Was I really that person? Did I really think that way?
There once was a lady who had feet that were a knotted mess. Her feet looked that way not because of any sort of disease, but because she refused to take good shoes from the incoming donations in the community in which she served. Instead, she would dig through the piles of shoes until she found the worst pair available. She didn’t want those in need to be stuck with the worst pair. So, many years of being selfless took their toll on her feet. Her name was Mother Teresa, and these are her feet.
I think they’re beautiful. They perfectly capture what the actual gospel looks like. Mother Teresa’s name will live forever; not because she was better than anyone else but because she loved better than most.
There are a handful of people in history who have done so, and all of their names go unforgotten; names like:
Martin Luther King
and of course, Mother Teresa
They cared more for others than they did for themselves. Their lives are filled with acts of
defiance bravery, selflessness, and love for others.
They took a stand against the status quo – the mainstream trains of thought. They were compassionate, defenders of the innocent, a voice against injustice, keepers of the homeless, friends of the poor, and provided refuge to the outcast.
For some, it cost them their lives – the others wasted their lives for this cause. They lived the gospel.
That sounds a lot like the Jesus I’ve read about.
They lived his life within their own – “To live is Christ.” Did they walk an aisle and pray a “sinner’s prayer?” I don’t know, and quite frankly I don’t care.
I no longer stand by the modern ideas of salvation. I think they chose the gospel that so many of us have forgotten today. Today we have a newer gospel, and it looks nothing like the one any of those people (including Jesus) lived out.
The Prosperity Gospel is a sham. It’s wrong, and it’s captivating the hearts of millions of Christians. The only people getting rich from it are the mega-church leaders making that shit up.
We’re so deep in consumerism that we’ve completely lost sight of the gospel that Jesus lived.
Look, I’m not saying that working 9-5 and paying your bills is bad. I’m saying that there is a divide between the American Dream and the Jesus gospel. It’s a chasm that millions are trying desperately to jump across – to the wrong side of.
That leads me back to my original two questions: Was I really that person? Did I really think that way? Well, yes I was, and I did.
The Prosperity Gospel is appealing because it provides Christians a way to be both “saved” and “blessed.” The blessed life that Jesus spoke of wasn’t one that lands you the newer/better paying job, allows your favorite player to catch the game-winning touchdown pass, or provides you with that $400/month car lease.
Being a Jesus follower requires your life to be transformed. It requires you to look like him; to do the things he did.
But that isn’t sexy, and it doesn’t sell, so instead we have pastors teaching that putting your best foot forward, staying positive, and giving them money will revolutionize your life. By “life” they mean that you’ll magically receive whatever you’ve been reaching for – health, wealth, etc.
As if somehow money leaving your bank account and going into theirs – or their ministry’s – will buy you a miracle.
How in the hell did we get here? How did this become equated with living like Jesus?
How cheap we’ve made his life and the life of those that have lived as he did. It’s no wonder that Christianity has no appeal to those outside of it. We’ve prostituted the Bride of Jesus to the highest bidder, and sold her off as a cheap whore.
The Prosperity Gospel doesn’t have room for selflessness. It’s a consumerist model that only gives birth to selfish hearts.
Christians today are so caught up in this whirlwind – like I was – and fighting about whose theology is right that they’ve become irrelevant.
They’ve even begun fighting about how to be relevant!
Modern Christianity as it appears today is a lost cause in my book. I can’t side with it any longer, and I can’t afford to waste any more time debating the Bible – especially when it’s become a breeding ground for hate, intolerance, and manufactured doctrine.
Instead, I’m choosing to live like Jesus did. I’m choosing to be selfless like Mother Teresa was.
I want to defend the persecuted – and if that means I’m defending those being persecuted by Christians that don’t look like Jesus, so be it.
You may not see it, but there’s a line being drawn in the sand – not by me, but by humanity. This complete disconnect has to be rectified. The side on which you stand is up to you.
I choose Jesus – I choose humanity – I choose Love.
“The juice goes out of Christianity when it becomes too based on faith rather than on living like Jesus or seeing the world as Jesus saw it.” – Steve Jobs