Our friend Bobby was a hemophiliac. At one point, he needed a blood transfusion; unfortunately, Bobby received his transfusion in the 80s, before they thoroughly screened donated blood for the HIV virus.
Bobby was among the last children who caught the HIV virus from a blood transfusion.
We all have a God-shaped vacuum — I truly believe we do — a vacuum only God can fill. But most of us who have received our transfusion from Jesus got it in the “Christian era,” which is infected with the religion virus.
Now we’re managing severe symptoms of religion. We focus on behavior instead of life in Christ, the Tree of Knowledge instead of the Tree of Life. Instead of trusting the Spirit to lead us in all truth, we feel obligated to sort out truth and ram it down people’s throats.
Instead of trusting Christ in us the hope of glory, we trust our ability to manage our own sin.
And we develop elaborate systems of behavior-modification – accountability groups, calling each other out, “reparative therapy,” for crying out loud?? This instead of simply trusting the one who embraced us fully and completely — as we are — perfect as we are.
We judge people’s behavior as evidence of their Christianity instead of relaxing and fully believing that it’s the Holy Spirit who produces the fruit of the Holy Spirit.
If left untreated, the HIV AIDS virus can take your very life.
If left untreated, the religion virus can take your spiritual life, turning it into something hard and unyielding.
Something very unlike Jesus.
And it can be so contagious – infecting those around you — your kids, your spouse — who, by watching you, will believe that struggling self-effort and lack of spirit is what Christianity is all about.
The simplicity of life in Jesus.
Life. In Christ. Personal relationship.
Love. Ourselves. Others. Unconditionally. As we are. Perfect.