Tuesday, October 18, 2011

WWJD?

I've been thinking a lot lately about being a Christian... and specifically about being a Christian blogger.

I worry sometimes about what it makes people think of me, when they find out I am a Christian. I worry that they will dismiss me, without looking. Or else attack me, without knowing. Or I worry that I may do more harm than good, speaking about my faith.

There are many different opinions and viewpoints that you come across on the blogosphere. Some are openly hostile to Christianity. Others poke fun at it slyly. It is dismissed and repudiated a lot.

And quite honestly I understand it.

I'm not saying that I appreciate what people say sometimes. But I don't necessarily get my back up too much or get too offended. Because I know that we Christians can be real idiots sometimes.

I see things on the news, or I see my fellow Christians make comments and say things and I just wish I could shut them up. Now to be fair here, I know I have probably said many a dumb thing. I'm sure people have wanted to shut me up too. And I have to admit I'm still not entirely sure that I'm right in all I think. I'm trying really hard here not to come across pointing the finger saying 'well they're just stupid' because I know I can be stupid too.

But somewhere along the line we fell into the same trap as the pharisees and started judging, and being legalistic, and forgetting about love.

It's hard. It's so hard. It's such a difficult line to walk. At times I see things that are so opposite to Gods ways, but yet I find myself feeling sympathetic towards them, rather than sympathy to the harsh and judgmental opinions of people who are supposed to be my brothers. I think is it me? Am I wrong?

I don't want to be one of those airy-fairy Christians who vomit sunshine and happiness and peace and rainbows. Because the fact is, there is a good and evil. There are absolutes. All people have sinned and need the sacrifice that Jesus made to be able to reach heaven. People are going to hell if they reject God. But God isn't a distant, abusive, punishing parent that has fun watching people suffer either. And people seem to think that. Somehow we seem to portray the extremes so well.

In our defence, it's not all of us. There are many, many reasonable decent people out there who love God, love Jesus and are wonderfully ordinary. But the media and the world has always zeroed in on the extremists. Nobody wants to hear a story about a regular person with their faith. They would rather hear about the zealots, the bigots, and the people who are just dancing-on-unicorns-crazy.

I wish we could be seen. Just seen as we are, without so many different coloured glasses clouding the view. But that's life. It is extremely rare to get anyone to see without putting the taint of their experience on first. And sometimes experience is a good thing. It means we learn. But at other times it can be such a hindrance.

We're going to be different. We've got to be. I look at some of the values and things that go on in the world, and I just want no part of it. We are told to be different. We are told we will be persecuted for our faith. And maybe all of this is a part of it?

But I wonder.... Say Jesus hadn't come to earth when he did years ago, and instead arrived in this day and age. Who would he hang around with now? Last time it was fisherman and tax collectors and prostitutes. So I'm betting he wouldn't be hanging around in churches. And that troubles me. Does that mean that I am more like a pharisee than a disciple?

I don't know. I'm not sure what the answers are. Heck, I don't even rightly know what it is I am asking or saying.

I guess I am just hoping people will read my blog and maybe try to just see me as a fellow human being. That would be a nice step. And an important one I think. Because if you can empathize with, and understand someone a little, then maybe you can begin to see that they are not crazy, or stupid, and you can see that their faith is real. And maybe you can also see that there are so many different ways to be a follower of Jesus. My way doesn't have to be your way. But it is important that we get to the same place at the end.


Linking up with Jess from Diary of a SAHM for I blog on Tuesdays.

21 comments:

  1. Love this post. I agree totally. I struggle constantly with the 'when you served the least of me' component of faith. I'm not serving God the way I think he intended me to.

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  2. You make some excellent points here. I find the label of Christian too broad as it encompasses so many extremists and of course they are the ones you hear about.
    I don't have a strong connection to any faith because of my past experiences with the people in our church who were less than welcoming and often avoided or ignored us outside of the church. The whole experience left me cold on the whole idea.
    I also see a lot of sadness, hardship and poor choices being made by people and want to protect my family from this and at times it feels like an fruitless effort.
    I am learning since becoming more involved in blogging and reading many blogs by people of Christian faiths that my experiences are not the norm and I feel I am able to make more educated decisions on choices for our family so I thank you for sharing this :)

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  3. Excellent points raised here Robyn. I totally relate to what you're saying and also to the points raised in comments. I'm just trying to survive at the moment. I'm hardly out preaching the gospel or serving widows and homeless. I differ between feeling convicted to do more and giving myself the freedom to enjoy this time of my life and bring up my children the best I can. I try so hard to make sure I'm not portraying the "self-righteous Christian snob" image, because that doesn't do anyone any favours or impress anyone.
    Unfortunately Erin, hypocrites in church are so common. It is so sad because the whole point of Christianity is that we are NOT good enough

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  4. Right now, I don't identify with any faith. But my mother always told me "Faith comes first from the heart, listen to it."

    We all can judge unfairly, and it is common for us to generalise about members of any faith without a knowledge of the people themselves. I try to look at people individually, and try not to ascribe them to a "box" and a generalisation. I don't always do this well, but I am trying harder.

    Thanks for sharing :)

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  5. Great post! Thank you for sharing.

    I don't really identify with any faith at the moment, my husband is Catholic, but I don't know what I beleive.

    I do know that I admire those that are confident in the beliefs and find comfort in their faith xx

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  6. I am a Christian too , it is hard not to judge and at the same time feel judged for faith in your beliefs. The world is full of people who commit atrocities or craziness in the name of religion , that is what saddens me most. It makes people blame religion instead of the people. I just go about my way quiety it is not for me to preach my way but to hopefully model my faith.

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  7. You know Robyn, Jesus was with the fisherman and the prostitute, but he was also with His followers. It wasn't that he avoided the church, it was that He knows his own,

    I have these struggles; I say things and wish I could take them back. I play what if stu,ble by DC Talk over and over in my head.

    But you are doing good. Look at your comments; people are opening up and being real. Remember God uses the small things. Not saying that you are small, but that we are all small. Just keep trying to keep your heart right.

    Love ya!

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  8. Lovely post Robyn. I love the way you question who Jesus would hang with today. Gets me thinking about what it would be like in general if he showed up, I am not sure the world would know how to cope.

    I love that you put yourself out here and in the world as a Christian. Giving yourself any kind of label is always a big call but for reasons you mentioned labeling yourself a Christian does not always bring with it the positiveness it should.

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  9. I have a lot of Christian friends, I know they struggle with their faith too. I guess it's just a matter of staying true to yourself and your belief.

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  10. I love this post. I'm not the most "out there" Christian, too many full-on people have scared me off anything close to it! But then enter the blogging world and how much do you tell, talk about, discuss?!

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  11. Yet if your non-Christian friends accept that you have a faith that has nothing to do with them, and they're perfectly comfortable to be around you, and it doesn't challenge them, you wonder - am I doing it right?

    :)

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  12. A few times I've had people say 'oh, you're a Christian', I thought there was something about you :) Makes me smile, I'm obviously doing something right!

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  13. To be honest i don't really know what i believe in. I really do admire those who are open and honest about what they believe and their faith. I always read them but don't necessarily comment. Mostly because i don't understand some of what they are saying and would look like an idiot.

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  14. Bet it feels good to write it all out Robyn.

    When you were talking about the attention going the extremists and not the every day worshippers, I thought that perhaps not having such a high profile is much better, that way you can have a bigger impact in your work? For instance what you are writing and what we are reading and discussing now?

    I'm happy to read christian blogs or blogs from anyone really who I believe are good people with values, have integrity and are interesting.

    I'm a terrible Catholic in terms of church going but I believe in the gospel values and I do my best (in the circumstances)to live by those.

    People are going to judge, I think that is normal, I think it is part of critical analysis of personalities and situations, they are also going to judge because it may or may not be an experience they are familiar with. The difference is listening, not necessarily agreeing.

    Keep writing about your faith and your thoughts, you and Jess and the girls at Life on a Hill and even Kylie Oifu and Naomi all have great platforms to share their faith with others.

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  15. I really enjoy reading Christian blogs. I don't know that I fit the definition of Christian myself at all... I talk a lot about the universe and gratitude and connection. In many ways for me that feels like the same thing. I believe in God but I use different language maybe. And in honesty I've been put off Church long ago by people whose extreme judgement made me wonder what Chriatianity even meant to them.

    I've known some incredibly nasty Christians, I've also known some awful atheists lol. People are people I guess, but it always surprises me coming from anyone who subscribes to what should be a place of love and acceptance (IMHO).

    Fascinating post Robyn, you've given me lots to think about.

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  16. I totally understand what you are saying.

    Unfortunately there will always be judgement in every religion, every..well EVERYTHING!

    I grew up in one Christian faith but did not feel like it was right for 'me'. Now I am still Christian, but struggle to find where I fit in.

    I am scared of just walking in to a church because of my fear of being judged! lol I am also scared of my families response, and my husbands reaction.

    I think it is actually very couragous of you to speak so publicly!

    x

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  17. Christians don't scare me off! Especially not you! Yeah, I get cross at the crazies and even more cross at the media for the way they tend to throw everyone in the same bucket and say we're all susceptible to the craziness. What I love about you, Robyn, is that being Christian truly is a PART of who you are, a part of what makes you you, and I love that you write about it!

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  18. One thing I didn't expect when I started blogging was to find a small group of you guys here posting about what you do from the mundane to the gospel. I've been a wanderer for some time now, burnt by past experiences, worried about judgement, not quite knowing how to deal with the grey I see in life. The religiosity, even in pente churches eventually put me off after it was initially the religiosity in traditional churches that put me off. WWJD is a great question. I wonder about that too and honestly, I don't always know. I think I do sometimes, then i wonder who am I to know the mind of God. Thanks for being so open and helping a wanderer like me tease these issues apart in my mind and heart.

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  19. This is a topic I wish I was brave enough to write about on my little old blog. Good on you for your bravery and honesty!

    I agree that it is the zealots who make it hard for those of us who have a simple, genuine, life changing faith.

    Some cool writing here too - dancing on unicorns, vomit sunshine - funny!

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  20. Really enjoyed reading this Robyn. And also enjoyed reading the comments from those who identify as Christian and those who don't.

    If only everyone could look past us weak and foolish Christians and look directly at Jesus. He gets the balance right!

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  21. I know exactly what you mean. I'm a christian too, and I'll be honest, I worried about how things would be when I wrote our blog's 'about page' and about our vision for our family, loving God. I often feel dismissed when people find out I'm a christian. Not by all people, or even by most, but often by 'important' or 'big' people.

    I think you've written really well and honestly Robyn. :-)

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