Jesus is really ticked off!
If we are to believe any one of many different voices, he is mad at
* rich people – because they don’t give enough away
* poor people – they are poor because they’ve made him mad in some way
* conservatives – they are heartless
* liberals – they have no morals
* gay – because everyone’s supposed to be straight, don’t you know
* straight – because they are so bigoted
…and just about everyone else for one reason or another.
If you heard the many voices I grew up hearing and believing, you would be convinced that Jesus is mad at me. I grew up in what is most commonly known as the conservative holiness movement. Although more sane in recent years, the preaching/teaching I grew up hearing was basically fifty shades of brow-beating. Preachers seemed to experience some sort of religious orgasm by seeing how bad they could make me feel. My religious experience was basically built upon “not enough”…ever. Never enough believing, praying, reading, fasting, giving, or serving. I could never think bad enough about myself…I was just awful. Jesus is very picky on who he is gonna like, so I’d better try harder because I’m not cutting it. In fact, he’s mad right now…and I had better figure out how to make him happy again. If I actually made it to heaven, it would only be by the skin of my teeth, just a lucky break.
Consider that negative religious atmosphere…and add to it the fact that I knew I liked guys. Wow…I was headed for hell for sure! It was almost like hearing Jesus saying, “Damn you, Trevor!”
That is religious abuse. I reject that. If anything needs to be sent to hell, it’s that crap!
Jesus loves me.
His impulse to love me is stronger than his impulse to condemn me.
In fact, he madly loves me.