Friday, June 4, 2010
What if I’m wrong about God? That would ruin everything! I'm already self-anointed to demystify the divine. This is my God-in-a-Box:
He is a smooth morning-blend of love and justice. He shares with Aladdin’s genie the ability to speak things into existence. His residence of choice is your blood pumping muscle. He has by default sentenced you to eternal suffering unless you acknowledge his Son, at which point you become his favorite child, best friend, happily ever after, etc.
Is that really my theology? Why does it sound contrived? What if my brain, one among six billion, does not actually have the final answer on Universal Truth? Every night people pray to a God without a fluffy white beard, a mansion with gold streets, and a kid named JC. Do they know something I don't?
Perhaps I grew up in a religious castle and this is my first journey through the countryside? Maybe I was hiding behind the castle walls, gorging myself on steak while spiritual-famine ravaged the world. I didn’t know what it was like out there. I was spoon-fed happy answers to questions I didn’t think to ask. I’m a prince without empathy.
Recently I’ve been interacting with people who don’t think like me. They believe in God, but they do it differently. They speak about religions like they are options at a buffet. Like God as though he were too lofty to be defined. But they somehow assert faith in His love and their need to surrender to Him.
But they don’t know Jesus! That scares me because I’ve emphatically believed that He is the only way to God. I’m worried for my friends’ earnest souls; evidently condemned to hell. It’s self-defeating for them to live out Biblical values only to learn post-mortem that they were right in principle but wrong in religion. God’s bigger than that, right? So, is it possible to have a relationship with Jesus without knowing it? I bet the disciples would slap me for asking.
It's probably a stupid question. Maybe I’m just appalled at myself; my condescending generalizations of humanity. Christianity has provided me with a very comfortable, very exclusive, very high horse. For that I’ve been grateful. But in the last several months I’ve met non-Christian men who are far more surrendered to God than I am. And that has left me befuddled.
I’m not pawning off my signet ring or giving away my bowl of birthright. I’m just perplexed by what I’ve found. Am I really a Christian? Are there non-Christian Christians? Is the world flat after all?