Setting The Record Straight
My Christian faith is very important to me personally, but most of my friends and colleagues at work are not Christian, or are not as active in their faiths as I am. I have friends who are Jewish, Muslim, Sikh, agnostic and atheist. I grew up in a denomination where proselytizing was discouraged, and I believe that faith is a very personal thing, so I would never try to convince anyone that my religion is the right way to seek/understand/worship God. But when being “Christian” is associated with being close-minded, bigoted and hateful, I do feel the need to defend my faith.
The heart of my faith is this:
God Is Love.
The essence of being Christian is reflected in this passage from 1 John 4: 7:
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God.
Everyone who loveth is born of God and knoweth God.
And there’s that old hymn,
They will know we are Christians by our love.
So, how did being “Christian” come to be associated with being hateful?
Don’t people know the rest of that passage from 1 John:
He who loveth not knoweth not God, for God is love.
When I was little, I was taught that the commandment that you should “not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain,” meant that you shouldn’t use God’s name as a curse word. That may be true (and, Lord, forgive me!) but I think being close-minded, bigoted and hateful in the name of God is an even more offensive use of God’s name.
On of the reasons that I decided to write about my faith on this blog is so that I could do my part to “set the record straight.” In the social media world we hear about “brand ambassadors,” but I have to remember that I am ambassador for Christ. Every encounter I have with someone else, every person I see on the running trail, everyone in line at the grocery store, every interaction on blogs, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and, yes, every car I do or don’t let merge in front of me in traffic, is my chance to show that person what it means to be a Christian.
I was mulling all of this over as I was listening to Krista Tippet’s radio show, On Being, last week. Her guest, Nadia-Bolz Weber is a great ambassador for Christ, and blows any stodgy stereotype of what it means to be a “Christian” out of the water. You may not have 51 minutes to listen to the whole podcast right now, but whether you are Christian or just curious, it is worth hearing what this “tattooed, Lutheran pastor of the House for All Sinners and Saints in Denver” has to say.
Do you listen to any specific radio shows or subscribe to any podcasts?