I’ve been going through a lot of spiritual chemotherapy this year.

In my never-ending quest to understand and know God better, I’m realizing more and more that understanding an infinite creator with the ten pounds of squishy gray matter in my noggin is utterly impossible.    To use this analogy: he’s a potter – with IQ, rational thought, self-realization, emotion, etc.

And in comparison I’m an inanimate lump of clay with no intelligence whatsoever that is trying to understand him.

But in the midst of all my non-understanding, I am learning more and more about Christ’s love.  The funny thing is, even though it is the vastest topic on the face of this earth, it is never confusing.  Christ’s love never leaves my questions unanswered and always fills the gaps in my often wounded faith.

So it is to this love that I desire nothing more in this world than to plunge myself into its eternal depths.  I want to view everything – my neighbors, my family, my country, my faith- all reality through the lens of this love.

And this desire scares the hell out of me.

Because when you start to center your existence on this irrepressible and scandalous love, you start to entertain thoughts that God could perform and go infinitely beyond your purest, most loving and most noble of thoughts.

You start to entertain thoughts that, for some odd reason, piss off a lot of Christians.

This is where love collides with the inanimate lump of clay that is theology.  Christianity often puts infinite aspects of God into neat little systems and categories with no wiggle room.  My system is right.  Your system is wrong.  And meanwhile God is in the box we put him in just begging to get out so we would put away our differences and do nothing except stand in awe of his vastness and majesty.

But if I had to put my beliefs into tidy little statements of faith; if I were forced to pick a side, I would have to side with the hope that God’s infinite love and desire to see all reconciled to him would continue to woo the hearts of all men, until ALL eventually choose his love – even if it takes eons.

Embracing this one possibility, this one optimistic hope, has landed me in the town of Evangelical-Excommunication-ville.  This view has made me lose friends, ministerial credibility; I’ve been called a heretic and accused of “believing in man’s ideals and not God’s.”   I’ve been written off as deceived and over-thinking.  I’ve been told I was going to hell.

And I honestly don’t understand why.  Why NOT have the hope that God won’t send billions to eternal torment?  Why NOT feel joy from entertaining the thought that God’s love is so vast and demanding that no one will ever be out of his reach?  Why does this make me a bad Christian or not a Christian at all?  Thoughts like these have made me a better Christian and generally a better human being.  Thoughts like these make me share Jesus to others more since this infectious love that woos, romances, heals and changes you for the better is much more compelling than the gospel of “turn or burn.”

And the thing that bothers me most is if I were to adhere to more reformed theology, no one would think I’m a heretic.  If I were to believe that God pre-destines people into eternal hell, creating them only to roast them forever, no one would bat an eye.

So here I sit in the outfield of modern Christianity.  I have to admit, it gets pretty damn lonely back here.  But I have to tell myself that it’s okay.  It doesn’t matter what everyone else thinks because I’m looking for Jesus.  And if my thoughts about him are wrong, I trust that he’ll correct me. I pray for wisdom and understand more than anyone I know.  I suspect that searching for Jesus and not being completely accurate in regards to his character is forgivable, but not coming to him out of fear and piety is truly a sin.

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