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.