Inspired by a recent post on Suddenly Something Really Interesting to finally revive my blog after nearly 3 years! Ridiculous! Especially given that I really only posted over a two month period. Ha!
I have finally settled in in a new church after 3 years. I have new friends. Real Christian friends! Not one of whom makes me want to take up drugs and casual sex just to see how they would react. No, really… There is a mile wide rebellious streak in me that makes me feel that I will never fit anywhere and don’t really want to anyway. And as a Christian that can be a good and a bad thing.
It’s good because I don’t feel that my faith (which is doing fine, thanks very much for asking) is ever perceived as an obstacle by people who get to know me. (Although fuck knows what they really think of me…) I don’t believe I represent the holier-than-thou image of Christianity as the popular media like to depict. You know. Wearing dungarees, bad centre partings and T-shirts with bible verses on them, singing about how Jesus wants to give everyone a footrub, but getting twitchy whenever someone mentions sex or even suggests going down the pub. You know, those Christians. The ones that don’t really exist anywhere other than in bad 90s sitcoms. I don’t think I ram it down anyone’s throat or make it into an excuse for not engaging with life and the people around me (which trust me, as an introvert I would have no problem doing…)
On the other hand, I wonder if people even realise that I have an active faith. True story: yesterday someone approached me and asked if I would consider using my (horribly out-of-date) science background to help them set up a lab. To produce amphetamines. For 20% of the profit. And I wasn’t shocked. It took a few moments for me to really analyse what this person had said and the criminal implications. My morality didn’t even enter the equation for him. And I think that is perhaps due to a more relaxed moral framework on his part, but perhaps it is due to a common perception of Christians as people who will overthrow their morality in favour of personal gratification and financial gain. Hypocrites. Pharisees. And it is a valid opinion.
Just ask Garry at SSRI. I am so ashamed at the way we behave and I’m so sorry that countless people have and continue to be treated as though they are unacceptable and irredeemable by God and are put in a position of hiding themselves at a time of their lives when they just needed to be embraced and welcomed. I’m truly sorry, Garry.
In John 8, Jesus intervenes in the stoning of a woman caught in adultery. This was the punishment under the law for the woman’s sin. The law from God. That law. He says ‘let he who is without sin cast the first stone’. That would be Jesus himself. The ultimate revelation of God. Does he throw the stone? He had the right. No. He sends her on her way with a plea to change her life. God himself did not stone the woman. He did not condemn her. He rescued her! Why are we not doing the same? Why are so many Christians the ones with the stones?
By God’s grace, there is room for ALL at the table regardless of the number, magnitude or form of the sins in our lives and might I remind you that we ALL fall short. All of us. Please, can we just put it to rest now and love one another without judgement?
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have it all right. I am by no means blameless in any way and in the past have expressed opinions and said things that are counter to my faith. In a previous draft of this post, I referred to Christians as assholes (Matthew 5:22 anyone?). I have problems with anger and don’t control my tongue and don’t prioritise my life properly. But I’m trying. Forgive me.