Monday, February 18, 2013

Judgmental, Bible Thumping Christians

I don't often speak about my faith or beliefs unless it's with close friends. I've always been afraid to rock the boat. I've always been open that I follow Jesus but I never wanted to come across as an uptight Christian. It's one of those things that I chose not to bring up because I am not a theological person and I can't always back it up with the word of God. It's something I have always struggled with, and I've always lived life on the fence so to speak. I have my church friends and my other friends, and I have a hard time sharing my faith with my other friends. If they ask I will gladly talk about it, but I never brought it up. I have been asking God in my own time with him to really just open me up. I don't want to be one of those hypocritical, bible thumping, judgmental Christians, but I want to share his love with all of my friends. I want to do it in a real way. Not preaching, or throwing scriptures in peoples face, but in a real, one on one, friendly conversation. It's something that has been weighing on my heart for a while but I just don't know how to execute it. I see so many of my Facebook friends posting about how God isn't real, I even see people who used to be Christians and are now atheists. They post so openly about their beliefs, so why is this something I struggle with?

My Pastor showed a video of Penn Jillette of Penn and Teller. He's an open atheist and he made a video blog where he shared a story of a man who gave him a Bible. He said that the mans realness, and love touched his heart more then anyone ever has. He also made a statement that has stuck with me he said "How much do you have to hate somebody to not proselytize? How much do you have to hate someone to believe that everlasting life is possible and not tell them that?"

I can't seem to shake that. How much do I hate the people in my life not to share everlasting life with them? I want to be real, and I want to be honest, and I want to give people hope. How can I do that if I don't open up and walk across the room and share my heart? Our Pastor has been talking about sharing your story and so I will leave you with this. This is my story.

I was raised in Sunday school. My parents took me to their Methodist church from the time I was a baby. I learned about Jesus in Sunday school but I never knew him. I had my first real encounter with Christ when I was 14 at our summer church camp. I went every year with my friends and had an amazing time. I learned about Jesus, Christian music, and that it was OK to have blue hair, tattoos & piercings and still know God. It was honestly life changing. I will hold those memories with me for a lifetime and I made some amazing friends there. I went to camp until the summer I turned 18, but when I was 16 I started dating my ex husband and started to go to his church. It was a whole new world, it was Pentecostal, but the crazy hair, tats and piercings were HUGE no no's. That was a sin. They were very strict and I often felt like I played church just to fit in. I don't think I had a real relationship with God because I didn't know where I stood. I had sex, I drank, I did things I shouldn't have, then I went to church and cried and asked God to forgive me. It turned into a ritual. A few years later I was married and I still struggled with who I was in Christ. I was so depressed, in a terrible relationship, and I hated myself. I wanted to die. I cried myself to sleep almost every night, but I was trapped. I began to pray more, but not really asking for help, I asked him why? Why would you allow me to live like this? How could you leave me alone? I was broken and empty and defeated. And then my life started changing. I know it sounds cliche but it's true. God started to pull me out of it. My ex husband and I split up, Leo came back into my life after many years and things were brighter. It took a while to shed my insecurities and heal all of the broken pieces, which I will admit comes back on occasion when I least expect it. And here I am 5 yrs later and it feels like that was a whole lifetime ago. I sometimes think back to those times and it just doesn't feel real. I closed that chapter in my life and I feel like a new person. People who knew me before can attest to this too. But my point in all of this is I thought I was alone and I thought my world was shattered but God had bigger plans for me. I wouldn't be who I am today without being broken. I wouldn't appreciate my amazing loving husband, without all of the heartache. God knew what he was doing and I need to start sharing his love. I am thankful for all He has done in my life and the best way to share that is to just be there for someone else. I want to change that persona that Christians are judgmental,  bible thumping, hypocrites and just be real. And that is my new goal.

I'm going to add the video that I referenced so you can watch it for yourselves.