James Haws, posting on the brilliant Sunday Papers blog wrote about the Jesus he doesn’t believe in anymore, or perhaps more accurately, the Church model which is based upon a whole host of false, unscriptural and plain theologically dodgy misunderstandings, or be-lies as he called them. The problem is many outside the Church (and a few inside it as well) think this is still the case…
James makes some asides in it, and I am drawn to comment further: my comments in red.
I have a confession – I don’t believe in the Jesus that I once believed in. Over the years I have rid myself of many values and beliefs or ‘Be-lies.’ Belief systems and principles do nothing to change us. Often they have been fabricated from a text whipped out of context, culture and common sense.
Here are some of the belies I have dumped or trying to dump
- Be humble, be meek, be nice (meaning be passive and obedient)
- Do nothing on the Sabbath apart from go to church (church becomes so busy)
- Work hard all the time for God (Don’t play or enjoy yourself – people to be saved!)
- People who go to church are better then those who don’t (creating self-righteousness)
- Be perfect as your heavenly father is perfect (don’t make a mistake / remain guilty!)
- Be under authority – (Always answer to a parent and remain a child!)
- Don’t get angry (Not in an aggressive way, or in public – at home is OK!)
- Be a good witness (God is watching you and will judge you for your faults)
- Jesus always answers prayer (take your pick, now, not yet, future – he knows best)
- Deny yourself and take up your cross – (worm theology – you are nothing!)
- God will always protect you (But what will he protect me from?)
- Dualism – (the original sin in my view – be separate!)
- Keep repenting of all your dreadful sins (you are bad and don’t forget it!)
- Children are resilient – don’t spare the rod!! (Treat them how you like)
- Original sin (You are bad to the core and until you realize that, you are lost)
- God is male (Creating patriarchy and male centered theology)
- The Bible is infallible (Creating Bible believing Christians – or the parts they like! I’m working on being a God-believing Christian first and foremost)
I have had to kill those beliefs, but they don’t die easily, they cling on deeply
But re- member many of us once believed…
- The world was flat
- Women are not equal to men (Some still do!)
- Divorce was a sin
- Children are born in sin and need the devil beaten out of them
- Christians shouldn’t shop on a Sunday
- Good Christians shouldn’t drink alcohol (so what was the Wedding at Cana and the the accusation that Jesus was a glutton & a drunkard all about then?)
- The King James Version of the Bible is the one and only correct version of scripture (and what Jesus spoke).
Holding onto certain beliefs creates a stuck ness, which stops us moving and hinders creativity, feeling and passion. Static belief creates machines, systems, institutions, clones, but not humans.
Jesus didn’t ask us to believe in him he asked us to follow him. Followers are always on the move internally and externally – I’m not even sure if Jesus would believe in Jesus anymore!
If we want to do what Jesus wants – perhaps we need to ditch the old beliefs and start moving and following.