Have you ever been going about a normal day as you would normally … nothing special nothing out of the ordinary … and then IT happens:
KAPOW … KERRUNCH … KERSPLATTTTT … !!!!!
IT being a moment unseen and unheard by anyone else – but a moment when something remarkable knocks on the neurons and sets alight a firestorm of growing inner excitement. A moment when this firestorm gathers pace out of sight (and only in mind). A moment when something that was never thought or imagined becomes the most obvious thing ever? It happened to me yesterday …
There is no such thing as a Good Christian.
(and before you shake your head and move on, consider this …)
* If there is no such thing as Good Christian, then there cannot be a Bad Christian. Both need the other to make any sense.
* And if the prefix of good or bad is irrelevant, then the object word of “Christian” becomes another meaningless label.
* Because to take away “good” and “bad” leaves nine letters that could mean everything or nothing.
* Because just what does “I am a Christian” really mean?
“I am a Christian”
I could say “I am a Man” … “I am Living” … “I am not Dead” but I rarely do. That is so “universal” it is meaningless.
So when people tell you they are a Christian it is usually framed as in “I became a Christian (add time-frame)” … or “I have been a Christian for (add time-frame)” … and this one “I have only been a Christian for (add time-frame)” – the addition of “only” implying “I am not a proper Christian yet” – which I have never understood.
And then I keep bumping into the knowing comment “Jesus wasn’t a Christian you know” – as though it is somehow meaningful. Because the Apostle Paul wasn’t a “Pauline” either. It was those who decided to adopt what Paul taught who called themselves (or were called by others) “Paulines”. Just as today we have “Beleibers” and “Swifties” and even “Fanilows” – Barry Manilow fans (I didn’t know either!)
“I am a Christian”
Those who are critical of “Christians” apply the label liberally to dismiss and belittle. Just as those who are “Christians” do the same with “Atheists”. It makes arguing easier and makes “belonging” (to whichever group) simpler. None of which has much to do with anything really.
My “KAPOW … “ moment sparked off the back of these last few posts: following where religion says “Do Not Enter” … going “beyond the bible” … following rather than “map reading” … asking why and where it may lead.
And the obvious perfect and logical KAPOW! was …
It leads nowhere because there is no destination. It leads nowhere because this is not a competition or career path. It leads nowhere because this is not about finding anything that tells me “I have arrived”.
It is simply one small (and up until now not at all obvious) “state of mind” change.
A state of mind that doesn’t desire plaudits for journeying and following – that doesn’t need to be seen to be ticking boxes – that doesn’t distinguish between one or another – that loses the capacity to need certainty, security, approval, evidence, committees, dogma, doctrine …
For isn’t all that the “public stuff” … the “wide and easy road stuff” … the “religion and religious stuff”? And wasn’t that the “stuff” this Jesus taught against – wasn’t this approval and religious stuff something he challenged head on – and wasn’t that why he made such an impact?
He met ALL and EACH where they were. He saw no “Do Not Enter” signs.
I think Christians read of Jesus and try to emulate him. I know I used to. But I now think of those fishermen, those tax collectors, those ordinary Joe’s who never tried to do that – never tried to emulate.
They simply followed. They were also blind to “Do Not Enter” signs.
And – KAPOW! – I think they “got it”.
Whereas I think we prefer to “lose it”.