Sunday, February 24, 2008

I Miss Jesus...


It's no mystery to those who know me, but to those who don't, I've somewhat given up on the belief in the idea that Jesus Christ is God and is necessary for our salvation. It doesn't make sense to me, and it creates a lot of theological problems. For me, it creates more issues than it's worth, so I've thrown it out. The Jesus of Matthew, Mark, and Luke aren't terrible, but the Jesus of the gospel of John drives me crazy. I can't stand all the talk of being God and the "I'm better than all of you and you need to follow me or face weeping and gnashing of teeth" that I feel when I read it.

But still I go to church. I like being faceless in a crowd of people gathered to learn how to be better people. I don't mind Jesus as an exemplar, just Jesus as a religious leader shaming us into being good people. Today was one of the Sundays I actually got up and went to a new church. It was really peaceful. People were friendly, there was a lovely sermon (I don't quite remember what it was about now, but I liked it at the time), a wonderful traditional service, and nobody knew me. It was cool.

In the middle of church, I started to realize that while my academic endeavors have led me to discard my belief in the Godhead and Jesus as necessary for salvation, I miss that so much. Particularly lately I've been feeling so guilty about my life. I feel terrible about the things I've done, the things I haven't done, and the people I've hurt along the way. I want someone to tell me it's going to be okay, that I'm still a good person, that the path I'm following is leading me to be the man that I want to be. I miss the idea that I can just pray to Jesus and it will all be better.

Even while I say that, I realize that a belief in Jesus Christ never could fulfill me. It's nice to feel forgiven, like I can start over, but it didn't fix anything. It was a false sense of security. Perhaps Jesus had died for my sins, but I still had to take full responsibility of my actions here on Earth. I never experienced and divine revelation showing me the way, creating unbelievable coincidences guiding me along a certain path, or anything mystical outside of my own emotions.

Without Jesus, I actually have to forgive myself. I have to make amends with those around me whom I have hurt. The ball is in my court. It's a lot more difficult to not have a scapegoat like Jesus to pawn all of my troubles onto, but I also feel like it's more virtuous. Part of becoming a man is learning that my actions have consequences, that people have emotions and I need to take those into account, and creatively discovering ways to clean up my own messes.

Still, I miss Jesus. I miss feeling like some higher power has done something miraculous for me, but I just can't bring myself to buy into it any more. Growing up sucks.

5 comments:

rob winger said...

hey marko,
it's amazing you miss Jesus. i would never miss the jesus you describe in this blog.

however, the Jesus who gave it all, who loved and accepted all, who was moved with compassion, who cared for and forgave those whom society would have discarded, who's only harsh words (the better-than-you, gnashing of teeth stuff) was directed at self-righteous hypocritical leaders of the covenant family...that Jesus i couldn't live without for a day.
grace and peace

you might want to take another look with new eyes...

Anonymous said...

Mark,

Here is what I have learned in questioning my faith in the exact same manner: God loves you. Simple as that. I am learning to take responsibility of my actions here on earth, but I also am asking Jesus to forgive me. Because while I need Him, I also need to be responsible here.

Jesus misses you too. He is waiting for you with wide open arms. He loves you.

I hope I was able to offer at least a little comfort. Peace.

Anonymous said...

Hi Mark.
Whenever I get that way I put in my DVD "The Passion" It helps.
I empathize with you. I know what you mean when you say, I miss JESUS It's a struggle to pray some days. Here's what I think. We all have to be JOB at some point. Life is full of painful events (not fair). All the hocus pocus rituals don't fix things. I miss Jesus too. Please Mark hold on for a little while longer. Jesus is the image you've always had. He is the one to keep turning to. Faith is defined as believing when there's no proof to do so. A mustard seed is all you need. Hold on Mark
For his name shall be the HOPE for the world

Anonymous said...

whether people want to admit it or not we all have questioned God's authenticity. It's okay to have doubt. It means you're human. Faith is believing without seeing.
So ask Jesus to reveal himself but remember GOD came in a whisper so what may seem like a coincidence could be the proof you keep looking for. It's hard but consider that the earth is suspended in mid air. If a fraction off we would be spinning out of control. The stats for it to all have come together so perfectly are not even possible.
the beginning of wisdom is a belief in a higher power. Jesus is real. The scriptures are God's words. The only thing that won't fade away is his word. Keep reading =Pray without ceasing
In the end it's all we will have to help us. Jesus will fill the gap so hold on to that promise. Soon you're faith will be renewed
It's natural to have ups and downs You'll be okay-Even Jesus on the cross said Why have you forsaken me
God allows us to be in the desert-to be hopeless. It's a testing of some kind. On the 3rd day Jesus rose again. God will bring your faith back to life to. We all miss Jesus at some point. Keep believing Mark. Jesus still got your back friend. He luvs you and gets where your at. Push forward and keep seeking those answers.
Seek and you will find me.
I listen to TD Jakes check him out
an amazing preacher who helped me
I'll pray for you

Anonymous said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KIR2Xq4xY0E
check out the you tube video
I Miss Jesus
this guy is singing your song