I could eat Mexican food everyday. I love spicy, tasty food. I love to try a new salsa, hot sauce or spicy dish. I want my taste buds to get a jolt.
In general, I do not like to live a bland and boring life. I want to try new things, explore new ideas, and read things that give me a jolt.
One of the problems people often point out about religion is that it tends to be boring. I confess that this has often been true. Institutional religion becomes so preoccupied with maintaining the status quo that it loses its vitality and sense of mission and purpose.
A genuine contrast to the bland, boring religion that we get so exasperated with is the life and times of Jesus. Jesus was anything but bland and boring. His greatest opponents were always the religious authorities and establishment because he did not follow the traditions of the established religion. In fact, he openly challenged their practices and became a focal point for their anger. The amazing thing is that modern Christianity has so "tamed" Jesus that we have made him boring. This really breaks my heart and I fight against at every turn.
I believe we need to rediscover the real Jesus. Religion has often been an ugly thing in our world - Jesus, on the other hand, is universally seen as a remarkable teacher, visionary and an example of a person who put his words into practice. Many people are drawn to Jesus and repelled by organized religion - why is that?
Part of the reason is that churches spend far too much time trying to protect their "interest" rather than shape their ministry and their message through an ongoing relationship with Jesus.
I have been spending hours each week just reading and reflecting on the life and the ministry of Jesus and it is often shocking! Jesus is one "spicy" person - he will challenge your thinking, your lifestyle, your values and leave your breathless. To be sure, it is exciting and often scary!
I hope you will give it try - get to know the real Jesus. He is never bland or boring and he will call you to a new life lived for the sake of others. (Read one of the gospels from the Bible - Matthew, Mark, Luke or John - I think you will be surprised at the Jesus you encounter.)
Just thinking, Steve