I think it takes guts to be a Christian in what's becoming a very secular society and even if you think you're not a good Christian, I think you are. FWIW.
I knew you would comment on this, lol. But I also really do appreciate what you said. I wish I had more of these "guts" you speak of.
Just because you don't always want to put people in their place and/or explain why Christians do/don't do something, I don't think it makes you bad at your religion. I think you do need to either stop swearing or make peace with swearing, though. :P
I think religion is something that you're just inherently good at doing or being. It takes work and I think the fact you obviously care about how you're doing as a Christian already puts you in the position of being good. Or maybe it's more complicated than just being good or bad at it, I don't know. It's hard for me to understand because I've never been religious.
I'mma gonna stop rambling now.
I meant NOT just inherently good at
Being a Christian myself, I find that Christianity is just a way of turning the real God into someone who makes us hate ourselves for doing things that are totally human and natural and RIGHT.
I mean, when you go out and actually learn all the bullshit that "good Christians" are "supposed" to do, that have really just been twisted, reworded, and added into the Bible by fallible men over the thousands of years, it's kinda hard to not look at the way you're living and try to feel for yourself if it's wrong because GOD finds it to be wrong or if MAN just doesn't understand it, so he wrote it in a book.
Also, being a "good Christian" is not being able to explain your faith. Being a good Christian is understanding your faith in the way you can, and then letting other people get on with their life. If they choose to see God in you, that's explanation enough. If they choose not to, they've closed their mind an there's nothing you can do.
"Also, being a "good Christian" is not being able to explain your faith."
You're not supposed to have
--edit starts here--
Sorry for the semi-cryptic reply there, allow me to elaborate. This is best done by breaking down each part of your comment.
P.S. THIS IS SO FUCKING LONG. LIKE SRSLY.
"Being a good Christian is understanding your faith in the way you can, and then letting other people get on with their life."
IAWTsentence soooo hard. I really have spent the last couple of years developing my own convictions in regards to gray areas, and I really do accept that they do not directly align with those of my more conservative friends. In college, I was involved in Campus Crusade for Christ and I made some great friends so for that I am greatful. (However that word is spelled.) I am also greatful for the various trips I was able to go to and awesome things I was able to do that I wouldn't have been able to do without CCC. What I am not
greatful for is the box I tried to cram myself into with all the others. Once I graduated, I realized I was living based on what a bunch of people told me Christianity was and not what my own personal journey was meant to be. So I evaluated things and came to a point where I was confident in my faith and who I was as a person, period. Then I kinda lost that somewhere and got really depressed and that's where I'm at now, so I am trying to figure out how to get back to where I was in the previous sentence. LONGEST PARAGRAPH EVAR MY BAD.
Anyway, to get to the second part of your sentence, I could NEVER be one of those people who walks up to strangers and hands them a pamphlet or tells them about God, etc. CCC has a booklet
that I very much agree with that sums it all up, and even in a non-threatening way (trust me, it can be done) I still can't do that. Why? Because I'd be inclined to deck someone if they did such a thing to me. (Side note: I am completely guilty of leaving said booklets with my restaurant check. WITH A TIP. THE PAMPHLET IS NOT ITS OWN TIP AND ANYONE WHO THINKS IT IS SHOULD BE KICKED IN THE GONADS. It's a lot less threatening than making someone talk to you. The worst they can do is go LOL CHRISTIANS and throw it out and cuss behind your back. Really not a horrible thing. LONGEST PARENTHESES EVAR TOO OMG.) I would much rather live my faith than condense it into some booklet that gets shoved into someone's face who is going to throw it in a trash can anyway. Which leads me to:
"If they choose to see God in you, that's explanation enough."
It's not a matter of whether they choose to see God in me. It's a matter of whether God can BE seen in me. Right now, I highly doubt He is. Nobody, especially not in TQC, would see me and go "oh, she's a Christian"... they'd think I didn't even care. The way I live my life should make it obvious that I do, and... I mean, if I wasn't me, and I met me in the street one day, I would have NO IDEA!
"If they choose not to, they've closed their mind an there's nothing you can do."
...I simply disagree with this. (The last part, anyway.) No long paragraphs necessary.
By the way, the letting people get on with their life thing, I really like this quote: "People aren't confused by the gospel. They're confused by us. Jesus is the only way to God, but we are not the only way to Jesus. This world doesn't need my tie, my hoodie, my denomination or my translation of the bible... they just need Jesus. We can be passionate about what we believe, but we can't strap ourselves to the gospel 'cause we're slowing it down. Jesus is going to save the world. But maybe the best thing we can do is just get out of the way."
So, what kind of cookies would you like? You deserve an entire box if you got this far!Edited at 2008-08-27 01:47 am (UTC)
I totally get this entry. This is what I struggled with back in my early days of hardcore churching. But it got to the pt where I was like Okay this has too many rules. God does not hate me for listening to Mariah Carey and going to school dances. So I decided that I believe in God but I cannot subscribe to one denomination because I don't agree 100% with everything.
Also, I dislike the persecution Christians get on the internet. But I guess its like that with all different lifestyles. People have ONE bad experience(or maybe a couple) and then they label all people the same way.
I agree with what caittails
said for the most part. It's taken me a long time to get to this point, but I've finally gotten comfortable not comparing my faith with other Christians and I think that's the way to live. While it is important to spend time with and commune with other Christians, you can't let their senses of what constitutes being a "good" Christian (I hate that term by the way - you're either a Christian or not a Christian, there is no good or bad) influence your own. It's not a matter of cultural relativism. Some people just have weaknesses that others don't. I don't find that using ~~swear words~~ impedes my faith, so it's not an issue for me, whereas it may be for someone else.
In conclusion, fuck the haters because I think you're great.
2008-08-27 01:27 am (UTC)
In which I send myself on various not entirely related tangents.
Hey so I am finally replying to this lol. Oh and I kinda just kept typing stuff so most of this is really not related to your comment =P
I totally understand what you mean about comparing my faith to that of others and I mostly agree with you. The part where I do not agree is that I see others and I've wanted what I see that they have from the very beginning, and what makes me a "bad Christian" is that I've put forth little to no effort to get there.
I don't find that swearing impedes my faith. However, I swear entirely a million way too much, Christian or not. (I guess I haven't looked at it from the "Christian or not" point of view until I just typed that, actually. But seriously I sound like an ignoramus at times.) Regardless of the choice of language I can be downright vicious at times. That's not who God wants me to be and it's certainly not who I want me to be, ya know?
I was just reading what Dana said because the last 2 lines of it are on my screen haha, and I realized that being a Christian on the internet is freakin HARD because all you really get is persecution unless you're posting to Christian communities. If I lived my faith on the internet, shippo
would insta!ban my ass. (Pretend you're in TQC and know who shippo
is, lol.) So I've really kind of succumbed to the influences of everyone else and forgotten who I am. And thanks to all this wonderful e-persecution, I can't just magically BE that person and expect people to still like me. Maybe they totally will, but that's easier for either party to say than do.
First I would like to say that I really don't remember the last I commented on your journal since I use mine like once every six months but your entries definitely do stand out to me, I just get so lazy to say anything but I really do feel it in my heart to say something. I don't know if you remember but we meet through CCC a loong freaking time ago but this is what I have to say about all this...
First I would like to say that I understand where you're coming from, sharing Christ and feeling as if your life may not be the perfect representation of Christ. I think every Christian (even the most "perfect")struggles with this because we're all human and Christ is well aware of this. Look at Matthew 9:10-13 (one of my favorite verses because it reminds me of what God really wants)Jesus is sitting with the Pharisees when they ask him why it is it that he sits with tax collectors and sinners and Jesus replies "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick" and he continues to say "I desire mercy not sacrifice For I have not come to call the righteous but the sinners." And this past Sunday we went over some verses in Luke 10:9-14 where Jesus tells a parable about a Pharaisee (one of those amazing church leaders of those days) who entered a temple and prayed over the things that he had accomplished as a good christian while a tax collector who wouldn't even look up to the heavens beat his breast and said "God, have mercy on me, a sinner." In verse 14 Jesus finishes the parable by saying "I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God." I guess I am presenting all this to you so that you may remember (because I am sure you may have heard it before) that it is the condition of you heart that matters to God. We are imperfect and quite frankly we will never be but this is the purpose that God had for Jesus. He came to give us grace so that we can ask for forgiveness and move on... that is if our hearts are truly yearning for Him. These
The fact that you are writing all this out means you are feeling a conviction, which doesn't necessarily mean a bad thing. I have gone through a lot and ended up wondering why it was that I felt like such a horrible christian. People have (and still do) see me as a party girl or a tease... a lot of things that I would rather NOT be known as but honestly as much as I hate this and as much as you hate that we have come to this place for reason. I don't know your circumstance but in mine there are times where I go months without going to church and I've had periods where I couldn't even remember where I left my bible. And quite frankly, these things are as important as sharing your faith verbally with someone... actually I find these things to be more important. Maybe you're feeling these convictions because you need to change some big areas in your life or go about things differently... this could be God's way of expressing Himself to you. My mother always assured me that the convictions that I have felt (mind you not the ones that I have felt were impeded on me by others) have been because my heart is still the Lord's regardless of the things I've done. Once you are seeking after Him in all areas of your life the ability to present Christ will come to you. God makes promises to us in His word that He WILL use us regardless... Proverbs 16:9 In his heart a man plans his course but the Lord determines his step. And for me this part was REALLY hard for me to come to terms with, and it's esp hard when you're involved in organizations that really stress evangelizing. But it's true when I say God will bring in to you, He will bring you the opportunities.
It's not easy being a Christian, we're natural sinners. But anything that is easy is def not worth it. And those who are not Christians will not understand, actually will never understand until they have attempted the walk you're attempting. But it is NOT your job to change them, it's God. And God will USE you. It shouldn't be your words but God's words through you. If you could not think of the words to make your point then maybe the Lord didn't want it to be said then. But what if maybe you were too scared to speak, do you now believe that God is big enough that if He wanted that person to heard the message he would hear the message? And even if God uses you there will be people who just won't care to listen because of previous encounters of Christians, and I don't think this should you bring you down either. You're different and I believe it's refreshing for any non-believer to see that you are imperfect and yet you are still a Christian, you're still loved and given grace regardless. You shouldn't care to comment on behalf of Christians. Your non-Christian friends know you and respect you and I would hate to believe that people whom you care about would change their of view of you simply because you're expressing something that is important in your life
WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOW I have never written a comment that I've had to break up into two comments in all my years of LJ!! This comment is LONG and I feel like it's everywhere and forgive the typos. I guess when I started writing it was just for you but towards the end in a way I guess it's kind of for me too.
I haven't read this yet bc I am just checking my email and would rather read this in the context of my post than in my email box, but I just have to say WOW I THOUGHT MY COMMENT TO F_T WAS LONG HOLY CRAP :D
Your last sentence is why my comments to Alicia and Cat got so freaking long, lol. I just kinda started typing and couldn't stop!
One thing I have struggled with a lot (and as a side note, I am fully aware I need to go to a therapist or something) is that because of this depression I seem to be in, I somehow am unmotivated to do basic things to take care of myself. This includes my less-than-regular personal hygiene, the complete lack of upkeep of the inside of my apartment, and the laziness I have to do things such as go to church and read my Bible. I think that those things are important, but I think I have a long way to go before I gain the motivation to do them.
"It shouldn't be your words but God's words through you" - LOL I almost typed worts. This is why there is a copy/paste function. Anyway, that's a lot of what I was trying to say to Cat up there in my epic comment. I just apparently felt the need to spell it out more hahaha.
"my heart is still the Lord's regardless of the things I've done." You know how sometimes Bible study leaders have us write things down and stick them on our mirrors or something? This should be one of them.
Anyway thanks for commenting, I really appreciate it! :) AND OF COURSE I REMEMBER YOU DUH. I actually almost unfriended you once ONLY because you hadn't written in ages... and then you posted something the next day =P Funny how that worked out!