The One Where I Don’t Want to Be Called a Christian

neighbor

Twenty something years  ago, there was a woman in my life who was honestly the only person I’ve ever felt hatred for. She was the worst: manipulative, sneaky, liar…just not a good person, like at all. She was literally destroying my family. But the WORST thing about her was that she was a Christian. In fact, on a scale of 1-10, she declared her relationship with God as a perfect ten.

That day I decided I didn’t want to be a Christian.

I was raised, in no small part, by my grandmother. She is a 5 foot, stubborn, tough little lady. But she loves BIG. She gives BIG. She would literally give away her last morsel of food to someone in need. And she expects nothing in return. She just loves well.

It took me awhile to put together the fact that the bravest, kindest, most loving person I knew knew the Jesus I wanted… I didn’t want to be the “perfect Christian”  Christian.

But here we are in 2017 and our country, our world I guess, is just not really going well right now…have you noticed? But the thing that hurts me the most, again, in the mess, are the “Christians.”

charlottesvilleThere are not a lot of “Christians” as upset about Charlottesville as they are about who pees in which bathroom. There are not a lot of “Christians” as upset at a Muslim ban as upset over the Pulse nightclub shooting. It is “Christians” who took Jen Hatmaker’s books out of bookstores because of her beliefs on gay marriage. But here’s the thing, we can have different opinions, thoughts, ideas, and still show love. After all, Jen Hatmaker doesn’t decide who gets into heaven and who doesn’t. (But you should pick up a copy of Of Mess and Moxie as soon as you finish reading this…and Interrupted is life changing!) But neither does Jerry Falwell (praise Jesus) or Franklin Graham or any other Christian author/preacher/evangelist… Only God gets to decide that. So is banning an author over a different belief really the “Christian” response? The outrage over a statement by one of the most people loving people is more boisterous than the outrage over the number of lies our President tells.

The Bible specifically tells us in Mark 12:30-31 our top, most important job:

“Love the Lord your God with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: “Love your neighbors as yourself.” There is NO commandment greater than these.

That’s it. Pretty simple.

Now I’m not suggesting we ignore the Big Ten. But I do feel like we, as “Christians”, are not doing a lot of the loving of our neighbors. The second MOST IMPORTANT commandment. Love your neighbors: your gay neighbors, your Muslim neighbors, your black neighbor, your Jewish neighbor, your trans neighbor… ALL OF THE NEIGHBORS.

mama t

So, I’m back to where I was 20 years ago. I really don’t think I want the “Christian” label anymore. Yes, I believe that Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior. But honestly, I really don’t want to claim “Christian.”

My hope is that I just LOVE BIG enough, that I won’t be called a “Christian.”

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