I believe and trust in God but I cannot seem to believe in Jesus. I try repeatedly to read the Bible and accept Jesus as my savior but I just can’t seem to get it. I can’t believe the stories that are told in there. Also, I don’t agree with the whole homosexuality is a sin thing. I believe that God loves all of his children and should be accepted. Will God not love me because I can’t find belief in Jesus?
Jed Brewer replied:
I dig your honesty, and you’ve got a good heart. And I can relate.
Look, let’s speak plainly for a second: there are an enormous number of people who call themselves Christians and act like complete idiots.
Growing up, “Christians” made my life miserable. They told me I was evil to be into what I was into. They told me God was ashamed of me. They told me I didn’t belong.
And I believed them. For a long time, I believed them.
And, of course, they used Jesus to make me afraid. His words were the proof of how bad I sucked, how terribly I didn’t measure up.
Until, one day, I realized that Jesus was talking about them. Here are some examples:
“Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.” (Matthew 18:6)
“Jesus replied, ‘And you experts in the law, woe to you, because you load people down with burdens they can hardly carry, and you yourselves will not lift one finger to help them.’” (Luke 11:46)
“For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:20)
Anon, to boil it down, here’s what Jesus is saying, “Holy cow do a lot of you religious people suck!”
And here’s the thing: you agree. And so do I.
When you start a relationship with somebody, you don’t need to be on the same page about everything. You actually can’t be – that’s not how relationships work. You start out with some point in common, and you go from there.
You think a lot of religious people suck. So does Jesus. You think religious people treat folks in the LGBTQ community shamefully. So does Jesus. You think love, mercy, and acceptance are beautiful. And so does Jesus.
So, if you’re wanting to develop a relationship with Jesus, start there. Guaranteed: you will reach points where the two of you don’t agree. Jesus has that effect on all of us. But don’t worry about that. Start where you agree. Start reading what Jesus said to the fancy religious people of his day, and see how much that resonates with your own feelings. Start reading what Jesus said about justice and mercy and compassion, and see if you don’t feel the same way.
He’s not scared of your doubts, and he’s impressed with your heart and your honesty. And I think the two of you would love hanging out together.