Let's Talk About My Faith
I wasn't always a Christian. For my friends who knew me in high school, and God bless your soul if you still care enough to read my blogs, there was little to associate me with anything remotely religious. You'd think I'm crazy, maybe I am, to have decided wholeheartedly to "become" Christian, follow Jesus, or any other term used to describe it.
Some might call me insane, capitalizing He and Him in reference to God. Others will ask whether it's undesirable to be assumed as a LGBT-hating person. Or to be seen as someone with no regard for Women's rights because Christianity is so entrenched with being pro-life. I'd rather answer a physics question.
But I guess that's what I signed up for, this seemingly absurd mission of reconciling with people, that the amenable commandment of thou shalt not kill nor commit adultery can go hand in hand with Jesus' affirmation that marriage is between a man and woman. I can't deny what The Bible says and I also can't bring myself to adamantly oppose same-sex marriage.
As someone who traversed the liberal ideology and education of New York City, I understand the rationale behind pro-choice advocates and LGBT groups. We're centered around the idea of individualism and expression of who we are. The world has never been more centered around ourselves, while Jesus tells us to be focused on Him. One of the most difficult things I've dealt with during my journey as a Christian are these debates exactly.
This isn't much of a post to debate the topics I don't have a firm answer on; I'd probably lose. Instead, I wanted to talk organically about my faith, in hopes of bringing some sort of levity into the discussion of someone's choice to follow Jesus, and vice-versa. Much more than anything else, it's a post about a decision made by any regular human.
I figure most people usually have two reactions when finding out someone is Christian, either fear or anger. On the one hand, people fear judgement, and on the other, people feel angry towards the teachings, actions, and beliefs. I'd argue Christians often feel the same exact way, described with the same exact words.
And so I hesitate when telling someone I go to church Sunday mornings or I have an upcoming missions trip to Idaho. It's my full understanding of the scrutiny I might receive, coming from the perspective of someone who is scared of making his God known. If you think I'm on a crusade to convert the masses, trust me, I'm not. I want to be the norm, but God calls me to be anything else than normal.
I'd be lying if I claimed to have not thought about life without God - I have - and to revel in a life of supposed freedom. Take this as my reluctant acknowledgement that following Jesus isn't the end of all your troubles. The textbook enjoyments of life don't exactly follow hand-in-hand with God's book, and that means, metaphorically, choosing to toil in the desert and believing an oasis exist somewhere on the opposite end. You think I actually enjoy that? Ha.
Herein lies the issue, of me fully admitting being a Christian can sometimes be comparable to toiling in the desert! It's easier to describe how unenjoyable following God is, mostly because it's what we automatically assume. To truly experience the fullness of knowing God is an extremely personable relationship and emotion, completely indescribable as it is unique to the individual.
Even this blog post feels awfully unfair in trying to explain the complexity of God. Doing so in a manner of appeasing the coexistence of Christians and non-Christians offers that much more a challenge. I want people to experience God and yet excuse myself with a beer in hopes of not offending anyone. The best thing in my life is God, but that isn't often evident, so how could my friends and peers ever know that? I don't know.
Despite all this, I can still sense the presence of God permeating my weekly life. Even with a consistently faltering faith and reluctance to live out the Gospel, my God decides to stick around a person riled in everything He hates. Maybe that's part of the reason I've found this relationship worthwhile, to be loved when love is not deserved. I've found the various fruits of life, both good and bad, but decided Jesus is the sweetest of all. That's my story, and maybe the best I can do in reflecting why I am Christian.
Maybe if you didn't think I was crazy before reading this blog post, you might now. But also, if you're a regular of my blog, you'd probably already know how human I am. Nevertheless, talking about my faith is an integral part of my being, and the brevity of this post is a disservice to how much longer I can go on. Instead, I guess a testimony and a slight bit of vulnerability is the best way to go about this. There's your invitation to message me personally about my faith and bombard me with your questions.
But, seriously, though? I'm human. I'd rather be playing my Nintendo Switch.