I’m not a Christian.
Does that make your breath stop? I apologize. I tell people this all the time…and the response is either confusion or a sincere effort to get me saved as soon as possible.
I figured it was time to explain myself.
I grew up in a Pentecostal conservative legalistic church. God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, speaking in tongues, singing songs, worshiping…that’s all been the main part of my life since I was an infant. I left my family in Idaho at age 16 and moved to Oregon, to follow “my faith.” I married the son of a minister. I had every intention of raising good Christian kids, in a good Christian school, so they could repeat the pattern.
Then something strange happened.
I found myself outside the Temple.
Well, find a new church I was told. The problem was, WHICH church? Should I go to the Catholic church? Church of Christ? United Pentecostal? Mormon? Jehovah’s Witness? Seventh Day Adventist? Which one was the TRUE church that I was to attend?
The answer was as CLEAR as a bell.
Do not put ME back into a box.
It was that day that I quit being a Christian and started walking as a mature, human being…absolutely in love with a man called Jesus Christ. A child of the King. A daughter of God. A believer.
25 Then Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul, 26 and when he found him, he brought him to Antioch. So for a whole year Barnabas and Saul met with the church and taught great numbers of people. The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch. Acts 11:25-26
Before that day, there were no “Christians”. They were disciples. Followers of Jesus Christ. Fellow believers of the faith. Christians was a label given to them by the culture of their day.
And with that very label, I believe that a new religion was born. And the Kingdom of God lost its power to heal and save our world.
Religion is not of God. It is of man. It is man’s way of describing God, in their own words. And it can be ok. But I believe that in the translation something is lost.
The TRUE nature of God and his Son. The heart of the Creator for his Creation.
God so loved the world no longer has significance in a world where Christianity is seen as a societal or cultural identity.
But, the TRUE gospel of Christ? It has the power to change…to heal…to bring peace.
The thing is that it requires EVERYTHING of me. My heart. My Soul. My Mind. My affection. My time. My energy. My identity.
The reward is living a life of peace. Joy. Faith. Hope. Love.
It means that I recognize that I am my brother’s keeper. That I am required to live a life of social equality and justice. That I am required to be a steward of my environment. My time. My money. That I am not a lone individual, trying to make it to the other side. That salvation is TODAY, not tomorrow. That GOD will come and dwell among his people. Here. On this planet.
But it has to start with ME.
So, I quit being a Christian. I am your sister. I am your friend. I am your fellow human-being. You are my neighbor and I will follow the commandments of my Savior.
King James Version (KJV)
28 And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, Which is the first commandment of all?
29 And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:
30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.
31 And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.
So the next time you hear me say “I’m not a Christian.” Do not fear. I am saved. I am a believer. I just am not going to be put into a box.