Check out my new post by clicking on my name when the picture comes up or on the link below. Thanks for reading. Jane
A “Warning” I guess: The following long poem uses an extended metaphor of God eating those who desire to be truly consumed by something other than the current fast food philosophies and religions of our time. As poetry often attempts, I am attempting to come at Truth from a plethora of various angles and side streets. In this way, some may relate to readers and “catch” and some may not. Some may now, some may later. In addition, the length of this poem reflects the fact that eating, drinking, thirsting, and food are not only important, perhaps the most important elements in any culture or human life but are also used frequently and strongly as metaphor. Various Biblical writers and The Christ himself, use these metaphors, symbols, and even actually use food, wine, water, fasting and feasting as spiritual and religious disciplines and ways of living a truly and completely “Good” human life. God Himself uses food and drink in His own love offerings to us and as symbol and metaphor for our souls. However, this poem is mostly about the facts that we have forgotten; that God also demands actual food and drink to others less fortunate, and the metaphoric subsistence of our souls in our required sacrifices to Him.
By Jane Tawel
February 1 – March 15, 2019
The incremental decay of our belief
Festering by now
Bacteria-laden and rotten
At the bottom of the maggoty worship mount;
With all the slaves that Abraham left behind below;
While Abe and Isaac took the food and water with them;
Becoming themselves, holy Food
To be eaten by God.
As we offer the unholy, unwholesome sacrifices
Of our unearned bucks and gamey games, poached and rotting
On the idol-strewn pews, while we,
Rancid, perfumed meat praying next to our hunting guns,
gorge on pilfered blessings.
And while we bless our own bought bounty in the
bistros of our imagined coziness with God —
–Judah and Ishmael wander in the wilderness,
Famished for meaning and manna.
As our corpses engorge themselves on the
More-ness of our filched American Idols,
The “ingodwetrust” religion of corporation-run focus groups
Feels angry and afraid that those hungry for righteousness
Stand outside our alarm-strewn kitchen windows looking in;
Making the bile of our chosen status rise up at the
Less-ness of their browned and stewing children.
When all we really ingodwetrust in, is the unbiblical belief
That pagans should not abort.
It is so easy to digest the unborn,
Never having to see their open maw-ed mouths,
Hungry for the least little lint lining our pockets.
The unborn are untested and untasting of
the confections of our capitalistic constitutions.
But we, pampered and as eyeless as new taters, deliver
far too many chemically modified tots.
Our humanistic individually wrapped soul-food
worships the laden self-shelfs packed full and breaking under the burden of
too many, too much, too useless – our – us—
We have no other cause than
Refusing the aborted ones to follow
The Pie-ed Piper to Nirvana,
While the planet sags
Like a bag of rotting bananas
No-longer fit for consumption by even us devolving apes.
We now seek exile from a world we fumigated
One indulgence at a time,
While we stood by and witnessed to our own weight gain.
So empty are the containers of our hearts, that
truly hungry exiled nations have to bomb us to get our attention;
Or be served up as appetizers teasing us in our slobbering anticipation
of an imagined heavenly meal, they aren’t invited to share.
Oh, the finger foods of Jesus’ hors d’oeuvres are now
Outside the work of our idle idolized own tastes.
And The World says daily, “Bite me”.
And so, we do;
Taking bites from the rotten core of that same apple.
It is so easy to deny the 6 million and more and more, and more
Of That Good Man’s Relatives;
Killed by a Church that claims a Jew’s death paid it all.
He didn’t. He couldn’t.
Your check is still outstanding.
And you don’t get to keep the Server’s tips
Without serving it up as the Server did.
As I ratchet up my worldly consumer debts,
How can I claim that somehow, Someone paid for my final funeral feast
before I actually die?
That kind of fast food will kill you, one heart attacked at a time.
You can’t pay for the funerals of people who just won’t die.
God has to kill you before He can consume you. Ask Isaac.
God won’t eat meat with blood still in it,
Ask Moses and the Levites.
I must spill my blood, as The Son did;
Before I can be eaten;
Making myself a tender, “well-done, good and faithful” meat
worthy to meet my Maker.
Like Elisha’s widow, uncircumcised, unknown,
I ask with understandable fear of the fire, nonetheless, I ask:
“Can You? Will You?
Test me? Taste me?
Multiply the oil that simmers me?
Ah! My God and my Chef–Use the meager ingredients of my soul
And add Your anointed oil,
So that You might eat me.”
Now I lay me down to sleep
I pray the Lord, my soul to eat
If I should wake before I die
I pray to be God’s apple pie.
God, forgive my poor table manners,
Thinking that I don’t even need to bother to take Isaac up the hill
Since Jesus #lovesmethisIknow.
I won’t clean my unholy mouth with the serviettes of serving the Savior,
Oh, no we have stopped wolfing down The Word;
Stopped marinating our souls in righteousness; we have long stopped longing; and
Stopped killing the fatted lambs of our lives;
Ever since we started starving ourselves to death
With our bulimic anorexic Faith
that throws up the good with the bad,
we have stopped partaking in Your daily gluten heavy bread.
We have made the world so hungry,
Ever since we started convincing the masses that
one Lamb-chop is enough
For a ravenous, consuming God!
What holy feasts are these?
When Santa grows fatter and Uncle Sam is obese
while God looks anorexic!
And the disciples don’t even bother passing out
The fish and loaves to the multitudes;
Instead the apostles are in spin class,
flying first class with their Disneyland pass.
Instead the wannabes sit as food critics, hiding behind the apron strings of Jesus,
Watching chefs on TV rather than buying the street food of the homeless;
Trusting that there will be enough of just one Peace of Piece of Christ to go around.
We mini-me-messiahs gnaw on the edges of Gnosticism
Ignoring the need to nosh on Tanakh;
Ignoring the requirement to fatten up ourselves enough for
God to see and consume us.
We keep skipping ahead to the dessert
Created on a dare by the Nouveau Roman Cuisine Cook Saint Paul.
Hey all you diners,
Those final additions to the Menu
are meant to be the whipped cream on top, folks,
Not the entree.
The Inheritor of the Real Cookbook, the Son of Chef,
Offers up the A La King special:
“Fatted Calf of Covenant Served with a sliced side of
Hot Crossed Messianic Passover Lamb.”
But our mouths are full of bargain bought plasticized oleo
And the precious oil bestowed
On the bridesmaids,
Is considered oh-so-yesterday’s testament to good fuel.
We honor the ones who make money selling Christ’s cross,
claiming the titles but remaining nice fat babies
sucking on the teats of Mother Church,
never working at the hard task of fishing like grown men
never throwing out the heavy nets of faith
never growing the incisor-ed teeth of Truth
but sitting on altered perches
raking in the dough
with no desire to feed the hungry with real bread, real perch.
Well, you’ve eaten in the halls of the gourmands
but one day that Son of man
will demand to see the recipes we all made in secret.
“Lord, when did we see you hungry?
Lord, when did we hear you thirst?”
God cries: “I Thirst!”
Christ shakes His blood-marinated head,
“Oh, I have food in those unsung, unknown, starved morsels of men,
those wee women, and crumbs of children
that you well -known hoarders and self-serve busy-busies
know nothing of.”
And God cries, “Feed Me!”
And so the feast of fools, once
Stomped into wine by the nail-scarred feet of Christ;
Topped off with the risen bread-body of Christ;
Goes untasted, untested, undrunk by us,
While the sugary cheap-grace bread-pudding and
watered- down wine
Fail to keep us alive.
And while the calorie-free dessert is served up in the pews,
Promising it will taste almost heavenly;
the hellish desert of arid wasted-ness within and without grows larger and hotter.
Spiritual food creating thirst not living water.
And the mirages of our salvation
Keep leading us ahead to a false heaven
While the Earth boils and toils.
And God dines elsewhere.
We have stopped maintaining our weightiness
On the required kosher-ed ketogenics of
The Lamb as Protein IAM Diet.
We prefer to let us eat cake
Instead of swallowing whole
the Ezekiel Scroll-based smorgasbord.
We think we are safer eating from
our FDA-approved, second amendment earned trophy-letters of that
latter day Saint Paul
no red letter signage to create hunger
but the dulcet tones of brown and green, rot and mold concealed.
We are encouraged to sit on our fat rears
keeping a food journal about our own decaying feelings and worries,
Instead of following The Jew’s Recipe for True Life.
Out there serving it up as He did
On the food lines of Heaven on earth.
The one about following The One
And dying to our own self-inflicted wounds;
The one about giving it all away;
The one about no other gods and no personal effects
Except the effects of Love?
You know that one? That is no joke, no fortune cookie faith.
True Love proposed to me
and like an engagement ring in a champagne glass,
Surprised me with His offer, to marry my starved heart to His.
But only if I offer the burnt sacrifice of self,
So that I might Rise like a sweet scent —
Like a cinnamon yeast roll baking in the
Furnace of my serving platelets
Rising to fill forever, the nostrils of Abraham’s God.
Oh, ever since we got on that kick about that Diet of Worms that
Martin Luther customized and almost died from;
We have forgotten about our sure future treat of being the snack of worms.
We prefer the cheap-date Jesus with his cheap-grace Savor-y fastfoodmeal ticket and
A home without any chores or clean up on our part.
Oh those fun Yuletide eggnogs, buried to be found later,
Hatched in an easy-bake Easter ham and oh so ready to bless the food cuz
Jesus will cook it, serve it, wash up after
While we celebrate winning the lottery ticket to eternity.
And we can take our doggie bags of faith to our new home in the sky,
Like all those good Gentile but not gentle dogs who begged at
Our theology, reduced to “to-go” sack lunches
While I-saac munches
Next to Rehab, Gomer, and Zipporah.
We zip-lock bag up our plastic menorahs
and reduce our beliefs to the guile of Jacob
and the greed of Esau
with a little salt of Lot’s’wife thrown in for flavor.
Are we too far comfortable in hell
To live homeless in Bethel?
Will we ever fast
For that which lasts?
And not for the 30 -day diet
Starves the body
But feeds not the soul?
Bread cannot rise without the sacred yeast of death
And grapes will not ferment without being crushed.
Justice will not flow if we don’t give a dam,
About unclean water for a thirsty dirty world.
And Christos is outside the wall trying to knock it down
To immigrate and dine with us.
And Religion marches on and on and on and on
While the Sheep run out of pasture and the grain rots and the grapes dry up
And The Water that heals all thirst
Is plasticized on Sunday
And on Monday the oil will not mix with it
As it sticks to the wings of the sea-sparrows
Instead of lighting the empty lamps we carry.
And Eden has nothing good left in her to be eaten.
So we keep eating Saccharine -sweet blood and fiber-less bread on Sunday
And our Soul-food is Weak, tepid, spice-less stuff,
That would never make any one think we were drunk on God.
We pay up big time to the sermonizing sous-chefs who preach about
what’s good on the menu like making laws against people not like us
And what to avoid like the Beatitudes;
Cutting and pasting a nutrition free diet plan from
The Bible’s hard to swallow manna, in order
to fit into the American dream-siccles we buy from
The nice-cream trucks imprisoned by their lack of faith.
And while highly paid motivational coaches of calorie free theology
still expect to get a King’s ransomed big tip someday
we are overcharged on our credit lines with He who holds the Scales.
And still the Church’s 9 x 13 inch casseroles of catechism
are bought with bitter bonds.
A long while back I got that party invitation
From A Jesus that just wants to Party with us in the pews and Dance like David,
While wine gushes, flooding from the baptismal fount
And fresh baked baguettes and caviar fill the offering plates.
I accepted the invitation at the time
But since then, I have struggled to fit into new clothes like
old wine in new wineskins,
While Continuing to gorge my soul on His Feast of Famine.
That first taste of Christ whetted my appetite
And now friends and family point out that my mouth is dirty
Smeared with bits of Christ’s blood.
But I point out that my hands are still far too clean.
The professionals all agree though:
“Come instead for a quick Sunday tasteless, wineless Brunch at our food-free service.
Let’s quickly eat some gluten-free consumer friendly atom-sized wafers of Jesus
So we can all head home for the real Communion
of booze and nachos and wings to watch the real-fun and buff gods in the Big Game–
Go Team, Our Idols!”
While the world starves for a God who ain’t playing around with His Food.
We just need to keep adding on gods to the menu, I guess.
The number is up to at least Four now: Trinity of Three plus their Mom.
Gobble, gobble, gobble, since we’ve added a turkey and bald eagle as well.
And even those are not ever enough to convince us we truly crave the pollution-freed and
The Tree to Table Meal
Of Yahweh’s Kingdom Come.
Take me from Eden
I am Hagar-ed by my flight
From Your Truth.
While the flights of wine keep flowing
Keeping us high,
My flight to you is grounded.
The proverbial wine of violence
Is headier than the Baptizer’s head
Lopped and served up on a garnished garish platter;
While Your water turned to outrageously expensive wine was
Messiah took his time making a cross-hatch next to the names
Of those with
reservations at the 12-Star Kingdom Wedding Feast.
But we are all too busy to come and dine
except for a short time.
Peter the maître d’
stands at the gate wondering
Why so many don’t bother to show up on time for
Their reserved Eternity-pool Jewish-mikveh-ized seats,
The whole Kingdom Hall, bought out at great price
By The Bridegroom.
That old joke about Jewish food being bland
Wasn’t a joke for the Jew from Nazareth
As He served up God.
Fish and bread for the multitudes were just the Costco-sized samples
Enticing us to pay the price for sharing in the meal-Life of
The spitted Lamb, marinated in tears and blood,
Swallowed whole by the Sin-a -men he bore,
Brought out of the stone-fired oven,
Smelling of sweet sacrifice,
Ascending to become Sous-chef
Forever at the right hand of The Chef,
In the serving staff.
Ah, Abraham and Sarah –
If you can still bear to look down on us, your children, now,
Please help me crawl back onto the wilderness altar, a sacrificial daughter,
Subsisting only on Your Substance,
My substance only for Your Children’s subsistence.
Make me willing, as Your Son Isaac was,
To die thirsty,
To cry as your Son and God’s Son did,
Of The Lord.
Create in me a new heart, Oh,Yahweh, a heart that
Wants You to eat it completely,
A heart inhaled by Your Spirit,
A private sacrifice attended by Only You.
God, eat me.
Ah, Father Abraham and Mother Sarah,
My limbs have become so weak with ego
I can barely lift The Cup of Christ to my lips.
My psyche is
Fueled by the Saul-isms of The Chosen Ones Part Two.
I need Holy Fire to consume me,
Instead of the lie of a one-time for all sacrifice by that other Son of Ruth,
She the one who lived because she gleamed the kernels of God’s truth.
Yes, That Son did what Isaac did not have to do
But later, oh later, Isaac, Ruth and
All sons and daughters must be eaten up
By The Fiery Mouth of God.
Consummation is the only Communion with You.
Your Holy Maw is the only orifice into
Your Eternal Promised Land of Feasting.
Just as You ate Your Son,
God, eat me.
May I starve myself
To gain the fasted weightiness of Your Son.
Let me char the
The choicest morsels of my life,
Sacrificed, shaken and stirred in terrified worship of You.
Cannibalize me, Oh God,
As You did your only Son.
That by Your devouring me
I may devour Your Son’s own body and blood – His True Life-force;
Cannibalized into Your Bounty now, this moment,
As it will be forever.
The Psalmist’ hymn: “Oh, Elohim! “You alone are my portion”.
I add to and cry, “Adonai! Make of me Your portion.
Oh, Great Creative Genius, IAM
Today I am sending you back the ram
caught in the thicket of my sinful days on earth.
Thank you so much
But I need You to imbibe me such
that I may truly gobble up
Messiah’s bread and cup.
As I ingest You, today
Do We Really?
By Jane Tawel
February 3, 2019
All the assumptions we make. And we just take it all for granted that because we call ourselves something, label ourselves something, that these things are true. And we like them to be true because that is what gives us personal meaning and usually a paycheck or two. One of my favorite sayings of the current younger generation is when someone says something, and they sing-song with a bit of Socratic sass: “But is it? Is it really?” “Was he? Was he really?” “But did you? Did you really?” With the emphasis on really, this seemingly silly question has all the power of Pilate’s “What is truth?” I imagine if Pilate and Jesus were talking today, as they did in John 18, their conversation would go something more like this.
Jesus :“I have come into the world to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth, hears my voice.”
Pilate: “But do they? Do they really?”
Here are some assumptions I hear people making, and being the stickler for the needed role of an antagonist in any good story, I will present how one might wonder about the “truth” of things people base their lives, livelihood, and even salvation on. This of course is a partial list of just my own particular meditations today. We can add on to these and ponder them for eternity; or rather until God’s Kingdom comes. Then the fat angel sings and it’s game over.
People say a lot of stuff about what “Christians” believe. Here is some of my personal “Socratic” dialect about some ideas that I have been struggling with lately. As is my bent, I will open my stream-of-conscious rather bent and banged up thinking here. I will use the second person “you” as a more colloquial version of the more proper third person “one”, meaning of course this is at heart, a first person reflection in the final analysis.
- We should lead like Jesus. Jesus was a good leader. But Jesus proclaims himself not a leader at all but a servant and follower. In fact, Jesus flees the leadership role that could make Him a king of nations. Jesus flatly states that he can do nothing in His own power but only what His Father, Jehovah, does through him. To put the final “nail in this coffin”, It is very clear that when we are judged, if we have been a leader, we will have gotten our reward while on earth. Only those who serve as and with the least of the least will be chosen to lead with The Christ. We may all be created as equal, but we do not go through life as equals which brings us to false idea #2.
- All human life is sacred. There is, I am afraid, nothing at all in the Bible that implies this. The metaphor found in Psalm 139 is merely that, a personal poetic reflection on the part of the servant of God and chosen Jewish king, David. This current Western idea that each human life is special and sacred is purely a religion born out of Humanism and wealth and the warping of “Christian” thought. This humanistic, individualistic religion that we erroneously call worship of God is nothing more than worship of self, and is not a Judeo-Christian worldview at all. I could go on and on with proofs from God’s Word about this but read it for yourself from beginning to end and you will wonder how we got to believe that each human is sacred. To give you only one indication, read the story of God and Sodom and Gomorrah and of Abraham’s plea for God to save just ten people worth saving. This idea that a human life is sacred is blasphemy in fact. There is none sacred but God, the Bible says. We can choose covenant with God and be chosen in that way and only in that way to have a life that is more than dust. But it is by our keeping covenant with God and living as The Son of God lived, that we become holy, sacred, eternal soul. I am afraid it is an incredibly important thing to think through in this day and age of the rather (sometimes literally) “Micky Mouse” -Americanized- Christianity-ese. It is critically important because people use this idea of all life as sacred to be “pro-life” about the abortion of unborn fetuses, but not “pro-life” about the born lives of illegal immigrants or not pro-life about people who do not vote or worship as they do. People support this idea of each human as sacred, in the ridiculous worldview that you can “ask Jesus to be your Savior” and then he is because “God loves you no matter what”. There are so many “Christian” songs that flat out say this over and over and it makes me tremble because if you read the actual tome that we call God’s Inspired Word”. You will realize that:
- God does not love you no matter what you do. There is absolutely no indication in God’s Word that this is true. Let me just give you one example: Moses. Yeah, that star among God-followers. God was going to kill Moses and then – well, read the story for yourself of Moses’ wife, that wonderful pagan woman called Zipporah. Which brings me to this.
- God is not my friend. God is not that friend Who comes whenever I call Him to help my team win the game. God is God. Again, read God’s Word. Actually read it; don’t show up to have the experts tell you on Sunday how much they love you because Jesus loves you and died for you. He didn’t. Jesus, a Jew, died for a Holy God, his Father, Adonai. Jesus completed the whole cycle of being human in perfect covenant with a Holy God. Jesus died to show us that we could be reborn through our own deaths (both literal and figurative, as He did) if we lived in covenant with Yahweh, as Jesus did. Jesus is very, very clear that He did not come to throw out the Bible, what we blithely call to our peril, the “Old” Testament, but to fulfill and live it as it was meant. Not as the religious leaders had interpreted it but as The Christ lived it. We are meant to live it too. But it is not this wide road that is easy to stroll down because your own particular life is so sacred. Nope. It is a narrow road that you choose, but as Robert Frost said, that choice will “make all the difference”. I should be different because God loves me enough to make me different enough to be with Him. Which bring us to #5.
- God loves me. Well, yes and no. God loves me but not because I’m me. The Bible tells us that God loves “the World”. God made the world perfect and He made humans perfect. And then we messed ourselves up and messed up the world and continue to do both of those things. Read the bits in the Bible about how God “chastises and disciplines those He loves” and then decide if you want A Holy God to love you. Because frankly most of us live like animals. This is where those who don’t believe in God have it partially right. We are like animals and we can choose to live like animals if we want; “eating, drinking, and being merry” for tomorrow we die. And that’s it. Scripture implies that if we live long enough, we get three choices in this world: 1. To live for self and get as much as I can for me and my family, just like the doggie families, and ape families do. When my days are over enjoying this wonderful life, I will either lay down with gratitude or regrets or a mix of both, and then return to dust and cease to exist. The place of buried animal bodies, or the ground from which no man returns, is what the Bible calls Gehenna. 2. If on the other hand, you lead your life and choose to be cruel, wicked, to abuse God’s name, to abuse power, to abuse others, to enjoy evil in word and deed, and perhaps even if you just commit those things we call the sins of omission, ie not doing the things you were meant to do for Good; then God is pretty clear you will be punished even after you think you escape judgement through death. Those people will go to hell, complete with the demonic gods they have enjoyed while alive on earth. 3. You can spend your life living on the planet as best you can in relationship to a God we can no longer see. We can no longer see God as Adam and Eve could, because we have chosen sin instead. But God provides a way “back to The Garden” so to speak; and that is by following the rules, worshiping only Jehovah, and loving others as we love our own selves. This is the option we have to live in a covenant with The One True God, Yahweh. These people live to glorify the name of Jehovah, live for the least of the least in this world, study Truth, learn how to love and trust and hope again after The Fall, and resist the temptations that The Christ did: those temptations of power, greed, and self-worship. These people will rise from death to a new earth and to even something new and unknown – a “Heaven”, the place where at last we can be in the same space as God is and not die. These people will see God and live.
- Everyone wants to go to heaven. No, they don’t. You may have been taught that you will go to hell if you don’t listen to Christians. Well, ironically the only people Jesus, the founder of the little Christs sect, says will go to hell, are the leaders of the religion he practiced. Matthew 23:15: “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when you have succeeded, you make them twice as much a child of hell as you are.” This is sobering to say the least for any of us who have taught any thing about Jesus. And while, I have always loved the practices and people of today’s churches, the incremental off -course steering that The Church has done for the past centuries, has us so far off course as to frighten me. Which brings us to something we might call semantics in #7, but semantics are crucial to explore when you are thinking about Jesus who is called The Word.
- Jesus loves his church. He doesn’t. He couldn’t because he never used the word and there was no such idea as we now know “the church” in any of Christ’s teachings. In fact, in what we call the “New” Testament, another scary thing we’ve come to believe, there is not a single time the word “church” is used. Church is a misinterpretation of several Greek words. Again, you can read and google this for yourself. There is, of course, much proof that to follow God, we must live in communities, caring for each other and worshiping together. There is much proof that we are to live as followers of Christ with others who want to follow Him, like his disciples did. But the point is, we have turned the religion of Christ (and by extension of His early followers, including the people who wrote the Gospels and Paul) into something they would neither recognize nor I would venture to boldly say, would they approve of. So let’s just say this for now. Jesus was a Jew. Jesus believed that He was the Messiah of The Chosen People who were the Jews, the Hebrews. Jesus believed that it was through the Jewish Scriptures and lives of the Hebrew covenant keepers that God, The Father is best revealed. He also believed though that the Jews had abused their status and that “there would come a day when God will be worshiped neither on the Jewish Mount nor in the chosen confined temples of any other peoples, but by all peoples in “spirit and in truth”. Then He claimed that the day had in fact arrived with His way – The Way – of worship of God. Jesus did not come at all to form a new “organized religion” and we have programmed and capitalized on Jesus’ beliefs out of all recognition and wisdom. The main word that Jesus used that should make all the difference in our understanding of who He was / is was not “church”, congregation or synagogue. The word Jesus used was “Kingdom”. And He did not preach His own earthly kingdom, but The Kingdom of Yahweh. Which brings us back to the “really”, “is it really” of #1, in #8.
- The Gospel / Good News is that Jesus is the only way to heaven. No, He isn’t. Jesus is the only way to The Father. And Jesus came to bring The Kingdom of The Father back to our understanding and to make available the germination in us of how The Father’s Kingdom can be restored to our world / planet/ Eden. What Jesus taught is that: “I am The Way (to God), The Truth (about God), and the Life (with God). No one comes to Jehovah except by means of my way.” In fact, this is why early followers of Jesus who were Jews or converted Jews would never have called their religion “Christianity” because it wasn’t. It was Judaism. They called what they believed what Jesus called what He believed: The Way. If you don’t want to truly know a Holy God and become holy, you won’t go to “hell” (necessarily). You will merely have enjoyed a good or an awful life depending on your status, personality, and circumstances and you will return to the dust of this planet like all animals and plants will. Nothing wrong with that choice. If however, you think that you want to live forever in the presence of God as we were intended to do in Eden when humans were created in the image of Divinity, then it is best to try to figure out how we are really meant to live now.
Because claiming to be something, doesn’t make it so. I would love to claim that I am a gorgeous twenty-three -year -old with a million dollars in the bank and five houses in various parts of the world and a private plane and that every one who meets me loves me and that I could rule the country, maybe even the world in the way it should be run, and that I get do-overs on every minute I’ve messed up and that God loves me no matter what. And you would have to ask me with all the Socratic sass you could muster, “ But–Are you? Are you really?”
If you think Jesus did all the work for you, or that because you were born into some cultural religion or other, or that just because you are alive, that those facts– which the Bible says, fall randomly like rain, on the good and the evil — that those facts make you something you want to be; and that God loves you no matter what; well then, you may want to look around at what we are doing to God’s world, to God’s other children, to our own bodies and souls, to God’s planet, and what we do in blasphemy of God’s Holy Name, and you may want to humble yourself; and ask yourself when you think you have it all figured out:
Do you? Do you really?