I am the Crucifixion
I wanted to write this blog over the weekend, but I didn’t get the chance too. Between getting everything finalized for church and spending time with family, my weekend was pretty busy. I was pretty nervous about church on Sunday for a couple of reasons: 1) I was being formally introduced to the congregation as the new Youth Education Coordinator, and 2) the message for the day was “Why did Jesus die on the cross?”
There’s a lot of bitterness between the Pagan/Non-Christian and Christian communities sometimes, and I see it the most around two major holidays: Christmas and Easter. Around Christmas, there will be graphics that compare Jesus to various Egyptian or Hindu gods that basically scream, “Look, your savior isn’t real. He’s just a copy of this deity over here.” And it’s the same around Easter with different Gods or Goddesses.
Part of me gets it because I feel the frustration just the same: you want people to be educated about what they believe. It’s okay to believe in Jesus and that mainstream savior dogma, but don’t be stupid about where that story came from or assume that it’s not just a valid a path as all these other paths that are out there.
Mainstream Majority Christianity, MMC, makes me so completely uncomfortable. I define MMC as the believe that there is one God that created all of the earth (either in six days or over a longer period of time), and this God is a god of love, but also very judgmental and expects his children to live a specific way, which is laid out in the Bible. It’s the belief that we weren’t getting it, so this God sent his one and only son specifically to teach the world how to act and then to die so that we could be forgiven because no matter how hard we try, we always fall short of the glory of God. It’s the belief that we have to believe that this person was the Son of God, died, came back, and is not only the savior but our savior, and we must accept him as such to be able to get into heaven. Otherwise, we’ll be judged and we’ll end up in hell. Oh, and gays may or may not be evil sinners.
The common theme here is that Jesus is the Savior and Christianity is the only way. Everything else can vary.
My uncomfortableness (is that a word?) comes from the fact that these people will tell me that I’m going to Hell if I don’t change what I believe. They can tell me, over and over, that they love me and that they’re my friends, and some of my best friends have this type of dogma… but they believe that I am going to hell or they live their life as a hypocrite.
And it’s not because I’m gay. It’s because I’m not a Christian. And I’m not just any non-Christian… I’m a Pagan. I worship the Gods of the people who slaughtered all their first born sons and enslaved their ancestors, even though most of then don’t have a stitch of Hebrew blood in them. My Gods are “soundly and completely defeated” in their holy book, and shouldn’t that be enough evidence to show me that I’m wrong and they’re right?
When I left the Christian faith, it was because I was gay. When I decided not to go back, it was because I was Pagan, and even though I had good times and I had struggles, my Gods always saw me through to something better. I never wanted for anything, and I became more joyous and whole through Them who strengthened me.
And I refused to turn my backs to Them in favor of this God who had done nothing but hurt me… or so I thought.
As my faith grew, I became more and more forgiving of my past experiences and those that hurt me. I was able to have conversations with Christians, even if their faith and dogma made me (and still makes me) really uncomfortable (I’m not sure I will ever be comfortable with being judged, and I’m not sure I know anyone else who is). And I started to read a lot about the Bible, including the Bible itself. I purchased various study Bibles, read online commentaries from “both sides of the coin,” and started to draw my own conclusions.
I learned very quickly that it wasn’t the God of the Bible that condemned me, but the followers of that God. It wasn’t enough of a revelation for me totter my way back over the line into calling myself a Christian, but it was enough for me to find it within myself to forgive those that pushed me away and forgive myself for having so much anger at this God who, from all accounts, really does love people.
So I started reading, and found a pretty interesting story about a guy named Jesus, who was born and taught some fairly revolutionary type things. He healed people who were sick. He hung around those that no one else wanted to be around. He took all the old “rules,” condensed them, and threw out all the rest. He said that the poor and hungry and sad are all blessed.
He said, “Blessed are you when people hate you and when they exclude you and revile you and spurn your name as evil, on account of the Son of Man.” (Luke 6:22, ESV).
He said to love your enemies. He said not to judge or condemn others. He said to focus on our own shortcomings and problems before we point the finger at others.
In Luke 10:8-9, Jesus is telling his followers to go out and heal others. He told people to be humble. He spoke out against the rich and way things were for a new way of believing, a new faith. He was so against the way things were that he went into the temples and overturned the tables there.
And the people called for his arrest, so he was arrested. And the ruler found him innocent and would have him released, but the people called out for his death. Why?
Because he told everyone, “Love your neighbor. And what you are doing now is wrong.” And people were really, really pissed off because they didn’t like change. They called out for his arrest, he was arrested. They called out for his death, he was crucified.
And then what happened? He prevailed over death.
There’s a lot of spiritual meaning behind this story. There are people who will say that he died for our sins so that we could be saved. I would tell you that his death symbolized the dying of the ego, the physical, in favor of a spiritual oneness and connection to the divine power…
But if we look at the story… just as it it… A man who spoke of love and against the “way things have always been” in favor of showing more love and kindness to our fellow humans, who was feared and disliked so much that he was arrested and killed, who then triumphed over death…
Then I tell you this: I am the crucifixion.
All in the LGBT community are the crucifixion. Minority races are the crucifixion. Women are the crucifixion. Disabled individuals are the crucifixion. Everyone who has ever been discriminated against, had laws passed to suppress or discriminate against them, been told they were wrong because the Bible said so, or been condemned for who they were and for preaching inclusion, tolerance, love and acceptance is the crucifixion.
Every time an LGBT individual is turned away from an establishment that refuses to serve them, whether for a wedding or in general, those acting against them act as the Pharisees of the time of Jesus, who acted simply because that was was they were told to do and because that is the way things had always been done.
Every time a disabled person is refused proper treatment or care, it is just as the healers in the time of Jesus who refused to help those that needed it.
Every time a black person is shot and killed because they were “threatening,” they are condemned to death like Jesus was: without a proper trial or legitimate cause.
But I’ll tell you this: every single one of these people or groups of people are blessed, just as Jesus said in the sermon on the mount, and just like Jesus, they will rise above death and be justified and glorified. They, not those who act against them, will be “inherit the kingdom of God,” as they say.
When we, as a society, discriminate on a people for no other reason that because “that’s the way it’s always been done” or because “the Bible says they’re wrong and I’m right,” then we are acting just like those that would have Jesus arrested and killed.
It wasn’t the Jews or the Romans or whoever it was that killed Jesus. It was us. It was this society.
And we keep doing it today.
Posted on April 7, 2015, in Belief, Faith and tagged acceptance, Bible, blacklivesmatter, Crucifixion, disability, easter, jesus, LGBT, Love, peace, race, Resurrection. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.