Sunday, December 23, 2012

I'm a Christian, go ahead and make assumptions...

I am a Christian.  When I say this, I do not mean that I believe I'm better than anyone in this world.  I do not mean that I think everyone who disagrees with my beliefs is going to hell.  I do not mean that I think I'm perfect.  I don't think an unbaptized baby or adult can't get into heaven, I don't think God punishes us by taking away the ones we love.  I don't feel happy when people die just because I believe they are going to heaven.  I don't believe in a wrathful God.  I don't always trust God, though I should. I don't walk around waiting to catch people not glorifying God.  I don't know everything, I have never "heard" God speak to me, though I've felt his guidance at times when I needed it most.  I don't try to force my beliefs on others.

What I do mean is that Jesus Christ is my savior.  He died on the cross for my sins and everyone else's. I feel it is my duty to live a life demonstrating Christ's love to the best of my abilities but I often fail.  I do not believe in revenge and retaliation but that does not mean I don't find myself wanting those things at times.  I believe forgiveness is one of the hardest things that Christ asks of us--and I work hard at this every time I feel wronged--but if God can forgive us for our sins so readily, we must do the same for others.  I pray A LOT.  I pray over big things and little things, for others and for myself.  I seek guidance from the Bible though I'm not a literalists, but I respect that many people are.  I drink, I dance, I swear more than I should, I watch rated R movies, listen to rap (if it shows up on the Top 40 stations), I don't think homosexuality is a sin or a choice and support gay marriage.  I get angry at God; I have a tough time trusting him when times get especially tough though I never stop praying/begging for Him to bring comfort and guidance.  My life is not perfect, I do not have everything that I want, but I see a bigger purpose in this life.  I know that God has a plan that I am not expected to fully comprehend.  I find comfort in the knowledge that God is always with me--not just me, but everyone--and that someday I will be reunited with all of my loved ones here and gone in heaven.

I am tired of people making false assumptions about me because of the label "Christian" I freely place on myself.  There are only 4 things that all Christians could agree on:

1. Jesus Christ is our Savior
2. He died on the cross to forgive our sins and reconcile us to God
3. There is a God
4. The Bible is the book of God

That's it!  There is disagreement on pretty much everything else.  So when someone says s/he is a Christian.  Don't make assumptions about our beliefs besides the 4 listed above.  We are a diverse group of believers. :)


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