You want to know something? I’m not a good Christian. I strongly dislike study books, and even when I’ve tried to get over my distaste and just do them anyways (because sometimes in Sunday School they give you homework) I’ve rarely, if ever, finished. Not only do I dislike study books, but I’ve never read the Bible in a year, or even in two. I’m fairly sure that I’ve probably read every word in there in bits and pieces but never systematically or all at once. It’s hard enough for me to read straight through a book. More often than not you’ll find me doing Bible roulette. Y’know: open, read, digest, repeat again the next day. That kind of formula. Though if I open to Leviticus or Kings I’ve been known to shut, open, and retry. I did read through Isaiah once. C’mon people, Isaiah! But I don’t know that I really got much out of it. Nope, not really.
It really bugs me when people try to reduce everything down to a formula or to legalism. To sermon points. Most of the time life is random and not very sense making, and I like that the Bible is un-linear too. I mean, honestly, I don’t really get why randomness like the rape of Tamar or the exact dimensions of the tabernacle has to be in there. But it is. The Bible isn’t as straightforward as all of our little help books make it out to be. It isn’t as charismatic. (“Those who fight against the Lord will be broken.”) It isn’t as safe. But it is real. It shows life in all of it’s beauty and ugliness. It shows the unfairness of it all.
So when my mind is in a chaotic state, like now, I can still appreciate the Bible and the church depicted there, which, I may point out, is not the tradition stricken, systematic, boxable thing we often see today. I can still live free from the worry of “Is this grey area thing I did a sin? I don’t fell guilty. Should I repent?” Christianity isn’t about legalism. I can go outside and appreciate the beauty of creation. I can listen to atypical music by non-Christians that captures truth without fear of condemnation. I can pray to the Heavens and not feel a thing and know that it is normal. It’s ok. It happened to Job and Daniel both for a long time before they got answers. I could go on…
But it boils down to this: I just wanted you to know that I’m not a “good” Christian. I don’t have it all together. Not even close. Sometimes I fear that I simplify things too much for these blog posts. In truth, the conclusions I reach for them are not always the things I live. I disagree with much of what most of the “good” Christian people that I work with believe. I admire deep tattoos. I read a Kyle Idleman book once and wasn’t much affected. Actually, I prefer the work of the ex-porn addict Max Andrew Dubinsky.
Sometimes I talk to good Christians and feel that they speak a different language. Often I think that they feel that I am one of them. And honestly, I’m not. Though I will say that I am not here to judge them. I’m glad that their structured belief works for them. I still love them even though we are so different. The basic, grounding principles of our beliefs are the same. Maybe I’m wrong for being so flippant, and different, and anti-tradition. Maybe someday God will tell me he was displeased with me. But really, from what I can derive, Jesus didn’t fit the good Christian mold either, so I kind of doubt that will be the case. But if so, so be it. He’ll have to let me know if He wants me to change.