“For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.” -1 Corinthians 2:2
Some days, I don’t believe in Jesus, or God, or anything really. Some days none of this makes sense, and I can’t possibly understand how some God who supposedly loves me more than anything in the universe can at the same time remain behind the cosmic veil, because if that were my kid and I were God, you bet your ass I would rip through the whole damn fabric of space-time just to hold him. So I don’t get it.
Why does he let children suffer?
Why does he let us destroy his planet?
Why did he let his people build a system filled with patriarchal imperialism and claim that it in any way reflected his “church?”
Why do progressive Christians live like Jesus, but talk like he doesn’t exist?
Why do conservative Evangelicals have brand new youth rooms and coffee shops, while the homeless shelter down the street doesn’t have enough money for PB & J sandwiches?
What does it even mean to believe and live the gospel anymore?
Some days, all I have is my resolve. I don’t know. I don’t have answers. I don’t have absolutes or perfect theology or unshakable certainty. But I have resolved to love Christ, to know Him and to live for Him. It doesn’t make sense. Intellectually, I can’t even be sure he exists.
Christ and Him Crucified
I’ve seen miracles that most people don’t even believe happen, I’ve had visions of heavenly places, entered a transcendental encounter with Jesus where I saw humanity through His eyes, and watched the words of my messages melt hearts in mere moments. None of that was enough to keep me from entirely losing my faith.
All that, and yet for three years I was inches away from being a full fledged atheist. I still remember talking to my mom on the phone one night, saying how I’d lost everything and had no idea what to do with my life now that I no longer believed in God. Then one day he came back to me, because I came back to him.
I’m not sure I ever left, even though I stopped believing. In that moment of return, I could feel it in my spirit, wherever that really is. Deep in my inner knowing, I just knew–
no matter what, He always holds me.
That moment changed things for me, because I knew that I would never lose him again. I knew that even if I walked away, I would always be floating in the womb of His goodness, eternally safe in His love. That was the moment where fact, fiction, real or myth, became totally irrelevant.
Christ and Him crucified. That was all there ever was.
I know, I know, none of this makes sense. I don’t think it’s really even supposed to. That’s why I have this verse. That’s why I resolve, to know Christ and Him crucified, and nothing else.
The social gospel, the evangelical gospel, the Unitarian universalist gospel, the republican gospel, the progressive gospel, so many competing, complicated systems all telling us what to think and what to do. Heck, even the Bible has competing complicated systems all telling us what to think and do! Today, the one thing I cling to, is what to me is the simple gospel:
Christ, Him crucified, and us one with Him forever.
So many days I feel entirely alone. The secular liberals don’t get my Jesus crap. The Evangelicals don’t like how I embrace LGBTQ+ people or my approach to the Bible, the progressives don’t like my insistence on personal friendship with Jesus Christ or the fact that I regularly see miracles. I don’t belong to any group, and I find ways to offend any social circle I find myself occupying. Sometimes, I don’t even feel like I belong in the group “Christian.”
Yet, I am a Christian,
I am a friend of Christ,
In Him I belong,
and I’ll follow that Man anywhere.
-This post is different from my normal style, I know. It’s personal, and I don’t explain anything. Here’s my hope though: I hope that in getting vulnerable, you see a bit of yourself. This world of tribalism is destroying us, and the systems have to fall. We can’t keep centering around sameness, because we all just end up feeling alone. You aren’t alone, you aren’t forgotten, and you are in this very moment resting in the womb of Christ. You are one with God, you are in the tribe of humanity, and you belong. Peace be with you, and may the Lord bless you and keep you. His face shines upon you through the radiance of Christ. May you feel His warmth every moment of this day that lies before you.