Another rant. I was challenged about my recent post that was a rant, so I thought I’d post another.
I don’t know if I can be a Christian anymore.
The word Christian has gotten such a bad rep that it is hard if not impossible for a thinking, feeling, and compassionate human beings to call one by that label. This word Christian I fear has lost all its meaning. No longer do Christians want to follow the example of Jesus the rabbi of love and grace.
Some Christians would rather protect their wealth, start wars, overturn healthcare reform, control women and exclude people from the love and grace of God. Some Christians use the bible as a weapon to bash people with than using it as mirror to their own shortcomings or as a guide to how to live on earth. Some Christians wish to escape this world for some far off celestial garden. Some Christians are more known for their self-righteousness than for loving everyone wastefully. Some Christians make Jesus out to be a king with a sword than servant-savior.
If I must be like Kirk Cameron, James Dobson, Jerry Falwell, Rick Santorum, Rush Limbaugh than I cannot and will not count myself as a Christian.
Peter Rollins in a YouTube video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xiG-nlDVvYM) refers to an exit parable.
A man dies go to Heaven. The pearly gates are thrown open to welcome him in. Behind him are his friends and as he is about to set foot in Heaven, he asks what about my friends. Peter says you know the rules. The man then thought of his reference point: Jesus the outsider, Jesus the drunkard, Jesus the bastard, the friend of sinners. Jesus the one who would always stay with those who were oppressed. Then, the man said he would just stay out there with them. The parable ends with Peter breaking out with a huge smile; at last, you understand. That God so loved the World he forsook Heaven.
God is always here in the service of the now. You cannot find God in the past in your regrets or pain and you cannot find God in the future in your hopes and wishes. You can only find God in the here and now. In the moment of here is where you can and will find God. We are not called to police other people, to cause conflict, to separate ourselves from the messy broken life, and are not to put up barriers between people, all people and the love and grace of God found in Jesus Christ.
If I must step out of Christianity in order to follow Jesus, I will. If I must drop the label Christian in order to affirm the resurrection, I will.
If I can follow in the footsteps of St. Francis, Saint Therese of Lisieux, C.S. Lewis, Peter Rollins, NT Wright, Tony Campolo, Jay Bakker, Desmond Tutu than I can and will count myself as a Christian.
I don’t know if I can still use the word Christian to describe myself. Yet, I still want really to follow Jesus and to become a more humble, God-honoring, Christ-centered human being. I want to continue being a thinking, feeling, and compassionate human being. I want to live life to the fullest. I want to preach the gospel always using words only when necessary.
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