I'm on a mission . . . from God.
by the late Rodney O. Lain
What if half the things ever saidturned out to be a lie...How will U know the truth?If U were given all the answersand U stopped to wonder why...How will U know the truth?"The Truth,"
The truly discerning person will look for the Answer in the most unexpected places.
Throughout my short life, I have sought the Answer. The Answer to life. To death. To pain. To suffering. To frustration. And I've found the Answer. The panacea. The end-all and the be-all. The Alpha and the Omega.
But not the Jesus you've been taught about. I'm talking about the Jesus best represented by Jesus in the Christian Bible. The "eating and drinking" man. The man who ate with sinners; the prostitutes, the whores, the lepers, the tax collectors.
This represents a God who favors no one.
The God (represented by the man) who was hated by the religious elites. The man who, by his very existence, overturned every single thing that the pious held dear. The man who was, ironically, the definitive Christian iconoclast.
Jesus was the man who saw beyond the ethnic chauvinism of his Jewish compeers and befriended a Samaritan whore, blessing her by giving her the most profound Christian doctrine ever created:
The time is coming when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, and that time is here already. You see, the Father too is actively seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth - John 4: 23-24, New Century Version
This was a man who was a friend of the friendless and was an enemy of the religious.
As I looked for this Jesus, I was sidetracked by religion - i.e., the preachers, "teachers," "evangelists," and other hireling-hucksters trying to make a buck off the Gospel by controlling people with biblicism and other forms of legalism.
It took me 30 years to realize that much of organized Christianity is designed to keep our wheels spinning. We are told to live the Gospel, but in the churches we are led to believe that the process of living this Gospel is a vicarious one: we are told that we are to live it by paying homage (and money) to an overclass of men and women "ministers" to preach, teach, baptize and proselytize - in effect, our mission is to pray and pay, they tell us. They tell us that we need church to survive spiritually. That we need the Bible. That we need their interpretations of the Bible.
I'm here to tell you that it ain't so, if you'll excuse the grammar.
Take a moment to listen to me and to my friends. Don't answer this matter before hearing it. Allow us to argue our case for pure, simple, Jesus-only Christianity. What do you have to lose? Silver and gold we do not have, but we do have this to give to you: In the name of Jesus of Nazareth, take up your bed and walk - away from your dead life in a dead church and into a vibrant life of loving your neighbor, the way you were meant to love them: without an organizational church needlessly intermediating between you and God.
Heed and remain mindful of my favorite Scripture, Isaiah 1:18: "Come and let us reason together.
Grace and peace be unto you.
Rodney O. Lain,
Somewhere in Minnesota...