Sunday, January 21, 2007

Why I Am A Christian

Have you ever thought about the question — Why you believe? Why being a follower of Jesus Christ important to you? That is a tough question, and one that does not have a simple answer (although many sometimes give a simplistic answer). Are you a Christian so that you can get into heaven?, or is there something more?

My hunch is that there is something more than simply heaven for you. Sure, as followers of Jesus, we are promised that we will spend eternity with God in "paradise", which in the Greek really refers to "Eden." But what is that something more?

I am a follower of God through Jesus whom I know of as the Christ, because it makes my life better, and it gives me a guideline on how I should live in relation to the world and other people. The Christian tradition is built around the notion that we should work together, not for our common greed (sorry Mr. Trump), but rather for the common good. We should seek to eliminate poverty, oppression and abuse in whatever forms they find themselves. In other worlds we should seek JUSTICE (God’s justice).

I am a Christian because it is a pie in the sky understanding of what can be, if only we would set aside out personal agendas and follow the one outlined for us by Jesus.

Do I live it — to be honest, no. Many times I fall far short of what I should be doing. To often I pass up the person who has fallen down, because I am too busy, too busy with my self-indulgent self. But, I remain a Christian because Jesus offers me another chance, another opportunity to make a difference.

I am a Christian because it is something grander than I could ever conceive of! On my own, I would never do the things I do, but God inspires me to reach for the higher places (Habakkuk 3:17-19).

(Habakkuk 3:17-19 NRSV) Though the fig tree does not blossom, and no fruit is on the vines; though the produce of the olive fails and the fields yield no food; though the flock is cut off from the fold and there is no herd in the stalls, {18} yet I will rejoice in the LORD; I will exult in the God of my salvation. {19} GOD, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, and makes me tread upon the heights. To the leader: with stringed instruments.

Why are you a Christian? Why do you follow Jesus?

5 comments:

Christina Writes 1 said...
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Christina Writes 1 said...

Well, I gotta admit that I do not consider myself a Christian though I do very much believe in the teachings of Jesus. I follow His teachings (as best I can) not because I want anything after I die, but because I want to leave the world a better place. I want to take care of others, I want to spread love around, I want to be a good person, I want to take care of all the critters and their habitats. In short, I want to be as much like Jesus as possible. There is too much negativity, judgement, and holier-than-thoughness (like I'm doing now!) attached to the word "Christian" for me to really align myself with it. But Jesus ROCKS! And I don't really think He cares what you call yourself (or Him for that matter) as long as you do what is right as much as you can.

Steve Conger said...

I think that makes you a Christian, because it is not about beleif, it is about choosing to follow the journey that Jesus invites us too.

Unload Your Sins said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Christina Writes 1 said...

Yes, others would call me a Christian and I know that technically I am. But you asked whether I consider myself one, and I do not--that is more of a stand against the hypocrisy of organized religion. Instead, I consider myself a follower of what it means to be a good person. Technically this should be Christianity, but in today's world it clearly does not mean this in practice. As you illuded to, what makes someone Christian is a byproduct of what lives in their hearts, and I heartily believe that someone can be ANY religion and qualify as a "Christian" based upon their good deeds. I don't think Jesus would like this division in his name, nor do I think he'd like how fractured humans have become because of their belief in what it means to follow Him. There are many good Wiccans who are better Christians than many Christians simply because they are respectful of all, care for the environment, and really live Jesus' teachings. It's not about what we call ourselves or even if we believe in Jesus (or have ever even heard of him, as much of the world hasn't). It's about who we are as people, the kinds of togetherness we foster among each other, and how much love we spread around. These are the things that were important to Jesus, not whether we called ourselves anything in particular or even worshipped him. He wanted us to live His way. As you said, it's about following a journey and I think that journey should be about goodness and inclusion.