Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Take this and call me in the morning...

Am I just adding to the noise... oh the wonderful world wide web, I could spend hours and hours everyday reading blogs and watching podcasts, then hours and hours reading the responses to said media... and I'd just end up angry at atheists, religious people and probably God.  I just watched a good video blog about why young people are leaving the church, it's pretty standard and I have my own theories - I'd share them but it would probably just create more noise - then I read the responses.  I think the Internet is great but you can't really have an intelligent or meaningful "debate" in the comment section of a Youtube video, can you?  One line responses about the holiness of God, the inerrancy of the Bible, the ridiculousness of superstitious beliefs and supernatural miracles, lack of "proof", people are sinful... it always sounds like a grade 6 push fight to me  "you're stupid... no you're stupid... no you're stupid... well my dad could beat your dad... well your mom's ugly..."  except the grade 6's learned some bigger words...  Oh how I desire to put my sarcastic, judgmental, self-righteous remarks on every comment I disagree with, I can feel my prideful ambition welling up inside me right now.
Probably because I used to believe what some of the reasonable, atheist, scientific proof people  believe.  I was really good at arguing against religion, God, Jesus, Intelligent Design (if I do say so my self...)  I really really wanted to prove my friend who believed in Jesus wrong so I could bring her whole fairy tale world crashing down around her and welcome her into the miserable hopeless world I lived in and believed in... where we're free to just live, learn as much as we can, get as much as we can, pass on our genetic material, get old and then cease to exist...  ah, the wonderful cycle of life, how I wished I could prove it.

But then I met Jesus, and everything changed.  Here's my theory and answer to anyone who is wondering why young people (and others) are leaving the church: peoples leave church cause they ain't meetin' Jesus there.  All the other "reasons" are symptoms of the disease we all have, sin.  If people don't meet Jesus they aren't getting what they're coming to church for in the first place.  Young people are leaving the church because they've been sitting in the waiting room hearing fairy tales about someone who's going to take away their tooth ache, but when their number comes up they find out the Doc went home long ago and they've been sitting around waiting for someone who not in the building.  Much of the church has diluted and Purelled Jesus so much, it's like we're giving people Tylenol and cold medicine in the form of ideas and theologies about how to live the way God wants you to instead of  introducing them to the doctor who wants to do a sinectomy and get rid of the thing that's causing all those other symptoms in the first place.  "Take three worship songs then listen to this relaxing talk (or painful lecture depending on who has the mic this week) for 30 minutes and come back in a week and we'll see how you're feeling.  If you come out to the physioprayerapy meeting on Wednesday it might help you recover quicker."

Teenagers (and young adults) are fleeing the church because they're not seeing the real deal Jesus.  Atheist are only atheist because they haven't met Jesus yet.  Every other religion, addiction, cause or sports team is just a poor substitute that's trying to take care of the problem of not meeting the Doctor (ooohh, that could generate some controversial remarks in the comment section if anyone ever reads this blog.)

We all start out with the same disease so we should stop worrying about proving God.  It's not our job.  If someone has cancer but is in denial about it, a) their denial doesn't make the cancer less real and b)the cure for that disease isn't me arguing who's right.  The cure is severe and direct treatment to deal with the rotten part, like say, someone defeating death.  Once you meet the doctor that can do that, the desire for "proof", "evidence" and "reason" seem less important, you just want to trust a guy that can do something like beat death.  If you met Jesus, it wasn't because someone at church proved him to you, it's because he proved himself.  Advil cold and sinus ain't gonna cut it, Buckley's taste awful and it's not going to work for this even with a couple spoonfuls of sugar to help it go down.

Did you ever see the Seinfeld bit where he makes fun of people because everyone says,"oh you've got to go to my doctor he's the best", well in this case, if you met Jesus and he's fixed your sick, then you can actually just send everyone else you know to Dr. J.C. because he is the best.  If people meet him and they get his medicine they'll keep coming back to him, how could they ever go to someone else.  So we can stop worrying that we'll make a mistake in how we introduce people to Jesus too, I think he knows what he's doing.

So, in case you're wondering what you're first meeting with the Good Doc will be like here's the diagnosis, treatment plan and prognosis for recovery once you meet him.  And the kicker; it's all free of charge.

Colossians 2: 7-14 (NLT)  Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness. Don’t let anyone capture you with empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the spiritual powers of this world, rather than from Christ. For in Christ lives all the fullness of God in a human body.  So you also are complete through your union with Christ, who is the head over every ruler and authority.  When you came to Christ, you were “circumcised,” but not by a physical procedure. Christ performed a spiritual circumcision—the cutting away of your sinful nature.
For you were buried with Christ when you were baptized. And with him you were raised to new life because you trusted the mighty power of God, who raised Christ from the dead. You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins. He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross.


  1. Right on Joey. I've been working hard on this lately, and it ain't easy. Our churches have become bureaucracies and Jesus didn't care for them so much.

    We need a good dose of the Spirit and all else will be renewed. Check out my blog tomorrow for a rant about what the "mainline" church has become.