms of legalism.
It took me 30 years
to realize that much of organized Christianity is designed to keep our wheels spinning.
We are told to live the Gospel, but in the churches we are led to believe that the
process of living this Gospel is a vicarious one: we are told that we are to live
it by paying homage (and money) to an overclass of men and women “ministers”
to preach, teach, baptize and proselytize — in effect, our mission is to pray and
pay, they tell us. They tell us that we need church to survive spiritually. That
we need the Bible. That we need their interpretations of the Bible.
I’m here to tell you
that it ain’t so, if you’ll excuse the grammar.
Take a moment to listen
to me and to my friends. Don’t answer this matter before hearing it. Allow us
to argue our case for pure, simple, Jesus-only Christianity. What do you have to
lose? Silver and gold we do not have, but we do have this to give to you: In the
name of Jesus of Nazareth, take up your bed and walk — away from your dead life
in a dead church and into a vibrant life of loving your neighbor, the way you were
meant to love them: without an organizational church needlessly intermediating between
you and God.
Heed and remain mindful
of my favorite Scripture, Isaiah 1:18: “Come and let us reason together.
Grace and peace be unto
Rodney O. Lain,
Somewhere in Minnesota…