Relearning + Asking Questions.
It's a wild time. With social media, there are thousands of opinions and perspectives being thrown at us. While everyone is entitled to their opinion and their platform to share it, it's easy to blur the lines between what is someone's personal opinion and what is a credible fact. I've wrestled through anger, fear, bitterness, and disappointment in the world. I don't think it's worse than it's ever been, I think it's all being highlighted.
Entering my twenties after growing up in the church, I feel like I'm constantly deconstructing my faith. I'm constantly examining the world around me and how the Christian worldview fits into that, what ideals are actually biblical and what the church has just adopted to make themselves feel powerful, how Christians do in fact come off to the rest of the world, what the Bible truly says that everyone is just too afraid to research because they're scared that they're going to be wrong, and how a political party somehow found itself intertwined with Christianity. And honestly, I'm tired of all of it.
I feel like I'm constantly deconstructing my faith. I'm constantly examining the world around me and how the Christian worldview fits into that.
I've found myself questioning everything, but not in a doubtful way. I feel more in awe of Jesus than I think I ever have been. I'm in awe of his grace. I'm forever grateful for the reality that this whole thing isn't about us somehow being enough, it's actually about the fact that we were still missing the mark and Christ came to meet us; to make a way for us. I'm more confident than ever at the way that Jesus loved the oppressed. If we actually look at the life of Jesus through the lens of the time and stop acting like it was written specifically for the American church it's pretty wild. He was incredibly controversial against the, you guessed it, religious leaders of the day. How do we keep missing this?
I feel more in awe of Jesus than I think I ever have been.
The reality is, Jesus was with the hurting. He shouldn't have talked to an adulteress Samaritan woman at the well (John 4:1-26), he shouldn't have healed people on the Sabbath (Luke 13:10-17), he shouldn't have invited himself over to Zaccheus the taxpayer's house (Luke 19:1-10), he shouldn't have touched the leper's to declare them healed (Luke 17:11-19), he shouldn't have orchestrated for women to be the ones to find the empty tomb (John 20:1), he shouldn't have told parables about a father who runs to his son after he squandered his inheritance and reputation (Luke 15:11-32), a shepherd who leaves ninety-nine of his sheep to rescue one (Luke 15:4), or a Samaritan who stops for the dying Jewish man when the priests have already passed by (Luke 10:25-37). But he did. He was radical.
The reality is, Jesus was with the hurting.
I've noticed a lot of Christians getting defensive in light of everything that's going on in the world. But why? Do we truly believe that Christ has already won the victory? I just don't see anywhere in scripture where we're encouraged to act like victims. And if we're not victims than why do we have to be defensive. All I really see is Jesus coming to the aid of the oppressed person. That doesn't mean we don't stand against injustice, but to be silent about the cause of the oppressed until we feel that our faith is being attacked is unfair.
I just don't see anywhere in scripture where we're encouraged to act like victims. And if we're not victims than why do we have to take the defense.
I've found hope in light of the corruption that's happening in the United States that my allegiance will always be to Jesus above America. And lately, I've been working through the reality that my allegiance is to Jesus even above the Church or other Christians.
Growing up I was often taught directly or indirectly this "us against them" mentality. We are called to not conform to the world (Romans 12:2). But just because we're supposed to be different doesn't mean that we need to always be AGAINST the world. We should be for people. That doesn't mean we compromise our morals or beliefs, but from everything I know about Jesus, he was there with the hurting, the poor, and the less privileged.
But just because we're supposed to be different doesn't mean that we need to always be AGAINST the world.
So to my fellow Christians, I want to encourage you to not be afraid to ask questions. God is not afraid of your questions. If we are scared to ask them, then how small do we think our God is? He's not intimidated. Don't be afraid to deconstruct, to dig deeper, and to be okay with the fact that your church might have taught you something that isn't even in scripture. It's good to have an open mind and to be okay with listening to what other people believe.
I have a thousand unanswered questions, I think I always will this side of heaven. But I'm in awe of the person of Jesus and that is what I cling to when I wrestle with disappointment in humanity and the Church. Jesus doesn't change, and he's not scared for you to work through things.