Ruminations

The chewy thoughts of a queer Christian

Foolishness

For the message of the Cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

– 1 Corintians 1:18

Every time I try to think of how I might communicate my belief in Jesus, I feel like a fool. My head tells me that what I am saying, or thinking, sounds ridiculous. But my heart says, you know what happened – why can’t you say it?

I love Jesus, but I am ashamed of it. I am ashamed of my belief in his deity, in the atoning power of his sacrifice, in the glory of his resurrection. I cannot say aloud to anyone what I believe, because every time I try to say those words out loud, my mind screams back at me: Illogical! Crazy! CHRISTIAN!

The name of Jesus is so weak. I can hardly bear to speak it – it is reviled, it is detested; it is a tried and failed idea. The only way that one may speak of Jesus is as 1) a posited historical idea. 2) Perhaps a good moral guide. 3) A religious teacher on par with Mohammed, Buddha and Socrates. But to use the name of Jesus in a religious way is taboo. To try and share my faith in Jesus with others, I feel would be impossible. The name of Jesus is weak, and I am weakened with it.

Then I applied myself to the understanding of wisdom, and also of madness and folly, but I learned that this, too, is a chasing after the wind.

For with much wisdom comes much sorrow; the more knowledge, the more grief. – Ecclesiastes 1:17-18

Do not deceive yourselves. If any of you think you are wise by the standards of this age, you should become “fools” so that you may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight. – 1. Cor. 3:18-19

I have to let go of my intellectual scripting (click for more on scripting) in order to make room for God in my life again. I cannot bear to speak His words because, rather than making me sound wise, they make me sound stupid. In order to put Him first, I have to let go of my pretensions of wisdom. Oh, the irony.

For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength. – 1 Cor. 1:25

“The weakness of God is stronger than human strength.” Perhaps I should trust in it, but I have trust issues with the Divine. I tend to find that sometimes what I think is the Divine is really my ego pretending. On the other hand, scripture points out that resting instead on the wisdom of the world is a sure-fire way to land in ego central. But what about when the message of the cross becomes the wisdom of the world? How do you separate the one from the other? When does divine duty end and institutional following begin?

How do I make this message my own? (Oh. There I go again. It’s all about me, isn’t it?) How do I give this message meaning again?

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4 thoughts on “Foolishness

  1. Well you pegged it right on the head when it comes to Jesus and how the world thinks of Him. You obviously are very keen on today’s culture, which is not a bad thing, I look and listen as well and can see exactly what you mean. I will add, that Jesus’ name is the most powerful name there is, its the only name by which man can be saved. I’m not surprised the world has it backwards! But I am of the utmost concerned when His church does. Spend time reading His word and spend time with Him, He’ll give you the answers.

    • It may not be surprising that the world has it backwards – but I think it’s important to be engaged with today’s culture. It’s too easy to turn one’s back to the world and just enjoy the church. But then, what about the people outside? Its message should have meaning for them too…

  2. I totally feel you. Its hard to move forward once you’ve lost your adoration for the message of love. Part of our life as Christians is being a “fool in love”, and its difficult when the romance has faded, and you’re walking through the valley. Hang in there!

  3. The romance has faded – such a good way of putting it! I think it was C.S. Lewis who described faith as continuing to believe in something you once held as true, even when you can’t remember why anymore. Thanks for the encouragement.

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