I was listening to 30 Seconds to Mars earlier. In the song Buddha for Mary, this lyric comes up:
He said “there’s a paradise beneath me"
She said “Am I supposed to bleed?”
He said “You’d better pray to Jesus.”
She said “I don’t believe in God”
That said, in reference to this mostly irrelevant lyric, if you don’t believe in Jesus as God, you are likely not praying to Him in any sort of capacity.
This, for one reason or another, once again reminded me that in order to dig Jesus, to think Jesus was a cool guy, you don’t have to be what today’s society calls a Christian. I actually think that’s one of the awesome things about Jesus.
I’m pretty sure Jesus never actually called His followers Christians, but rather disciples. The term Christian was likely coined after Jesus was killed. Disciples as in, we are supposed to learn from Him . . . follow Him, and not only when it’s convenient to do so. As with anything to do with humanities or social science, I do believe our learning, especially on these sorts sociological issues dealing with human interactions [which is, hello, pretty much solely what Jesus taught on], is to our own interpretations of His words when He was teaching. That doesn’t mean we might not be taking something He said not as He intended, but contrary to popular belief among certain circles, life is in no way black and white.
I’ve written before that I often hesitate to call myself a Christian. In fact, my Facebook “Religious Views” simply say “i worship Jesus”. I don’t even deserve to be able to worship Jesus, nor do I deserve to be here alive, but the very least I can do is lead a life of worship to Him in all that I’ve screwed up and He fixed. So, I stray away from the Christian tag, even if that’s what most call me [and what I call myself sometimes for sake of simplicity].
As much as it perhaps demeans the love that salvation in Christ is to entail, many Christians believe in Jesus but aren’t interested in following His teachings. They may believe in redemption and being freed from their sin, believe in the awesome teachings of Jesus, but what if one doesn’t actually live their life in attempt to fulfill the image of Christ? (Not that, you know, anybody can be Jesus except Jesus, but that’s kind of the point, I think.) They appear to use God’s forgiveness as a tool to eff up and then continue on as nothing happened. In essence, they treat “Christianity” simply as a label not as a lifestyle.
Dan Brown, a YouTuber, made a video simply entitled Jesus. He raises many points as a non-Christian that I agree with as a Christian, and I really appreciate the views he puts out here:
Okay, so here’s the deal. I don’t agree with all of it, of course, but that doesn’t mean Dan is wrong. Here are the points I agree with:
- “My family never put pressure on me to accept their faith as my own, and I cannot thank them enough for that. I’ve been raised to understand that religion and spirituality is a deeply personal journey.”
- “What He made of Himself, was a person completely unafraid to speak truth to power.”
- “I’m not saying my Jesus is angry, but my Jesus isn’t nice to the point of inducing vomiting, either.”
- “He was the people’s grassroots response to all overzealous society figures. When the overzealous want to resort to needless violence, Jesus taught us to turn the other cheek. When the overzealous wanted to take more that was rightfully theirs, Jesus declared that the meek shall inherit the earth. And when the overzealous tried to turn the temple into a marketplace, Jesus got pissed off.”
- “And Jesus definitely understood that religion is not something to be bought and sold.”
- “It is un-Christ-like for any church to reject someone simply because of something they were born with and had no control over, such as, oh . . . their sexual orientation.”
My Jesus, I’m pretty sure, is a badass. Maybe Dan would agree with me. Because Jesus taught right from wrong. But He also LOVED and ACCEPTED those who had done wrong. He never said [at least not in the research I’ve done this last hour] anything against same-sex relationships. Jesus also never professed to be better than anybody else, even if He was the Messiah. Maybe he was just a really cool dude. Like Dan said about his belief in God, however, I do take comfort in the fact that there’s something at the end of this all, and I take comfort that Jesus had something to do with that.
I must also make it clear right now, that I take the Bible as inspired by God, but not the “infallible Word of God” as many do—maybe that’s the liberal social views in me. If anything’s been translated and re-translated as much as the Bible has, things are bound to get lost, screwed up, and maybe even twisted into the way someone else who is not God or His messengers wants us to think. Maybe I’m totally wrong, but just consider it. Not only that, is that God never sat up there with a pen [or whatever they wrote with back then] and wrote the Bible and dropped it down here to Earth, and Jesus didn’t legit write anything in the Bible. If He did, or even if somebody claimed He did, which nobody can claim, maybe I’d think differently, but at this point, I am of the point of inspiration and interpretation and growth and love through Christ’s teachings. And while I believe there are things to be learned from the Old Testament, Jesus came and led by example of love and changed things, changed people, transformed lives and attempted to change the standard of thinking, which to me is much, much more of a lesson to be learned from, and should be a starting point for those of us who have accepted the gift of Jesus’ salvation into our lives.
I’m cool if you differ from my beliefs in salvation and God. If you don’t believe in the salvation part, or even the God part, I do totally think that having an understanding of who Jesus was, even outside of the “religious” context, can only help make our world a more loving and tolerant place. Even if you just believe He was a “he” without a capital H, and was therefore just a regular dude, maybe you too agree, like Dan Brown, that Jesus was a pretty awesome dude.
I happen to agree. Jesus is a pretty awesome Dude—but He’s also my King, my Saviour and the Life that is within me.
I know this may be touchy for some. I’m entitled to this as much as you’re entitled to think I’m wrong. I’m not about to change my beliefs as much as you want me to, and I’m sure you’re not about to change yours. So if you want to smack me in the face with Bible verses in the comments, save your time.