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Monday, October 22, 2012

C-H-R-I-S-T-I-A-N

If you don’t recognize this song, don’t worry.  I never heard it before my kids started singing it in Sunday School.   Basically, children scream out I AM A C and then gradually add the rest of the letters one at a time to the word Christian until they get to I AM A C-H-R-I-S-T-I-A-N, then spell/yell about having C-H-R-I-S-T in my H-E-A-R-T and that I will L-I-V-E  E-T-E-R-N-A-L-L-Y.  It repeats over and over, ramping up in speed and volume until your head explodes. 

Obnoxious.

I am a Christian.  The title is one that I don’t announce when introducing myself to others, mainly because I find it a little weird to give a personal ad at first meeting (Hi, I’m Andrea.  I’m a Christian brunette Taurus who prefers soft jazz and spending time indoors), but also to avoid being stereotyped by a religious label, stereotyping which I fully endorsed in the past.  I used to judge people who labeled themselves “Christian” as weaklings who need a cane of righteousness to bolster themselves because of their failures.  If someone said “Jesus is my Savior,” I changed the subject.  My motto was Keep Your Religion to Yourself. 

Because of my past attitudes toward religion, I know that associating yourself with Jesus who died to save the world’s sins can cause people to view you as judgmental, elitist, the sense that you will be looking down your nose at them at any misstep or imperfection.  When I identify myself as such, I know that when some people know that I am a Christian, they may think that I silently file them under the heathen list I keep in my head.  In fact, I try not to pass judgment, because I am imperfect. 

However, we all love to label things, figuratively and literally.  I do not own a literal labeler because everything in my house would have a white label on it spelling out what it is, and no one needs that nonsense.  Labeling figuratively serves little purpose other than to put people into neat little boxes, and we are more complex than that.

So I am a Christian who at times uses immature language, eats and drinks too much, yells at my kids, is less than gracious with my husband, gossips, likes crude jokes… the list of human behavior goes on.  I’m just like everyone else.  I am a sinner.  I need Jesus in my life to heal my soul and direct my life.

When people who don’t understand what being a Christian is, they say to me, “I don’t go to church; they wouldn’t want me there” or “I’m not good enough for church” or “The church would burn to the ground if I went in.”  I say, “Well, I’m there every week, and it still seems to be standing” or “If everyone who goes to church is perfect, we wouldn’t need church.”  I don’t know if they get it.

It is my experience that we are all the same here: human.  The more you talk to and relate to others, the more you realize that we are all so similar.  Sure, some people seem “better” or “more holy” than others.  But the truth is that they aren’t.  No one measures up to the level of holiness that God is.  They sin, just like me, and just like you, and the pope, all clergy people, and even Mother Teresa.  We all need God’s grace to make us right despite our sins.

Eventually, we will be made perfect, but not on this earth, and certainly not because of anything we do or say or are while we are here.  It’s who God is and what he has done which makes us C-H-R-I-S-T-I-A-N.

And that is not obnoxious.
 
 

So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.  For the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you through Christ Jesus from the power of sin that leads to death.  The law of Moses cannot save us, because of our sinful nature.  But God put into effect a different plan to save us.  He sent his own son in a human body like ours, except that ours are sinful.  God destroyed sin’s control over us by giving his son as a sacrifice for our sins.  Romans 8: 1-3 (NLT)

 

5 comments:

  1. Sister in Christ; you can not say..'' i am a christian and a taurus''...surely you understand how that would grieve God to have him see/ hear you say that you believe in Horoscopes...and you use them together as if being a taurus has some significance to a christian walk? .....This is idolatory



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    1. Hi zephaniah, Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment! And for pointing out that Christianity and believing in horoscopes really don't go together.

      In this context, I was using the zodiac sign mention merely as an example of how I would not normally describe myself to others, because it seems forced and like a personal ad. That being said, I still know the names of the zodiac signs.

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  2. I'm curious - would you have considered yourself an atheist in the past? Or more like someone who just had doubts about it all? And what made you turn that around into being a devout believer? For what it's worth, I'm a firm atheist myself (but grew up in a fairly religious family), so it's amusing to me when I see comments like Zephaniah's - as if astrology is any more unbelievable than what's in the bible.

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    1. I never considered myself an atheist because I had spent so much time in church in my younger years and I really never gave up the belief that there was a higher power. I never had an a-ha moment about God and Jesus; rather, I opened myself to the possibility that what the Bible said was true, and it started making sense. Eventually I found that I believed, and my faith grew from there. It's not easily explainable, I realize.

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