I was given a copy of a book for Christmas. It’s too intimately autobiographical for me in many places, but like all Christian spirituality it has gems for even people like me.

flames“I love how the Gospels start, with John the Baptist eating bugs and baptizing people. The religious people started getting baptized because it had become popular, and John yells at them and calls them snakes…if they had faith that Jesus was coming and was real, then Jesus would ignite the kingdom life within them. I love that because for so long religion was my false gospel…there is something more than the emptiness of ritual…Too much of our time is spent trying to chart God on a grid, and too little is spent allowing our hearts to feel awe…It is as though my heart, in the midst of its euphoria, is saying to my mind, There are things you cannot understand, and you must learn to live with this…you must learn to enjoy this.” (Donald Miller, “Blue Like Jazz: Non-religious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality”, 2003, Chapter 17)

dovefireToo many people have been vaccinated with religion against the Real Jesus. Stupefied under the authority of religious leadership in its many forms they perform rituals and become even more numb to Paraclete’s chaotic and wondrous leadership. Getting it right has become more important than Getting Right.

This book has stirred me to even deeper passion to proclaim the Real Jesus against the conforming pressure of religion.

Religion robbed me of my reputation, my career, a huge sum of money, my spiritual community and my search for justice. I can now say, “I thank God in this, because God has become not only more real, but I accept that wherever I am God will use my decision to follow Jesus to ignite “life” in me and anyone Paraclete works on.”

Religion fights against me, but I am on the team of the Real Winner, whether I seem to win or not! I’m not out to win, I’m just out with the One-Who-Saved me. And I’m not really out anything.