I can’t really recommend you read this. It has got to be the most cringe inducing thing I’ve read in a long time. Status obsessed, shallow, vain, conceited, silly…and still heartbreaking.
But given all of that, it is a remarkable roadmap for how to kill your Faith or blaspheme the Holy Spirit. It is a modern example of 1 Tim 1:19 when St. Paul talks about Hymenaeus and Alexander making a shipwreck of their faith.
The author starts out at a good place: creed and a recognition that something is wrong with her dealings with God. But instead of dealing with God as those creeds would say (neither confusing the persons nor dividing the substance), the author hypothesizes two Gods. Inevitably the Good Jesus and the Bad judgmental guy. Marcion did something similar and so have many others. She is actually not that far from Luther’s key insight. God deals with us in two ways – his law and his gospel. His law does condemn us. His gospel saves us though not from anything in us. To the author’s credit she doesn’t dismiss the law, but instead of living through the grace, she attempts to keep the law or run from it in a variety of ways.
First she just tries to “be good”, then she runs away “during her college years”, then she finds a church that connects her guilt to “racism and structural inequality”. Yes, there is racism and structural inequality. Yes, Christians are called to do something about it. But, no, that is not the gospel. It might be the gospel in motion, expressed through love, but it is not the gospel itself. The author was still trying to keep the law – “talking about Jesus asking us to do good work, waiting for us to make the world a better place.” Eventually, she does what is the ultimate expression of the religious law – “God called me to be a priest”. Because where else could you work harder? This is heartbreaking.
From there it gets worse. She is obviously very smart – after all, Harvard Divinity School accepted her. At Cambridge “her relationship with God deepened”, but “she quits going to church”. [Hint, leaving the body of Christ is never a way to get closer to God.] She “learns” all kinds of theologies, but “quotes the bible less”. “Her congregants didn’t mind she said”. [Yes, they did, but they’d seen it before. They knew where this narcissism train was heading and did there best to find something in the thin gruel offered probably while praying for you.] Eventually she finds a “guru” and art. [If her guru really cared about her, Dr. Kaufmann from the Harvard school would point out her error and ask her to repent. He might even say those words with her realizing that it was his teaching, God have mercy. He might point out to his bright student that grace is given to those with low IQs and simple theologies as well. He’s probably too busy being celebrated and flown around to notice.]
And so she ends up “breaking up with God…I know he’s not the right God for me. I try to remember that.”
The ultimate horror is that Jesus is the right God. She’s just never heard the most important word.