The Corinthian correspondence… which almost all scholars believe is Pauline, even though maybe not penned by Paul himself… insists that God called us as we are. The argument is against the notion that once you are called, then you have to measure up… with circumcision for instance. No. Even Abraham was called before he was circumcised. No circumcision necessary. The Corinthian letters even say to remain as you were when you were called.
So Jesus tells this man he liked him better before he became a Christian.
Not that you aren’t religious now in a good way, or spiritual, or recognize yourself as a Christian. But I think many, if not most, if not all of you have gone through an incredibly intense time with the Christian faith and now consider yourself post-something.
How many of you feel that you are a better person now than when you were all wrapped up in the religious agenda?