“Many of us confuse proximity to Jesus with intimacy. God did not send his Son into the world so we could have something else to do on Sundays. Jesus came because apart from him all life’s experiences, successes, failures, and memoires are merely temporal, insignificant in the light of eternity and therefore illusory and figments of our imagination. Religion can create some of the most hollow souls, where we learn to speak about God as if he is not even in the room any longer.”- Heath Adamson
“Religion is often the safest place to hide from God.”- Richard Rohr
As Heath Adamson continues Chapter 2 of The Sacred Chase, he notes that Matthew, Mark and Luke record Jesus driving money changers from the temple. This occurred toward the end of His public life. However, the Gospel of John records a similar incident at the beginning of Jesus’ public ministry. Thus, Jesus started and finished his ministry with like displays of intolerance. Hence, Jesus reacted to the abuse of power and misrepresentation of God that only religion affords.
Today, our culture often uses the word religion to describe either the object of our cynicism or our contempt for hypocrisy. As a result, ‘being religious’ (a negative) gets confused with devoting one’s life to standards of truth.
However, Heath stresses, we need not view religion negatively in our hypersarcastic and cynical world. Because humanity partners with the divine to pull heaven to earth. When our heart’s motivated to love God and others according to the greatest commandment.
But, Judas never arrived at that place of authentic vulnerability before God. Therefore, Judas viewed Jesus as his rabbi, not his Lord. It would have served Judas well to slow down and pay attention to the condition of his soul.
In conclusion, Mr. Adamson applies this caution to us:
“I am going to suggest something a bit provocative that requires an intentional pause on our part: we can be more committed to Christianity than we are to Jesus. We can be more committed to the story about God, and, over time, like the idea of God more than we do God as a Person. Jesus did not come to earth merely to create a religion called Christianity. His body was not marred beyond the form of human likeness so we could have a ‘Jesus-branded life.’ ”
Today’s question: Do you ever confuse proximity to Jesus with intimacy? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Wounded in the name of religion and church”