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Buddy Christ


It has been so long since I have written to any of the blogs I write for, that I almost forgot how to log in to compose today’s entry.  If I am being honest I had to take a break from the blogosphere because I was burned out, my faith was floundering, and I owed myself a break to try to decompress and to be able to provide quality to my friends and colleagues here at the door and to those who grace us by taking time out of your day to read our musings and meanderings of theological wanderings.

Also, my faith was/is in crisis.  That’s right, shock of shocks, Pastors, Priests, Rabbis sometimes have times of doubt and questioning – times of fear and failure – times when we aren’t sure what we believe and if we believe.  During one of my sleepless nights of questioning I even stumbled over an invitation only support group online for clergy who have become atheists but because of the economy can not leave the ministry.  You can find the link to that info here.  Also, NO I haven’ t joined that group.

I read articles about men leaving the church, found here.

What I have discovered is that I haven’t lost my faith in Christ – perhaps in what I think we have been seeing a great deal of  in recent years, since the movie “Dogma” first hit theaters – a peddling of  “Buddy Christ.”  A soft Messiah, a cuddly Messiah, not a man who walked into smelly tombs to bring friends to life, not a savior who was so intense he sweat tears of blood, not a Lord who made whips and cleansed the temple, not the Christ who refused to answer Pilate – thus assuring that He would be nailed to the tree.

I question if the modern church has given the modern culture what they have demanded, this is a market driven economy.  Joel Osteen tells folks that God wants them to be rich or wealthy and his congregation is packed.  Others have “worship” *cough* that is much more about entertainment than worship – we, and yes I include me, have given the world what George Carlin mocked us for – Buddy Christ.

 This is not the Jesus of Scripture.  This is not the Christ that withstood the tests and temptations of Satan in the wilderness.  This is not the Son of the Living God that tells us that it’s okay to enter the darkness of the valley of the shadow of death, for His rod and staff comfort us.  This is not the Holy One that descended into hell, that took on the sin of the world, that defeated sin, death, and the devil.

My faith began to be restored by talking to a Jewish friend.  He laughed when I talked with him and said, “My people are known for crisis of faith and screaming at God, maybe I can help.”  He did, he listened, he laughed, he wept with me and for me and he said, “My friend, you have not lost faith, you have lost sight – lost sight in the Jesus of Scripture – the charismatic leader that walked on water and healed the sick.”  Then he laughed and said, “If Jesus saw his image today, he’d roll over in his grave – then nudged me and said, Oh that’s right, he already rolled the grave away.”  We both smiled and he got a twinkle in his eye and gave me the best and most beautiful advice.  “Return to the story, forget the myth, forget what culture and the church are peddling – return to your first love.”

Amazing, faith restored from a Jew quoting Revelation.  He never referred to Buddy Christ, he said, “The man Jesus I have studied does not drink mocha lattes, wear pink fuzzy bunny slippers, and wax eloquently over the next marketing plan for the church – he rolls up his sleeves, spits in the mud, and helps people see.”  He then spit and said, “There’s your mud, open your eyes.”

This may not apply to you in any way, if not I apologize for wasting your time.  But if your faith is fragile, forget the myth and return to the One – Jesus the Christ.










2 Comments leave one →
  1. Guest permalink
    28October2011 11:30

    Not just “forget the myth”, but “return to the story”!
    Jesus fulfilled the law by telling stories, stretching with parables, narrating a different version of God than the law had been co-opted to tell.
    Thanks for telling your part of the story – I am also thankful for your Jewish friend, and for his wisdom and presence.

  2. 29October2011 07:09

    I am also grateful for your Jewish friend…. I pray that you are immersed these days in the power of the “story”.

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