Thursday, April 03, 2014

First and Best Church of Love and Jesus, Ohio Synod - Call for Members

There’s a long-standing belief in Christian circles that love and truth are inseparable. Lean too much in the direction of love and you become a wishy-washy, namby-pamby relativist who is willing to accept anything and everything. Lean too much in the direction of truth and you become a hardline, doctrinaire Pharisee without a beating heart. The greatest of these is love, but truth will set you You need both.

Every Christian believes, more or less, that they have these two attributes in balance. And Christianity, with its 2,000-year-old history and its 8,543,962 variations/denominations, encompasses virtually every belief imaginable, each of them sanctified as Holy Truth, even when they completely contradict one another.

So I’m fed up. I’m starting variation #8,543,963, the First and Best Church of Love and Jesus (FABCOLAJ, Ohio Synod). I’ll get it wrong, guaranteed, just as the other 8,543,962 variations have gotten it wrong. But I’d like to get it wrong in the direction of wishy-washy, namby-pamby love. I’d like to take a shot at that since precious few Christians seem interested in leaning that direction. And see, right there I’m blowing it. There it is: failure within the first minute. If I was a decent, loving megalomaniac and founder of a new religion I’d be gracious, and kind, and non-judgmental. But I’m not. You’re welcome to join me anyway.

I want to get away from the Truthers. Truthers bother the hell out of me. I wish they didn’t. Truthers are very upright, righteous people, full of beliefs, which they can enumerate at great length, and are very, very principled. They study the Bible and have worked out elaborate systems of morality. They are so principled and moral that they’d rather let little kids starve than allow a single gay World Vision worker help to keep them alive. And I want out.

So here’s the deal for you Truthers: You can keep the “Christian” label if you want it, and a minor prophet or two to be named later. You get to boycott, claim persecution, hold on to all the televangelists and Rush Limbaugh, host your paranoid Culture Wars conferences, and retain all profits and proceeds from the Christian Entertainment Industry. It’s all yours for the taking. Have at it.

But I get to keep Jesus. You can’t have him, and don’t you dare claim him, because your beliefs and actions don’t look anything like him. I’ll accept whatever label you want to call me. It doesn’t matter. I will take on the epithets of being judgmental, divisive, and cranky. Hell, yeah. And it’s true anyway. In spite of this bad beginning, anybody interested in signing up?

Actually, I don’t want to start a new religion. I just want to follow an old one. Anybody know where I can find it?

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