I haven’t been to church in quiet a while. I consider myself a Christian and I recognize that as such, I’m supposed to enjoy the teachings and fellowship of others in the community. I just don’t really want to anymore. Church is decreasingly appealing.
And yet, in the time I’ve been away from church and Christians writ large, I’ve never felt closer to Jesus.
I struggled to find a succinct way to explain this phenomena and the only way I can do so is; Christians really suck at being anything like Jesus, and Jesus is really, truly spectacular because of that.
I feel like I should make a few disclaimers before I continue with my premise:
1.) This is not a sweeping generalization of ALL Christians. As a black guy, trust me, I understand that sweeping stereotypes are whack. I get the complexity and diversity of this religion and all others.
2.) Most of my expressed reasoning will be focused on race and politics because that’s where I’m most knowledgeable. A heady person should be able extrapolate these ideas to include other social issues.
3.) I can be characterized as many things. A biblical scholar is not one of them.
4.) When I say “Christianity” I’m referring to the believers and administers of the religion. Not its ideals.
5.) Some of this may seem scolding or unfair, but I am making these criticisms because I believe we’re supposed to hold ourselves to a higher than socially acceptable standard.
6.) I understand that this is strange and even hypocritical logic. In my weird mind, it makes sense, so I’m going to do my best to make it coherent to less-weird people.
Back to why I don’t go to church.
As far as I can remember, I always enjoyed the fellowship aspect of church and cared much less about the messaging. I’m and horrible when I comes to being talked at. As a kid, the first two professions I wanted to pursue were football and becoming a lawyer. I like discussion and debate. When someone’s “preaching”, whether it was church or a lecture, I struggle to focus. I’ve always found myself silently arguing with the speaker, asking questions, or going off on thought tangents. As I’ve gotten older, I notice that while listening to a sermon, my mental journeys often ended up taking me to a similar destination; asking, “What the hell does this have to do with Jesus?”
The fundamental issue that I have with Christianity is it too often strays from its foundation. We aint Moses-ers. We aint Paul-inites. We’re CHRISTians. I think its fair assume that most intelligent Christians would at least concede that the problems of the church at large, and of its members individually, can be traced back to a separation with Jesus.
Straying away from Jesus a HUGE problem and leads to an avalanche of issues.
It’s human nature to seek comfort and that’s what we do with religion. The large amounts of human interjection into all religions make them very pliable. Smart people can make the Bible (or Qur'an) say whatever it is they’d like it to say. This may be offensive to some, but when I hear things like “Seeking Jesus” or “Finding Jesus”, I think it’s a load of crap. Jesus aint hard to find. His words are in bright red ink! He’s right there! I’ve never felt like “looking for Jesus."