Originally Posted by WaltL1
Although I appreciate you feel that way, you shouldn't.
I used to be a Christian. I'm perfectly aware of the price your god is going to make me pay if he exists.
I'm not a rapist. I'm not a thief. I'm not a murderer. I don't go to church on Sunday and then break the 10 Commandments on Monday. I don't worship any other gods. In fact, I now lead a more "Christian like" life than many Christians do. Am I perfect? No. I admit that and work on being a better person.
Next time you see God maybe you can ask him why that's not good enough. Maybe ask him why I have to worship him to be considered a "good" person in his eyes.
Heck if the rapists, murderers and thieves can fish with you in the Kingdom sure seems like there would be room in the boat for the people who weren't those things.
Since I am just beginning to learn the "no restriction" policy myself, it would be foolish to try and introduce it through any qualification, myself. But, you say, "I was once a Christian". So, forget about what you may (or even I may consider my stance!) regarding "being a christian" and what we may infer or imply of it in any application.
But...I find most "christian" people (presently self identifying...or presently past
identifying) have some sort of familiarity with the Bible. Usually (and often especially) with the part called the new testament.
So here's the question, did you ever read the part where Jesus says "You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ But I tell you
that anyone who looks at a woman to lust after her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
Talk about "being in the same boat!" How could I deny you without being made a manifest fool, myself? The question for me isn't whether "someday I hope Walt and I can fish together, that somehow Walt will be made as "good" as me" (do you hear laughter? I do!) But that how could any man, anywhere, at any time (I know some find my tendency to paint with a broad brush, sloppy, to say the least)...get outta "that boat"?
You could ask..."so what about it then?" Why the Jesus hubbub (this Israel guy
amongst others) always seems to be making? I can't speak for others in this matter of the "why" in particular...(each man is given to declare his own relationship to anyone...surely including this Jesus)...but I am "allowed" to speak of what I believe I know.
So here's a thing I (presently) can't deny. (And I admit freely it is a simple cornerstone of my present thinking) Jesus is always telling me everything that is utterly impossible..."stuff". (or if you prefer...I am inferring, I gotta allow for that)
He never tells me "you got it now! You figured it out!" and this is really odd...because at times...I think I really do. But then...another impossible thing comes into view.
Impossible! Impossible! I mean...this Jesus is relentless in it.
I think I understand what the cross means, and I may even think I got some grip of it. And, quite metaphorically speaking...there I am...suffering nobly, sweating profusely, giving my most pious impression of ascending that hill with Him (yeah, I'm right here with you Jesus! How you doing friend? I know you wanted company...just some companionship...I'm here for you Bud!)...and boom...that girl's face in the crowd! Man, is she pretty! Makes me wanna straighten up a bit, suck in my gut a little, maybe even wince...but just the tiniest bit, y'know, show I'm bearing it (while also trying to show how very very tough this is!). Do you hear laughter yet? I do!
Who am I kidding?
Now, admittedly, it's times like these I think of all the times and times again I have either repeated or reminded myself (or been reminded) "If any man come to me and take not up his cross, he cannot be my disciple" I mean..."one" doesn't even get to "start" to hear from Him...apart from this! Huh? Impossible! Impossible!
And I so often think myself "a disciple"!
There's only one thing I am expert at, to deny it now would bring a laughter I don't think I can bear to hear...for I don't perceive it would be "laughing with me".
I am an expert fraud.
Pick me apart to the deepest particle I have yet seen of myself (but indeed, I also admit..."that" picking has a very salubrious effect...which I cannot explain) and I trust every particle will be stamped and say "done for an audience". For wife...one demeanor and face. Co-workers get another, children, another, friends..."enemies"...I got a trunk full of faces. And each is always being cosmetically modified per reaction.
OOOps! Shouldn't have put on that scorn face to such a degree toward that guy in the bar whose arms were 5 inches larger than mine! Noted!
Shouldn't have put on that "smart face" among these atheists (they're already pretty expert at looking past my "pious" face "I'm only here to help you poor poor shlubs")...cause some obviously do quadratics in their sleep! Noted!
But this fellow Jesus keeps ripping off masks! Doesn't He ever get tired? Impossible! He even gets past the one I don't think I have ever allowed anyone else (or should I say...been so provoked as to show anyone else?) "Why the he** are you treating me this way?"
'Yeah...one time I got so deep in the doo doo (to me) this thought came "Are you just trying to take advantage of my good nature?" (I hope you someday hear that laughter!...like maybe even now) Yeah, that remains an all time belly buster!
So yeah, I kinda love Him. He's impossible to be with...pretty much...like me.
If we wanna stick with the boating analogy, I'd have to say...He knows me stem to stern. I don't.
But, He's the one who never jumped ship, and yet also won't fall for my masks. It's really quite impossible to understand well enough to explain. It's just who He is.
It's odd (and yes, I know I say that a lot
) how it seems to be working. If I allow Him the what..."dignity"??? respect? "allowance"? of Him to be who he says He is...I hear this..."yeah, it's fine for you to be who you are, too...at least with me"
No one else I know (wife, children, parents, friends...enemies) has ever told me so as convincingly. Nor unremittingly in practice.
Yeah...for now...at least...that's what "my" hubbub is about.
An impossible fellow finding another impossible fellow. And calling him...friend. Yeah...it's impossible.
Just look around the boat.