What‘s love got to do with it?

I am mad at Craig, Talon, and my pastor.  They all recommended that I read a book that is challenging my fundamental belief system.  I am reading Blue like Jazz.  I can only read one or two chapters at a time without having to set it down and face my own hypocrisy.  Although the author and I have very different backgrounds, we think upon very similar lines.  One section of the book really struck me between the eyes.  He was recounting how he had led very successful small group and was treated almost as a guru.  At some point he realized that he was a fraud and was portraying the ideal Christian, but was not projecting his true nature.

I similarly led a very successful small group at my church.  The TnT (twenties and thirties) group by any measure was highly successful.  At times I was looked at like a spiritual guru.  Those of you who know me well are at this point rolling on the floor with laughter.  But none the less, that was my experience.  People admired me and I basked in the adulation.  In reality however, I was the same dirty rotten scoundrel you all know.  Somehow, without consciously meaning to, I changed from authentically sharing my faith to projecting some idealized version of myself. 

This all came crashing down the moment I experience the slightest hardship.  When the real me came out, I think many of my new friends felt cheated, as though I had somehow changed.  The reality of the situation was that they had never really know me and what they were seeing was the real me.

The author of Jazz, goes on to seek Christian spirituality while de-emphasizing “Christianity (or the cultural institution we call Christianity).” He talks about “outing” himself as a follower of Jesus. 

I don’t know why, but that just blows my mind.  I am not a closet Christian.  Almost everyone knows I am a Christian/Methodist…blah blah blah.  But a follower of Christ?  I am not even sure I know what that means.  I am a big fan of Jesus’ teachings.  I love the book of Matthew, particularly the Sermon on the Mount.  But does it really impact my life?  Do I love my neighbor (with his corn) like myself?  Do I turn the other cheek (only after I have won or I it is clear I will be defeated)?  Do I feed the poor?  Minister to the sick?  Mmm…no.  I am nice to my friends and mean to my enemies.  No better or worse than my non-Christian brethren. 

The author speaks in terms of loving Jesus. One thing I am absolutely sure of is that I do not love Jesus.  Jesus is my mistress.  I like the fact that he occasionally gives me a spiritual high or gets me out of a jam.  But love?  I don’t think so. 

What is amazing to me is that even though I treat him like a whore, his capacity for love is not in the least bit diminished.  I on the other hand am not even sure what real love of God looks like.  The thing is, although I am a John, most of the people I know are too.  I am left to think that true communion with God is almost unattainable.

My 2 cents on a Monday morning.

By Ben Posted in Life

3 comments on “What‘s love got to do with it?

  1. I almost picked up this book on Friday, but put it back. I will need to read it. It sounds challenging…however, do I really want to be challenged? 🙂

  2. I’ve said it many times in responce to your blogs Ben, I do not claim to “belong” to any organized religion.

    Hypocrisy is the main reason for that.

    Hypocrisy within organized religions, hypocrisy within us all.

    Well isn’t that just the lesson at hand?

    To “BE” that which you’re looking for?

    It seems to me, “true communion with God” occurs when we be impeccably human.

    How can we do otherwise?

    I see your 2 cents and raise you a thought.


  3. All spiritual gurus are frauds, including apostles and swamis and the Dalai Lama and the Pope and assorted immams. The only spiritual guru not a fraud was Jesus. So it’s okay. Be willing to follow Christ imperfectly rather than not follow at all.

    I have no cents, nor sense, but there’s a comment anyway.

Comments encouraged!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s