Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Embrace Your Inner Pharisee...

***Disclaimer - This is another lovely unfinished post from the draft section of my blog. Did I bother to finish it? No. Will I? Maybe some day. For now it is just a thought...


Admittedly, I don't know a whole lot about Jesus, but from everything I have read about him, he sounds lovely.

Please don't think poorly of me. Yes, I was born and raised in one of the most conservative states in our  nation. I grew up attending church and studying the Bible; however, I don't think that I ever absorbed the message as intended. Or maybe, just maybe, I had selective hearing and only took to heart the messages that I subconsciously wanted to remember. I might have even slept through a sermon or two after Saturday night dates in high school. Scratch that. I barely dated in high school; I just slept through a few sermons. I never bothered to memorize any scripture, and if I am brutally honest, I will admit that I have only ever read short passages of the Bible. I have never read an entire book from the Old or New Testament. Come on, now. Some of those Biblical names don't even have any consonants in them. How am I supposed to pronounce those?

I did, however, have a Sunday school teacher in my formative years that made an undeniable impression on me. Buzz. That was his nickname, and he had a way of reading a passage and making it come alive. He would talk about the things happening in the world around the same time as the events of that particular day's lesson. Buzz also had a way of making it seem okay that I was never prepared for a lesson and couldn't spell the word pharisee. I learned two things in his class that have hung around inside my head for decades. These two things are the starting point whenever I have a decision to make. Except for lunch. I start with how much money I have in my pocket for that.

1. Love is the best of these. I know this is part of a Bible verse, and if I were a good Christian, I could tell you which verse. Ahem, instead I will paraphrase that when left with nothing but love, faith, and hope, love is the best.

2. The pharisees were obsessed with the letter of the law and being pure. Jesus was the spirit of the law and didn't think too kindly of authority.

The two thoughts above are my spiritual foundation. Love is best, and following the letter of the law isn't always the right thing to do. Sometimes, you have to find the spirit of the law and learn to love it.

Here's the rub. I think I might be a pharisee (metaphorically). At least, if Jesus were walking the ground today, I'm pretty certain that I would fall into the pharisee box. Oh, how that pains me to admit. If Jesus were hanging out in the good ole USofA today, would he hang out with me/you at First (insert denomination) Church? Or would he walk to the darkest, dirtiest, neediest, most corrupt place he could find? From what I've read, Jesus hung out with lepers, beggars, thieves, and whores the first time around. Seriously, I have read that much of the Bible. I'm not assuming the whole beggars, thieves, and whores thing. Stands to reason that he would seek out those who need him just as much if he were walking the ground today. Right? Where does that leave the rest of us? Sitting on our pews arguing about how to follow the Bible and what is Biblically correct? Drenched in the letter of the law and failing to ever feel the spirit? Maybe we can all do a little better. Maybe we can all embrace our inner pharisee and try to smother it.

***I'm really not sure where this post was headed or why my thought process was at the time. I just know that I was tired of looking at it in the draft section.***