First, let me say that I am completely and totally humbled by the amount of reads, shares and comments that I received on my post about not being a “Christian” anymore…based on the churches idea of Christianity. Seriously you guys. I am so beyond grateful that so many of you felt that this post was worthy of sharing. But, I felt the need to clarify something…
I am still a devout believer in Jesus Christ…
In the trinity…
In the crucifixion…
and in the resurrection.
Jesus Christ is son of the ONE TRUE GOD.
In case you overlooked it, or in case it got buried, I simply don’t do RELIGION. I don’t buy into the idea that you can only go to church if you are dressed a certain way, drive a certain kind of car, etc. I don’t believe that you have to be dressed to the nines to worship the Lord. I don’t believe that you eve have to be inside of a big, beautiful building with stained glass windows and crimson carpet that is supposed to symbolize the blood of Christ.
All of the semantics…the ‘rules’ about going to church and worshipping God take away from Grace.
(Jefferson Bethke says it better…these Spoken Word videos are so much more powerful than the words that I can type here.)
Maybe in my original post, saying I didn’t want to be a Christian anymore wasn’t the right title. Or at least, maybe I should have been more specific.
I’m not turning my back on the Lord. In fact, I feel like I am closer to him than I have ever been. What I am turning my back on, is the ideology that you (universal you) can’t be a Christian unless you live by a certain set of MAN MADE RULES.
Notice that I said man made.
Because I believe wholeheartedly that Jesus has given us a set of rules…of boundaries…of lessons to live by. They’re called the Ten Commandments. But more than that, God’s list of expectations is laid out in the Bible. It’s just a matter of reading it.
I’m not a Bible Scholar. I’ve taken several Bible Classes at Liberty University and read a boatload of books on scripture and specific topics and done a few Bible Studies (I’m in the middle of Seamless by Angie Smith right now).
I don’t know it all. And I never will.
I haven’t been to seminary. I don’t have tons and tons of scripture memorized. I haven’t even read the entire Bible yet. So, I can’t say that I am an expert. And I never expect to be.
But I know this:
Jesus Christ died for YOU. And for me. And for any and all sinners. He came to die so that we didn’t have to. He loves us all…and no sin is too big. If Jesus can forgive me for the things that I’ve done in my life, then he can forgive you…for whatever it is that you think is too big. I was an alcoholic at not even 19 years old. I searched for love in all of the wrong places…looking to be accepted and wanted by someone. ANYONE. I have battled depression and still battle anxiety. I have struggled with forgiveness. While my sins may not be as big as you think that yours are…I’m here to promise you that Jesus forgives it all.
Jesus tells us in 1 John 1:9
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
That’s how I know that I’m forgiven. I’ve met Jesus in some pretty dark and stormy places in my life. I’ve been at rock bottom. Trust me…when you’re to the point in your life where you wonder if you have any reason to live; if anyone could or would ever love you; if life is even worth it anymore…Jesus met me.
I never want to “preach” at you (again, universal ‘whoever may be reading this you’) I want to show you…tell you that Jesus Christ can forgive you.
I probably shouldn’t have said I didn’t want to be a Christian anymore.
But, if the world sees “Christians” as self-righteous, judgmental and full of hatred for whatever issue it is that they are protesting against at the current moment…then NO. I don’t want to be known as a Christian.
I want to be known as one who loves others…no matter their race, their gender or their sexual orientation. Regardless of their mistakes or the ways in which they fall. I want to be known as someone who loves the least of these.
Because I AM the least of these.
I’ve always been the least of these. From day one.
We are all born into sin nature. There’s no escaping it. There is only one who has ever been good enough. And it was the religious people who put him on the cross.