Tuesday, April 3, 2012

"I like your Jesus. I don't like your Christians. Your christians are so unlike your Jesus."


I couldn't have said it better myself. I love Jesus, I want to live like him, to follow after him. For the longest time I resented christianity and christians, because they are so un-like Christ. I wouldn't call myself a christian for years because of this discrepancy. But now, I've re-claimed my Christianity. I will no longer let others who claim to be Christian, define for me what a christian is, or what christians believe.
I don't believe the same thing a lot of christians today believe, especially here in the great US of A. But I have learned there are others out there who see things the way I see them. They give me hope.

So, what is a christian? To me, a christian is someone who tries to live like Jesus, follow in his example  and live the way he taught people to live.

How did Jesus live? In poverty, serving others and loving others, regardless of who they were or what they had done. He was homeless, giving, loving and non-judgmental.

I think consumerism is counter-christian.
I think it is wrong to go to war, Christ taught non-violence.
I think it's wrong to have more than you need, of anything, when others have none or not enough. Christianity teaches this.
I think it's wrong to be attached to material goods, whatever they are. Jesus taught this.
I think it is wrong to be wasteful. Christianity teaches this.
I think it is wrong to be judgmental, especially to tell others they are sinful. Christianity teaches to love, and not to judge or condemn.
I think the most important way to share your faith is not through preaching and condemnation, but by living by example. Christ taught this.
I believe there are evil forces out there, trying to get us to turn away from what God wants for us, pushing us to be self-serving, selfish and hoarders. These forces are both in and around us, and it is against these forces we are to fight, to be loving, selfless and giving  of all things, to all people. I believe most suffering comes from these forces, or us following these instead of God.
I believe all people are equal, even the 'bad' ones.
I believe in the power of forgiveness.
I don't believe Christ chooses you, you choose Him. There are no 'special' chosen ones, we are all children of God.

Yes, I believe these things. The bible, teaches these, Christ teaches these. The more I read the bible, the more I see how much I fail, and realize I can't blame 'the christians' because it's really, really really hard  to be a christian. I fail. I fail miserably.

I hoard. I judge. I hold grudges. I am attached. I am selfish and greedy. I don't forgive. I am wasteful. the list of failures goes on.

But I am working on improving. Every day is a struggle. To love others, to see them as equal, or even better than me, to give without expectation of receiving, to consume less, to live simply so others can simply live. To live by example rather than preaching. Not to boast. Not to consume things that have the price of human blood on them. To treat others fairly.

To be honest, I am now ashamed to call myself a christian because I so badly fail. But I keep the name because I believe in living like Christ. I must keep trying. Christ knows I will fail every day, but He forgives me. To me, this says that we should never give up trying, especially not because we fail. We must keep working on it.

In this world, I think the real followers of Christ, the real Christians, the ones who actually do what Christ told us to do, are on the streets. They are probably living in poverty. They are definitely helping those who need it most. They are fighting along side them, they are serving others. They are on the battlefront of injustice, telling people who feel forgotten that they are not, that they are loved. They are reliant on God for everything, from food to shelter to safety. They are warriors. They do not spend money lightly or needlessly. They do not own expensive things for they know their money can be, should be, spent on the needs of others not their own luxuries. They consume only what they need and rely on their community. They are peaceful. The take in and love everyone, regardless of their sexual orientation, race, gender, ability and health. They love God above and before all else.

I one day hope to be that kind of Christian. Today I fail, but I am working on it.

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