the other side of the coin

It’s only the third week of what will surely be one of the busiest years of my working career: the Earth’s biggest multi-coded sporting event has finally arrived…well, come July 27th.

Although it may still be a long way before the 2012 London Olympics, fortunately for us sports fans, it won’t feel that long for we are ‘busy’ already. Football never sleeps and neither does cricket. It is only SA rugby that’s still in recess.

As excited as I am about the sporting offerings for this year, my year sure did not get off to the best start. Not being a fan of Christmas, I am one to celebrate New Year.

The first of January generally represents new beginnings. I say this despite the fact that it’s always a chaotic time in the Eastern Cape (where I’ve spent the past 23 New Years, whether it’s spent in front of a telly or adding to the chaos) and you may ignore the fact that I’ve never made a New Year’s Resolution in my entire existence. Yet still, the beginning of the year speaks of second chances….to me anyway.

However, what was supposed to be a fun-filled night turned out to be a not so great, for my friends anyway. I would feel the impact of crashing my car 17 days later. At around 22:33 of December 30th, Xena (my car) was involved in a head on collision.

That’s around the same time Liverpool scored their third goal against Newcastle….at least that’s when I saw the score. And to my three passenger’s horror it seemed I had forgotten I had just damaged my most valuable asset. Talk about priorities! Fortunately no one was hurt but I now have the dubious experience of insurance bullshit and well, that’s the start to my exciting year.

Upon wallowing in my misery, I stumbled upon a very unique video that got me thinking about the other passion of mine. A few times I’ve received the amazed “You’re a Christian? No ways! You don’t look Christian” reaction.

I’ve asked “exactly what does a Christian look like?” Each time I’ve received, what I call a ‘religious person’ description – a sad misconception of what a Jesus follower ‘should be’. A bill I’d never fit.

If you know anything about me you’d know exactly why. What I wore to class is what I wear while in worship band. I have a tattoo, have been ‘caught’ listening to Eminem, heck I said ‘shit’ in this post. See? I cannot possibly be ‘Christian’.

Or can I? What does that even mean anyway?

I’ve struggled with ways to explain that I’m not religious, and that God doesn’t really care what you call yourself. It’s what you do with His free gift that He’s more concerned about. And then one Jeff Bethke made his way onto my existence (and shot faster onto my blog than an angry Bissie).

Bethke is a spoken word poet, whose rhymes and videos are capturing the attention of thousands of Christians across the web, breaking all misconceptions and challenging well-known description of what a ‘Christ-like’ is.

With words like:

If religion is so great, why has it started so many wars?
Why does it build huge churches, but fails to feed the poor?
Tell single moms God doesn’t love them if they’ve ever had a divorce,
But in the Old Testament, God actually calls religious people whores

Religion preaches grace, but another thing they practice,
Tend to ridicule Gods people, they did it to John the Baptist,

the problem with religion is that it never gets to the core,
It’s just behavior modification, like a long list of chores.
Let’s dress up the outside, make things look nice and neat,

If grace is water, then the church should be an ocean,
Cuz its not a museum for good people, it’s a hospital for the broken

He explains my predicament in ways I couldn’t. Echoing thoughts I’ve had, but lack the talent to express. Fittingly titled “Why I Hate Religion, But Love Jesus,” a prophetic criticism, fused with a personal testimony and an undeniable confidence in who God is and more importantly who and what I don’t need to be.

He says:

Jesus and religion are on opposite spectrums,
One is the work of God one is a man made invention,
One is the cure and one is the infection.

Religion says do, Jesus says done.

You may not like the way I ‘do’ church. Question how I ‘act’ as Christian or fail to even live up to your religious ‘expectations’, and that is okay with me.
As Jeff mentions “Because when Jesus cried It is finished, I believe He meant it. ”

Jeff is on Twitter

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One thought on “the other side of the coin

  1. Pingback: I’m not religious HOWEVER i do love Jesus. « When thoughts fall into pictures & pieces

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