>> Tuesday, July 17, 2012
If you've been reading my blog, you know that I would consider myself a born again Christian. Though I still cringe when I think of that term, I feel like it fits me. Why do I cringe? I've been on the outside looking in at my born again friends. I see how they come off as self righteous and judgmental. I've suffered at the hands of people who profess to be Christian but were scum of the earth in disguise. I've studied other faiths, intensely, and heard the arguments for those and against Christianity - those arguments have come out of my mouth. Because of this, I know why people are so uncomfortable with those that proudly display their faith. I'm not saying that I have it all correct, I am still learning and trying to understand everything I've been taught and everything I read, but it is how I feel I have been lead. I know I have a sinners heart, so to say I follow my heart when it comes to my "interpretation" of scripture would probably make me wrong. But I feel comfortable enough in what I have read in the Bible and my understanding of it, though, to say that I am on the correct path.
Today, I had an incident where a fellow co-worker and long time friend commented on the fact that my son is behind on his immunizations. He asked, with a smirk and a sarcastic tone, if the reason my son is behind on his immunizations was because of some cultish, religious belief. My normal, old me reaction would be to say "Screw you - you're just jealous that I'm going to heaven and your not!" - irritation coupled with a bit of humor/sarcasm. Not today. In fact, it didn't even phase me. What did I say? "No, he's behind because of bad insurance and because I didn't want to dose him with 100's of shots early on like they tend to do now." No sarcasm, no dirty looks - nothing. I don't really know why I was thinking about the conversation, but in thinking about it I had the thought. "am I hiding my beliefs from my old friends, you know, the Christ hating atheist friends of mine?" I mean, I never post things like "praise the Lord" or "my God is great" on Facebook like some people I know do, my blog is definitely not linked to my Facebook page, and I don't go to church with my old friends or invite them to go with me. Am I ashamed of my Christianity? Friends close to me knows that I go to church and some of them even know how strong my faith has become but I don't share with them really the joy I've come to feel. Then I thought of my Facebook friend and artist Patty Ann Hale and a post she had put on Facebook back in December. It said: "A local pastor's blog that I thought was really great. Don't keep the goodness of the Lord all to yourself. Whether it's sharing at your workplace, at school, in your church, or right here on facebook... we should live our beautiful redeemed lives "out loud" so that all may see the beauty of the ONE who came to love us "out loud." Grace Point Church" While I feel it is better to reflect Christ in how we live than to share it with words, I'm began to wonder if I am wrong. Well, let me restate that, not wrong but scared. Scared to share and turn my friends away.
I know my family treats me differently. My sister apologizes when she says a bad word, I can tell she chooses her words more carefully around me. She thinks that's all that I want to talk about and maybe avoids talking to me because of it. My mother thinks I spend too much time involved with my church and worries what I give to it. My brother, the atheist, would have very little to do with me if I ever dared talk to him about church. I hope I'm not hiding, a closet Christian. I don't think I am. I think I'm just scared that people will ask me questions, wanting to debate the Bible. I haven't got the knowledge or confidence to do that, or at least I don't think so. I guess I'll just try to keep living it instead of just saying it and hopefully one day I will be confident in my faith enough to be willing to talk to others about it when they ask.