Tag Archives: atheism

upswinging

It’s funny, people asking me if I’m okay now that I finally feel okay.

One of my very best friends has found the love of his life. Or so he thinks. He also found Jesus. A few months ago, he found Jesus. After wanting to be a Youth Pastor when he was in college, to going to seminary, to realizing God is fucked up and church is fucked up and people in church are fucked up. Then a staunch atheist for a long long time. Then a quiet atheist. Then, Jesus.

But I haven’t seen Jesus in awhile, only his new girlfriend. Almost fiance. After a few weeks, he has bought the ring.

You’re an addict, dude. You’re addicted to something, always. To drugs, or alcohol, or me, or work, or Jesus, or her. I guess it’s not okay to say that, at least not before I’ve met her and not before he asks and not over text message.

I spend too much time thinking about loss. So many friends gone this year, but the choosing kind of gone. I know I’ve said it before. It’s just always there, the holes, and more added every day it seems like. It’s okay. I have new friends, or old friends who have stuck around, and I try to focus on them. I try to remember the holes I’ve left in other people’s lives. Try to convince myself I mattered to someone as much as these people matter to me.

I don’t even know her last name. Did she keep hers? Add his? Take his only?

She said Happy Birthday and some other kind and thoughtful things. I didn’t respond. What would I even say? What could I even want from her? And do I risk responding only to find that her message was just…a thing, and not an attempt to get me back.

I feel okay. It’s pretty cool. Of course I anticipate the upswing to keep going straight on to mania, but for now it’s awesome, and welcome.

Thanks, beach time last week! You put me on the right track.

 

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please stand up (or, why christians shouldn’t stand up for their beliefs)

Someone just said to me, “I find it challenging to stand up for my [Christian] beliefs and still love others who don’t believe the same things.”

I ask you:

What do you mean by “standing up” for your beliefs?  And is your definition a Biblical one? Because as far as I can tell, Jesus didn’t tell you to legislate your beliefs. He didn’t tell you to call other people out on their unbelief, unless it is a person close to you and is a member of the Church. He didn’t ask you to judge someone’s sin or even get involved in his or her life. He told you to spread His words, His message. He told you to turn the other cheek, and give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and take care of the ‘least of these,’ and show kindness/humility/compassion to those who do not follow the God you follow. He asked you to intercede for them – in fact, he gave you the Holy Spirit so that you can intercede for them.

So spread His message in the way he asked. Share your experiences. Preach the Gospel in your church and in the streets, if you like. Tell everyone what He has done for you.

But don’t preach it from the seats of government. Jesus never told you to do that.

Don’t berate others for their own beliefs, no matter how far from yours they might stray. Jesus never told you to do that.

Don’t argue with strangers on the internet, or share memes designed to put down those who are different than you, or make statuses about those same people, even as a “joke.” And most certainly don’t turn those people away when they come to you for help, or mercy, or love.

“Share if you believe” doesn’t help anyone. The Bible says to offer your time and your money, and it doesn’t specify that the receivers have to believe what you believe.

Jesus hung out with the people no one liked and he offered them a better way without ever putting them down for the life they had been living.

Try it sometime.

Stand up and do something with your time, your money, your love. Your beliefs should be just fine standing on their own.

 

(Helpful Bible verses for reference categorized in the book “What Did Jesus Say?” by Diane Bay.)

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