Hi and Bye, Sister Kept – I truly understand!
Christianity is VERY complicated and much of it makes no sense to me – never has. Studying the Bible and Christian History made a few things better but, on balance, made the issues that I had and currently have much worse, especially with respect to the OT. Even things that Jesus supposedly said and did bother me. If there is a Creator-God, then his/her message to mankind should be simple and universally clear, I reasoned.
Nevertheless, Thirty-Three years ago, I had an epiphany. I have no explanation. I didn't ask for it, nor did I see it coming. In my spirit, I'm sure it was Jesus that changed my heart, my mind and my life, even though I had no "studied" knowledge of Him. There were no Christian friends, or preachers, or books, or tracks or TV shows – not even a Bible. I might have been "crazy" then but the fact is, I have been unable to "shake" what happened since.
So, for 33 years, Jesus has been my "imaginary friend" as some agnostic folks would say – they may be right. I must accept this as a possibility – that there is no God - personal or otherwise.
Even though I'm nearly 60 and have lead and taught Bible studies, I never proselytized and never liked praying aloud (I like the prayer closet - no "for show" stuff). To me, Bible-Based Christianity is so complex and self-contradictory. How could I recommend this "faith" to anyone, when I didn't understand it myself? I hate labels and tribalism and still cringe sometimes when others refer to me as a Christian. In fact, I don't know what to call myself, but I'm completely ok with my "non-label". This may sound really stupid, but if it wasn't for "My Jesus", I would have left Christianity a long time ago!
However, I don't see the harm in my "delusions" as some would contend. For all the darkness in the Bible that I don't understand and a World that is apparently out of God's control or concern, Jesus is still the first "person" I greet every morning and the last thing on my mind at night. His presence is always pleasant to me, even when my house is full of kids and grandkids.
Perhaps one day, His Spirit will fade from me, but for now the evidence of His Grace is still a fire shut up in my bones and this is as close to "truth" as anything in my life. For this, I am most grateful! No Dogmas or absolute Rules, just Provisional and Personal Truths that guide my daily walk - abiding, rich and full.
I like this quote: If God is Truth and Love, then in Truth and Love we shall find Him. Whether we are His Creation or He is ours, does not change the Nature of the quest.
Good Luck on your journey, precious Kept. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org
. Please keep in touch!
(by His) Grace & (in His) Peace, John