A couple of weeks ago I decided to stop responding to those who are based in a fear driven religion who want to bash me and Heartsong for loving our neighbors. I knew better than to ever engage any of them. It was people like that who caused me to give up “Christianity” when I was in the eleventh grade. They claim to follow Jesus, but all I got from them was endless rules and regulations drenched in fear.
I decided that if they were right about God, the hell with God. I left church never to return. My attitude was if they are right about God (and I knew no other alternative) then I didn’t have a chance anyway, and I was going to have as much fun as I could until the old bastard killed me.
Well, as many of you have also lived it, the fun life I chose turned out to be no fun at all, and at the end of my rope I felt myself curiously being drawn to Jesus. I remembered that all I was taught about him was attractive, while all I was taught about following him was hateful, narrow and arrogant-not to mention impossible. Imagine my surprise when in desperation I read the gospels for myself and for the first time came face to face with Jesus personally. Now I understood why he was so attractive to me. I heard clearly his way of love, and saw his deep courage at living that out-to death-and beyond-and decided to spend the rest of my life following him. He did not require that I make of his teachings and the rest of the New Testament an intricate religion as I had been taught. He only required that I accept him as God, his way as love, and that I follow him into the adventure of my lifetime living that with all the courage I could muster. He, and following him into the life of love was, and continues to be my salvation.
I knew better than to engage those who take the name of Jesus, but wanted to attack me from the bastion of their fear soaked religion. And yet I did anyway, carefully trying to help them understand who I was and what Heartsong was up to in loving our Muslim neighbors for Christ’s sake. I am now convinced the Lord led me into that wilderness so that I could personally experience what I had not for so many years. He wanted me to experience that mindless fear possessed hatefulness so that I could speak to this dear loving great hearted Heartsong tribe about it.
I know that many of you deal with the hateful religious everyday through personal conversations and disturbing emails. My message to you is to stop listening to them. It will drag you down, get you off focus and steal your joy. Always be ready to share your experience, strength and hope in the Lord of love who is leading you into your one in a zillion life of love with them, but when you have done that-stop listening. And if they continue to try and bring you down with their superior religion, tell them you are not religious. Tell them you follow the Lord of love-loving God with all you’ve got, and your neighbors (all of them) as you love yourself, and be done with the discussion. Tell them you don’t want to discuss religion with them anymore. And if they continue to force it on you, they are not acting like friends, but like enemies. If they continue to send you hateful emails, delete them and ask them not to send them. If they persist, block them. It is up to you to guard your faith in Jesus.
The job of the hateful religious is to drag you down to their level so they can use your downfall to convince themselves they are right. Share your precious gift of life with Jesus with them, and let that be the end of it. It may be that the Holy Spirit will use your witness to work on their hearts and minds and souls. But for Christ’s sake, don’t let them continue to use you and your precious relationship of love and trust with Jesus as a punching bag. Enough.
There is a false security in rules and regulations. The fact that it is false is what so drives them to push it on other people. They have to have everyone agree with them or it scares the hell into them. It particularly threatens them when those of us who live the simple way of Jesus under the direction of the Holy Spirit tell them we don’t need their rules and regulations. It threatens their security blanket. What if it was taken from them? They fear (there’s that word again) they would have nothing, when the truth is they would then have the opportunity to know the joy you and I do of spending our lives in relationship with God instead of spending their lives in relationship with their religion which is really a barrier between them and the Lord.
They will never “get” us, and we will never “get” them. I’m completely comfortable with the Lord getting me. How about you?