Christianity

We Make God Not in Our Image, but the Image of Our Teachers

pexels-photo-208331.jpegOften when theologians or pastors talk about how people view God and the ways we interact with God, they often focus on the idea that people create gods out of how they see themselves. I’m in the middle of listening to “Pete Rollins on God Part 2” on the The Robcast as I write this.

Yet I find this to be a limited understanding of the way a culture views God. Perhaps I just need more self-reflection, but I do not see God as a better image of myself, and it absolutely isn’t the image I struggle the most with. I often have seen God as a white man in the sky because I was listening to those preaching. So perhaps it is more accurate to say that many who pastor and preach, who teach God, will focus on God as themselves.

So the questions I have for myself are how do I see God? And what influence of that is from what I have been taught?  Continue reading “We Make God Not in Our Image, but the Image of Our Teachers”

Christianity

What if We’re STILL Wrong About God?

serenalolHow did I wind up so interested in theology? I think the spark may have been lit in high school, as I remember being frustrated the way I’d basically memorize my youth pastor’s sermon points, but couldn’t retain anything in my AP Calculus class.

Then perhaps it was further dived into when the boy I had a crush on when I was 18 and 19 years old would talk to me late into the night about C.S. Lewis books and quotes. By 20, I was reading popular modern Christian authors as I tried to argue against this friend’s Rob Bell-type beliefs during that whole Love Wins / Erasing Hell madness in the Christian community (if you don’t know about that: good.) I’d even work out at the gym listening to David Platt sermons. Then my world started to break, and my beliefs in the world were challenged, and I tried to walk away from all the debates and arguments and appeals to emotion or intellect for awhile. I didn’t want to figure out the divide between the spiritual and the flesh anymore. I was tired. I was sore from watching the hate. Continue reading “What if We’re STILL Wrong About God?”

Christianity, Church

A Spot at the Table (Communion)

IMG_9313Communion. Eucharist. The Divine Meal. What does it all mean? Why do churches partake in this every Sunday, or twice a year, or in between church services the first Sunday of the month? Why are there so many arguments about what it means from a theological standpoint?

Throughout Christian history, so much has been said on Eucharist and what it means. I grew up Catholic, so Communion was very particular. We had a lot of rules and a lot of regulations. I took lessons for my First Communion when I was in 2nd grade, an event I wore a clean and white dress for. When I look back to that day, I remember feeling excluded by my peers, but I can’t remember why. I think they wouldn’t let me take a photo with them. My teacher was nice enough to take a photo with me. But then when I ate the paper flakes and drank the wine, it felt Holy.

I was an altar server for awhile, so I can’t tell you how many times I watched the Catholic Transfiguration of the bread and wine into the Body and Blood. To this day, however, I still don’t quite understand the concept. What I did understand? That there were a LOT of rules. I had to do confession twice a year. I had to keep going to Mass. I couldn’t get married outside the church. I couldn’t get divorced. I couldn’t have sex. All of these things would limit access to the Eucharist.

When I went to Protestant churches later on, the little juice cups got passed around with the little bread pieces attached… or at chapels in college, I’d tear off a piece of bread and dip it in the juice. I no longer believed that I was eating the Body of Jesus Christ, but something kept drawing me back to it.  Continue reading “A Spot at the Table (Communion)”

Christianity, Myself

My Fresh Ink – Why It Matters

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Rocking a bathing suit and my brand new ink – “Redeemed”

“The tattoo was his journal, a story etched on his arm. And when Hunter sees it, he remembers those days when he was changed, and when love was rich and deep.”

The Significance of How You Tell Your Story / Al Andrews

Let’s go back to January 1st, 2011. It was a bad 20th birthday. After my dad cursed me out via email and my dinner plans fell through, I had decided to lock myself up for the rest of the day. Thankfully, a couple friends decided against that and took on making plans for me that night. I was in a lot of pain emotionally, but we had fun. I felt loved.

Afterwards, we went to one of their houses. I began to feel separated. The self-hating words came back so easily into my brain. Words I thought I had fought off over the years. You’re worthless, Jaymie. You’re ugly, and you’re gross, and no one loves you. No one will ever love you.  Continue reading “My Fresh Ink – Why It Matters”

Christianity

For the Sake of the World Around You, Christians, Please Grow in Love

image1At some point in my young adulthood life, my views on most social politics changed. This is anything but uncommon. You grow up believing in certain truths, but then your eyes adjust to the world around you.

I’ve mentioned this before, but my first “ah hah” moment took place in an APU classroom. I was incredibly conservative on all issues and got into an argument with a very liberal professor. He believed he was right in saying that Jesus would approve Obamacare. That if he were a politician, he would sit on the board and vote a big YES. Besides my own agenda against that, that argument didn’t sit right with me. He asked me why I disagreed and I told him, “Because Jesus wasn’t a politician. That wasn’t what he came here for.” And as soon as the words were out of my mouth, I felt them come back and slap me across the face. Because Jesus wasn’t a politician. That wasn’t what he came here for. Continue reading “For the Sake of the World Around You, Christians, Please Grow in Love”