Take two: Speaking of when bad things happen

April 24, 2010 — Leave a comment

I just read this echo of this week’s post:

“Growing up in church, we were taught that Jesus was the answer to all our problems. We were taught that there was a circle-shaped hole in our heart and that we had tried to fill it with the square pegs of sex, drugs and rock and roll’ but only the circle peg of Jesus could fill our hole. I became a Christian based, in part, on this promise, but the hole never really went away. To be sure, I like Jesus and I still follow him, but the idea that Jesus will make everything better is a lie..the truth is the apostles never really promise Jesus is going to make everything better here on earth.

Can you imagine an infomercial with Paul, testifying to the amazing produce of Jesus, saying that he once had power and authority and since he tried Jesus he’s been moved from prison to prison, beaten, and routinely bitten by snakes? I don’t think many people would be buying that product. Peter couldn’t do any better. He was crucified upside down, by some reports…John, supposedly, was boiled in oil. It’s hard to imagine how a religion steeped in so much pain and sacrifice turned into a promise for earthly euphoria. I think Jesus can make things better, but I don’t think he is going to make things perfect. Not here, and not now.

What I love about the true gospel of Jesus, though, is that it offers hope. Paul has hope our souls will be made complete. It will happen in heaven, where there will be a wedding and a feast. I wonder if that’s why so many happy stories end in weddings and feasts.

…There is a lot of money and power to be had in convincing people we can create an Eden here on earth. Cults are formed when leaders make such absurd promises. Products are sold convincing people that they are missing out on the perfect life. And political groups tend to scare people by convincing them we are losing Eden, or inspire people by telling then we can rebuild what God has destroyed. We all get worked into a frenzy over things that will not happen until Jesus returns….”

Don Miller, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years

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