Religion represents law, exclusion, government, the fall of man and woman, war, hurt, slavery, and a whole lot of justifiable emotional pain and baggage. I hesitate to call myself a Christian because it no longer represents the man from Nazareth that saved my life; the label represents racism, doctrine, condemnation, wrath, sexism, genocide, rape, white-power, “if you died today, would you go to heaven or hell?”, aggression, addiction, fear tactics, power hungry dictators and manipulators, hypocrites, injustice, propaganda, and the list goes on. The word “Christian” stops the conversation before it even begins.
“Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, “The teachers of religious law and the Pharisees are the official interpreters of the law of Moses. So practice and obey whatever they tell you, but don’t follow their example. For they don’t practice what they teach. They crush people with unbearable religious demands and never lift a finger to ease the burden.”
– Matthew 23:1-4
I am a follower of the Way, a believer of light and love, an enthusiast and fighter for equal rights, a lover of wisdom and exploring new ideas, a disciple, a missionary, and a fisher of men and women. My God is a Father and a Mother, a relational God, a funny God, a personal God, a Caretaker, a Protector, the Prince of Peace, Yahweh, the Author, a wise Counselor, my Savior, full of grace, adventurous, creative, the ultimate Dreamer, the Giver of life, the Inventor of science, the Answer, the Way, the Truth, the Light, a Gentleman, a Provider, romantic, mysterious, spontaneous, reliable, patient, and faithful.
“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
With that being said, there is a yearning in my heart to transform the implications associated with the word “Christian”, by walking in the shadow of Christ; being truly compassionate, loving, understanding, slow to anger, generous, selfless, patient, and kind.
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.”
– 1 Corinthians 13:4-8
I don’t believe that being a follower of Christ means saying a simple prayer… it is dying to our flesh, becoming a new creation, signs and wonders, stepping out in faith, being unafraid and unashamed to proclaim the name of Jesus, being fully known and fully loved, it is claiming the victory and growing into the identity of more than just a conqueror, it is complete and total surrender, carrying the Good News, embodying faith, hope and love, being living, breathing proof of God’s plan and handiwork, living in the reality of being fearfully and wonderfully made by the Creator of the cosmos, walking in full freedom, full joy, full assurance, full capacity to love, free of all past, sin and shame.
“This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!”
– 2 Corinthians 5:17
“And God confirmed the message by giving signs and wonders and various miracles and gifts of the Holy Spirit whenever he chose.”
– Hebrews 2:4
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes-”
– Romans 1:16
“Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.”
– Romans 8:37
“I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.”
– Galatians 2:20
“Three things will last forever–faith, hope, and love–and the greatest of these is love.”
– 1 Corinthians 13:13
“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”
– Psalm 139:14
Jesus calls us His bride. He is fatally faithful to us. He is jealous for the things we constantly choose over Him. He doesn’t just want us for an hour or two on a Sunday morning. He wants all of us.
“-for you shall not worship any other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God-“
– Exodus 34:14
He wants to walk along side each one of us through the valleys and mountaintops. He wants to restore all things, making all things new and letting Kingdom come in our very own lives. He has been with us since the start, in the whispers and things unseen. In every passion, He can be discovered at the root. His love never fails.
“May your Kingdom come soon. May your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.”
– Matthew 6:10
“Only God works great miracles.
God’s love never fails.
With wisdom he made the sky.
God’s love never fails.”
– Psalm 136:4-5
As always, feel free to open the discussion up by commenting below or reaching me directly through the contact tab ❤
Check out some of these resources:
Out Of Sorts by Sarah Bessey
Follow Me by David Platt