are you ready for the sheer honesty that’s about to hit you right now?
most things religious are a hard pill for me to swallow these days.
when you’ve had the name of Jesus twisted to promote an abusive, toxic theology of shame & manipulation, a pure spiritual experience with Jesus is damn near impossible to come by. and a GOOD, KIND, COMPASSIONATE God seems like a long shot to reconcile with the angry, volatile, shunning one that’s been fed to you.
although it’s felt like it during the most anguished of moments, I know I’m not alone. I’m not alone in the crowd of thousands of exvangelicals or dechurched people, reeling from the pain inflicted on them, and I’m not alone in the select accounts I can still read with comfort in scripture.
I love the stories in the Bible where broken-up & cast-out people are anxiously, desperately, helplessly searching for Jesus.
I like when the woman who had been turned away by every doctor & shunned by every friend finds actual, physical & emotional healing with just a brush against his clothes.
I like when Jesus protectively stands in the way of power-hungry religious leaders, when they drag a half-naked woman in front of a crowd of self-righteous men and are basically drooling to throw stones at her until she dies… and then through love, He builds her back up and empowers her so she can go live clean and free.
I like when He honors a woman who has been learning at His feet as a student, and says she chose the better thing, when she is chastised by her frustrated, jealous sister for stepping out of her gender’s expected role.
I like when later on, Jesus then defends the honor and wisdom of a woman who is worshiping him with expensive perfume and the intimacy of her own tears.
in those stories, the people always had to wade through a toxic crowd of Pharisees & the religious elite before they found Jesus.
He wasn’t with them.
they were simply obscuring the view.
perhaps you need to keep going, keep wading through the messy parade of rehearsed hypocrisy, until it no longer hides Jesus from your weeping eyes.
keep pressing on. keep coming closer, closer, closer to the center. the closer you come to Jesus, the more you’ll realize that those Pharisees might be tall and obtrusive, but they hold no claim to the Prince of Peace.