The god of Christendom* inspires fear, but I do not fear him.
He is capricious, so I can not trust him.
His demand of blood sacrifice reminds me of the mythic pagan gods imagined by ancient storyteller priests.
The god of Christendom inspires from me neither love nor worship.
He is not beautiful, I am not attracted to him.
Additionally, there's plenty of Christian scholarship to conclude that he is not the Father of Jesus.
So neither do I believe in him.
Jesus, on the other hand, is beautiful.
Not the wish-fulfillment bully who sets things right in the end through violence.
But rather Jesus of the gospels, the good news for everyone.
The Jesus who breaks man-made religious laws to touch lepers, dine with tax-collectors, forgive adulterers.
The lover who values solidarity with the outcast over power and prestige.
But most uniquely, he is the king of kings who would rather die at the hands of sinners than perpetuate the death cycle by affirming the myth of sacred violence.
I am consistently moved and attracted by the beauty of this Jesus.
I want to be like him.
I believe in The Way, that is, the way that he lived and died, not in the creedal statements about him.
I trust him, so I will follow him wherever he leads.
It doesn't matter whether or not The Way of Jesus appears to be effective or practical in the short run.
I want to walk The Way because it is beautiful, it calls to the depths, it stokes the divine spark.
Beauty is unlike the law, fear of punishment, or desire for reward (in the present or hereafter), because it is an end in itself, attractive and desirable, it evokes love that would never consider control or manipulation.
Beauty operates on appreciation and delight rather than willfulness and duty.
Because of this it is more powerful than the powers and principalities of this world which operate on fear and illusion which will be cast out by love and light, by the beauty of the reconciling Christ.
* Christendom is institutional church since Constantine, which has repeatedly mistaken the power of empire with the kingdom of heaven. It's hierarchical rather than egalitarian, preoccupied with delineating who's in and who's out through confessions of orthodoxy rather then trusting and imitating the God revealed by Jesus through acts of compassion and active non-violent resistance to the powers and principalities. There's a picture of god, a theology, that has emerged through the centuries which is often referred to as Christendom.