Sunday, May 1, 2016

Gloves Off

The truth about it all. Curtains pulled back, guard dropped. Please understand (those who will take offense quickly on this) my heart of hearts. We get it. The world has made it crystal-clear, that the good ol' days of a basic respect for "the Christian" are well over. I like the honesty better anyway. Truly! I am very happy... for sake of honesty, mutual respect, communication, and friendship ...that people confront me / us with hard, strong questions like... "what kind of loving God would send, or even allow, people to an eternal hell?" That is a much better question than the many, many other vague, lifeless questions we (the church) have possibly enabled in. In our defense... we were really trying to be nice. Too nice, as it turns out. I apologize for that. Believe me when I tell you ...most of us would rather not get wrapped up in the heavy-felt, burdensome, this-is-how-you-lose-a-friend ...topic of "the Christian belief and way". Me? I'm a little warped. Lol. To that point... I'll also let you know... I have a little interest in some over-intellectualized, all religions are the same, all mean nothing,, feaux-equity attitude of.... "hey, let me believe what I want, while I snub my nose at your foolish Christian beliefs" ..attitude. Most definitely... you have the absolute "right" to feel that way, and or behave that way. I just fear that we are already incommunicato. My point is... I don't wanna' spar. Maybe a little. I don't wanna' rob you of your freedoms to live your life as you choose. Right the opposite, in fact. I absolutely support that notion. I also answer to a holy, just, loving God who supports the same. He taught me my own attitude toward the matter. This holy, just, loving God loves you and I so much that He won't force His love on you. He'll simply offer it. You are truly FREE. That is the good news. Free not to take it. That is His design. But it isn't His desire. Some will, again, intellectualize that very statement. Let's save one another the trouble of debate. Life's too short. I can't say it any other way, or be more convincing. God loves you... period. Murderer, rapist, good guy/girl, jihadist, thief, bank president, Rotary Club member, cute mommy of three, prostitute, homeless, spoiled brat, and even those who just will not believe in such an asinine thing as an eternal God of the universe, who hates sin, but loves me. By the way... when you hyper-smart people can provide no-argument evidence that we just evolved from some sort of  nothing ...I'll ditch God and join you, I guess. Though there would be nothing to join huh?. Meanwhile, I must continue to live by faith. A much easier faith for me to swallow. We're all in this together, folks. The list previously mentioned. I don't / can't hate you ..unless I just hate myself. And I do not. I can't think I'm better than you. That's an old trick isn't it? I'm not better. Way easy to demonstrate and prove it. And I will if you ask. THAT is also precisely why I can love you enough to be honest about this whole Jesus thing. Hard to believe those bible stories isn't it? Yup, I get it. And you won't believe it ...until you just take the plunge of faith. Sounds like a "here, drink this kool-aid" statement doesn't it? Lol. I totally understand that feeling, that skepticism. Dunno' what else to tell you though. It's a trust issue. We are not weirdos; at least any more so than we would be if not following Christ. We're not all perfect people either. Some un-believers are even more moral. Just the ttuth, sadly. Might as well be honest about it. It isn't changing. I'm not wanting to waste your time debating morality, freedom of religious belief, whether investing in the stock market is good or bad, sweet or unsweet tea, etc. No. I want you to experience the same "love of Christ" that has flooded my very being. I also want you to have the freedom not to. I love you for that. I support that! Until you crave that sort of freedom ...I'm not terribly sure you can truly follow Christ. Arguable, I guess. I won't treat you any differently. But I "will" be honest with you, because I DO love you. And the only reason I can even love that much because this big, mean God loves me that much. So, I'm kinda' done being a careful Christian. You should really be tired of that too. I wanna go ride my motorcycle, and I mean like a LOT! I wanna play my guitar really loud (I'll respect your ears though), because these things are simply "me". And I want you to be you! Isn't that great! It's beautiful! And the God I follow designed it. But love your neighbor like yourself, and right behind loving God. True freedom. It's what we all want, but live in a fear-mongering world, who wishes to rob that. In the most Christian language I can muster... to Hell with that noise! My faith is not perfect. It doesn't have to be. I'm not accurate in all my doctrine, though I work as hard as I can to be. It is not a requirement of the faith. No time, personally, for the perfect people. You intimidate me and offend me. Both because you think you are, and because you are dishonest and dillusional to get there. But I kinda get it. I'm really no better anyway. I just have different issues. THAT is why Jesus died as He did. Because we just can't be perfect. So, He perfected for us. True love. True freedom. Do you wanna' be free?

Steve Terrell