Blog-Hopping (Feb.27)

Today I’ve been blog-hopping… and reading articles I’ve found on these new blogs. And, some of them were just soooo good, I had to share!

At LifeLivedFully.com, I found this post, the other day, about Why Some People Don’t Like Christians… and it really resonated with me. From there, I found her other post about how church should be more Like Going to a Bar… I’m telling you, this is GOOD READING!

Then, from that blog, I found Leigh’s blog, HopefulLeigh. And, her post, “Defining Me, Defining My Faith” was really inspiring. How do you define your faith? This kind of reminds me of the question asked in a video I was watching at my church, the other night: Have you sat down with Jesus to have the DTR talk? (Defining The Relationship) ~ figuring out where you stand?

And, lastly, I found Rebekah Gilbert’s blog, A New Song to Sing, and really liked her post about Distorted Views. Oh, how many “distorted” views I have! This blog post was convicting.

So, I encourage you today to go on over and read these posts… and hey, come back and let me know what you think! We’ll talk. 😉

Rebel with a Cause

Cultural Christianity. This is a term I’ve read on a blog (or two) recently. And, it seems to perfectly describe what I’m trying to get away from.

I read a quote on John Piper’s blog, the other day, that said:

“I was afraid to admit my struggles for fear I’d be given yet another suggestion of something to try, advice that means well, but reinforces that my circumstances are unacceptable, and I need to do whatever I can to change them.”

Much as Christians often mean well with their advice, a lot of times it comes off — to me, anyway — as a judgment on my circumstances. My life has never been “acceptable” in the cultural Christian circles. I don’t fit. I’m a square peg, and they’re a round hole.

I’ve always been one to question, to think outside of the box. And, they don’t like that. They want all to conform to the standard and if you don’t, you’re seen as a “black sheep”, or as someone who is backslidden in their faith. You must not love God because you’re not obeying… us.

I honestly (now) believe that the reason I’ve had so much trouble with churches is because God has allowed me to step back and see the truth… that the church is not what He intended (intends) it to be; that it’s in need of a revolution.

I like the Harris brothers’ term for it: Rebelution.

If my unwillingness to conform to “cultural Christianity” makes me a rebel, so be it! This — if you ask me — isn’t necessarily a bad thing. This type of Christian rebel isn’t sin. It’s taking a stand FOR Jesus, for the Way that Jesus, Himself, taught us to live.

I was listening to one of Russell Moore’s “The Cross & the Jukebox” podcasts, last week, and it talked about individualism vs. community. While I know that Christianity is all about community — God made us for relationship, after all — I also kind of like the idea of individuality. Not in the sense of isolating yourself from others, or going it alone… that would be contrary to what the Bible calls us to, and therefore a sin. But, individuality in the sense that we are not all conforming and losing our God-given uniqueness.

Sometimes I think the church is trying to form a collective. “You must do this + this + this, or else you aren’t a Christian“.

I don’t want to be a robot. I don’t want to be like everybody else. I want to be ME, with all of my quirks and flaws.

I want to help others to see the truth of how God intended Christianity to really be. Not that I know it all, mind you. I’ve only had a tiny glimpse, so far. But it’s enough to have lit a spark in me… enough to have made me want to chase after this with all I’ve got…

…even if it means I risk being ostracized for being different; even if I’m labelled a “rebel”. 😉

Discontented

 For a while now ~ years, probably ~ I’ve had a dislike of “religion”, even though I’ve called myself a “Christian” for most of my life, and I was brought up going to church every Sunday.

But, I really have never liked going to church. And, in all honesty, I don’t like hanging around with other Christians.* Too often they are too preachy, or too judgemental, or too “holier-than-thou”. And I just can’t stand it!

For example, I recently posted to my Facebook wall that I was reading L. J. Smith’s series, “The Vampire Diaries“. And a good –Christian– friend of mine left a comment asking why I’d read “such trash”. I laughed it off and said, “Because I like reading vampire books!” Then, a few days later, I went to Bible study, and another (Christian) friend says, “I’ve been seeing your Facebook posts, lately, about the books you’re reading, and the Christina Aguilera music videos ~ why do you choose to fill your head with such garbage? I just don’t get it.” This woman said all of this with such a disgusted tone of voice, too. 😕

Well, I have a question of my own: Who gave ya’ll the right to approve/disapprove of the media I consume? I mean, if you want to confront a Christian sister in love, and remind her that maybe her choices aren’t the most edifying, there are better ways to go about it. But, manipulation and shame aren’t it.

I’m tired of Christianity’s legalism and falseness. I love my LORD, and feel that He and I have a decent relationship. It’s not what I’d like it to be, certainly, but it’s at least a relationship that’s in process.

I want a strong, visible faith. But, I don’t want to be the type of Christian I’ve seen all of my life. I don’t want to be pious. I don’t want to follow a set of rules, or have a mental checklist that tells me whether/not I’m being a “good Christian” and walking closely with God (because I’m reading my Bible, going to church, and praying regularly, etc). I don’t want people to run for the hills when they see me coming — or, at the very least, roll their eyes — for fear that I’m goign to give them an earful about my faith.

I guess I kind of just like the faith that I already have. It’s a quiet faith, where I will share with others if God prompts me to, or if I feel the circumstances call for it; where I don’t go to church on Sundays, but have made attendance at my weekly Bible study a priority (it’s my “church”); where –every now & then– people will hear me talk about my faith and realize that maybe I have a closer relationship with God than they thought (because they were too busy assuming –based on my media choices, and my lack of church attendance– that I have a “weak” faith).

I want to live The Way of Jesus (as seen in the New Testament). I want to have a deep, abiding love relationship with my LORD that isn’t overbearing, but that definitely teases others into wanting the same for themselves. I want people to say, “There’s something different about her,” and then seek to find out what that is. But, the “difference” I want them to discover is an authentic, living, breathing faith in a loving heavenly Father who calls them (and me) to Himself.

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* Note: This does not include my blogging friends. I love reading Christian blogs, but that’s probably because I can choose the ones whose “tone” I like. 😉