I remember when Jesus was something out of a comic book to me. I had no idea what Jesus really was so I thought of Jesus like I thought of Superman or Daredevil but not as cool as Aquaman. Jesus was like magic but not really. I do know that if I shared what I thought of Jesus with my teachers I had to right a shit load of Bible verses. So I kept it to myself.
I learned about Jesus and my need for him in school. Miss Smallwood and that guy that paddled us if we did not memorize our Bible verses. Apparently I had a soul and that soul lived forever. When I died, a physical death, my soul went to heaven or hell. This was according to the sin in my life that I had not repented for. I was terrified! I wanted to go on TV and seek forgiveness to everyone I had wronged so I did not go to hell.
What if I got hit by a bus right then? Would I really be saved? I need Jesus really bad. I needed badass Jesus. My Jesus leapt from the comic pages and into real life but me submitting my life to him and getting saved. I got saved a few times.
One time I went to church after a night of staying out late and enjoying the contents of a few too many silver bullets. That day the sermon was about heaven and how awesome it would be to be there. There would be roads paved with gold and angles singing and we got to sing with them too. It would be far better than the house party I went to he night before. I thought to myself…I am not fan of gold and is that not gaudy. If heaven is paved with gold then why not sell it and feed all of these hungry kids down here on earth? It seemed like a waste to have gold gilded everything and your children are dying due to food shortage. I am also no fan of singing. I get no spiritual nourishment from singing at all. I love music and love good singing. I would just rather not join in. I can praise just fine with my hands in the air and listen.
I sat there listening to this sermon, thinking about what the preacher was saying. I thought to myself I don’t think I want to go to heaven. If all we do is sing to God and walk on streets of gold than I want to go somewhere else. Only I was afraid of the alternative. There was no hell lite or heaven lite. You get all or nothing. I needed a Jesus that allowed for options. That met me where I was. I needed a badass Jesus. My Jesus climbed down from heaven and hung out with me in the world as I watched TBN, chain-smoked and pondered what the hell I do next.
So I hung out with TD, Rod, and Billy for a while. I rested in their words and became convicted that I was just not living right and need to exclude folks from my life. I found me a good clean living bunch of radical folks to be with and bam I was a good Christian again. Jesus became a crossing guard for me as he led me along the right path and warned me of impending danger. The danger of women, drugs, booze, and cigarettes I gave up on it all. I took up prayer because that is how Jesus prefers to spend time with me. There we were Jesus, my squeaky clean life and the judgment that I was allowed to offer upon those that dared to live other than I did. My badass Jesus empowered me, anointed me to point out the faults of others. I was a righteous man living a righteous way to gain that righteous prize. Only I was not happy with the Jesus that I made.