I call myself a Darwinian evolutionist; I am also an uneducated hack who is a follower of Jesus. My personal trifecta.
The uneducated label stems from my abandonment of classroom tutelage and overestimation of my witty insights; I’m just bright enough to pass for smart. Not that I’m not curious; I’ve chased some interesting rabbits down knowledge holes. I’ve learned enough freestyle, to be in awe of my own ignorance.
Starting with a comic book version of Darwin’s ideas about species origins, I meandered through an amateur’s perusal of astrophysics, biology and paleontology, which eventually overcame my cultural conditioning regarding evolution’s grudge match with Jesus. As I said earlier, this perspective did not come from a liberal classroom brainwashing; it just became too cumbersome to argue with the evidence. Homo sapiens are animals.
So, what do I believe about Jesus?
What is the crux of this chain of thought?
The way I follow Jesus does not depend on belief. My teenage self would bristle; the religious culture in which I was immersed, when I began the following, was hostile to Darwin and emphatic about what must be “believed.”
Submission to authority is how religious culture overthrows the way. It was over 300 years after Jesus sent out his first wave of followers, that authorities proclaimed which collection of writings was “the Bible,” the final word of God, forever. The authorities also dictated what to believe about this collection of history, poetry, law, wisdom, stories and letters; writings originally inscribed by various individuals over a 1,500 year period. Horrible things have been done in the name of protecting correct beliefs about the correct collection of scriptures.
The name Jesus came to me through Bible stories. The nature of Jesus was revealed to me by dear ones who acted like Jesus. The person to person spark of love is what I call “The Gospel,” the good news about changing direction and walking the walk of love. The great commission simply directed us to make disciples and teach them his instructions for the way of living in this mortal life. The Sermon on the Mount, covers those bases.
This is a good spot to mention that the NIV study Bible my darling gave me as a wedding gift is near at hand and reinforced with duct tape. I made a pledge to a local Methodist congregation a decade ago and participate in a Methodist religious culture. I thought I had abandoned brick and mortar church life back in the last century; but I was wrong to condemn the very notion of organized religion. There are non-contradictory cultures which wrap many of our congregational gatherings.
The walk of love leads us through the pews too.
Jimmy Tucker – January 28, 2020