I Love Jesus But I Drink a Little: Some Honest Thoughts on Faith

 

I love Jesus but I drink a little.

Has there ever been a sweeter sentence spoken on God’s green earth? (full video below).

Now you can buy an I Love Jesus but I Drink a Little t-shirt or even sport the I Love Jesus beer cozy — just like the disciples had at the last supper. When they come out with the I Love Jesus but I Drink a Little Study Bible, I’m putting it atop my Christmas list.

 

I LOVE JESUS

BUT I DRINK A LITTLE

I love this phrase because it is so refreshingly honest and straightforward around a topic that can feel anything but.

Faith.

Why do we have to dance around this subject like a matador around a bull? Is it because we’ve all been speared one to many times by those with sharp religious horns?

Or maybe we’re tired of people rubbing religion in our face like a puppy who just messed the carpet?

 

Picture of Wheat Jesus

Gigantic billboards on the side of the highway of “Wheat Jesus” don’t exactly help either. And yes, this is a real billboard. I know because I made a road trip come to a halt so I could snap a shot of it’s golden glory.

 

FAITH UNCENSORED

The topic of faith has been laced with so much politics, denominations, policies, do’s and don’t lest you be damned, we can’t have open and honest conversation about it.

And I find sometimes the toughest people to have an honest conversation about faith? Someone from the same faith background.

 

THE TWILIGHT ZONE

Take church. Sometimes when I step into a Sunday morning I feel like I’ve entered some-sort of problem-free-parallel universe where everyone’s so hyped up on coffee, Krispy Kremes, and Jesus that there’s not a cloud, drop of rain, or speck of pollution in the sky.

I mean we all have problems, don’t we? None of the church-goers, the pastor, reverend, rabbi, priest, are immune to them? If we were problem-free, why would we be going to church in the first place?

Why waste our time with church if we all share a collective perfection?

 

IF FAITH CAN NOT BE HONEST, WHAT CAN?

So maybe at church and in faith-conversations, we should talk about, you know, what we really believe. Maybe we should just let our hair down a little and get our hands a little dirty with the truth of our imperfections, doubts and questions. I think so many in my generation are sick of the sleek, contrived production that can be faith.

The marketed/branded/strategically planned church-spectaclethat if Jesus actually decided to show up, he’d be quickly removed by the head ushers for not fitting into the church’s new, hip branding statement.

I think my generation wants to wrestle with faith — the glory and the hope, along with the pain and the suffering. This generation can smell “marketing” from 70 pews back.

We must become comfortable at talking about the Comedy, Tragedy, and Fairy Tale of the Gospel, as Fredrick Buechner puts it.

 

MY DREAM

I’d love to walk into a church and have the greeter at the door exclaim, “Welcome to New Faith Church. We all love Jesus and we all drink a little. Come right in.”

Has faith played a role in your life?

Have you been able to have honest conversations about faith with others? Why or why not?

And for your viewing pleasure, I give you the one and only Gladys Hardy. Watch for a few minutes to hear the line that changed beer and Jesus forever.

SNAG FREE GOODNESS

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Like advice from a wiser, funnier, older brother Paul's been there, done that, and wants to save you some pain and some trouble.

– Seth Godin, New York Times bestseller and author of The Icarus Deception

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  • http://Website Brandon

    Paul, A refreshing topic as I have grown increasingly frustrated with the lack of openness on Sunday morning. If you can find one of those cozies somewhere..my birthday is on Monday. :)

    • admin

      Brandon! First, happy birthday. May it be full of both beer and Jesus. Second, you’d think church would be the place where we could be the most open, vulnerable, and honest?

  • http://Website Naomi

    Love the article! So open and honest about a subject that truly is touchy feely for alot of people. Loved the clip from the Ellen Degeneres show too. Watched it maybe a dozen times and it makes me laugh every time.

    • admin

      Thanks Naomi! I feel the same way about the video with Gladys Hardy. She is a peach wrapped in awesome. If I could’ve had a 3rd grandma, I’d have prayed for Gladys to be the one.

  • http://Website Lou

    Paul, awesome article! If Jesus were walking the earth today he’s be wearing a t-shirt that would read, ” I am Jesus, and I drink a little bit.”

    • admin

      Lou – Words after my own heart! Thanks

  • http://annajwagner.blogspot.com Anna

    It definitely plays a role in my life, but I hear ya on the tiptoeing around the topic. I don’t know what others’ views are so I don’t generally bring up faith with someone I don’t know well. It certainly has come up with others, but I’m usually careful about bringing it up if I’m not sure what the person might think.

    Interestingly enough, one of the time where I’ve been at my most vulnerable and honest was during a youth group mission trip. It’s hard to get to that point though with a church and I think it is partly because it’s such a personal thing that we tiptoe around.

    • admin

      Thanks Anna for sharing these open and honest thoughts. Interesting that you were the most open on a missions trip. Maybe because you’d built a certain amount of trust and respect with your team based on a shared experience, which opened up the door for conversation?

      In my experience, seems like at the core a level of trust must be present for honesty and vulnerability to take place.

  • http://Website Kara

    Thank you for putting some slightly subversive topics in such a straightforward, humorous way. If we are to truly show our inner light as Christians, humor will have to play a part. Taking ourselves too seriously is definitely not cutting it.

    • admin

      Kara – Very well said. If our faith involves a lot more condemnation and furrowed brows, than love and laughter, why would anyone ever want to talk about it? Thank you for this reminder.

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  • http://Website Ashley

    I attend a Bible study that we call “Women’s Wine & Theology”. Sip some wine, talk about Jesus…what could be better?? : )

    • admin

      Ha. Nothing. Well maybe beer…

      Thanks Ashley

  • http://Website Brittany

    The frank honesty is definitely refreshing. I have wrestled with this issue myself…and have come to your conclusion as well. I think this also hits a deeply emotional area for some people, who have loved ones struggle with alcoholism. I think it’s also important to remember Paul’s admonition that if one issue, such as drinking, may not become a struggle for us, we should also bear in mind other believers who are tempted to alcoholism and perhaps tone down our own drinking or not do it at all so that they don’t stumble, out of love for them (as much as I don’t want to say good-bye to blue moon lol).