I am No Longer A Christian

28Aug07

ed11toon.jpgOK, before anyone freaks out, I have no intention on abandoning my relationship with God and nothing about who I put my faith and hope in has changed.

But, here is the deal. I don’t want to be called a Christian anymore. I cannot stand what a Christian is considered to be in today’s society. Every time someone talks about Christians, it is negative. So many people who claim to be a Christian act like idiots and spew crap out of their mouths. Almost any religion or denomination can say they are “Christian” and they do. I read story after story about how people want nothing to do with the church because of the way “Christians” have treated them. I have a revelation for you…They aren’t Christians!

Don’t qoute 2 Timothy 3:12 to me either, cause this doesn’t have anything to do with that. We will be persecuted for “His name sake”, but being persecuted for Him and being persecuted for being wrapped into a group of people is another thing. I wish so desperately there was something we could do to quench the ferver in all of these people that are destroying the name of Jesus and what it means to truly be Christian. I will work my butt off to be a person that displays the love of my God. I will go out of my way to declare what it truly means to live for Christ. I just don’t want to be wrapped up into some idea of what people think being a Christian is. I want them to see me and then make up their minds.

I hear a lot of people calling themselves Christ-Followers. I think that is cool, I really like it, but is it just because people have destroyed the title Christian? Do we have to find a different title? What can we do to reclaim “Christianity”? For those who don’t believe, why is it so often that you dont want to get to know me, purely based on what some other so called “Christian” has said or done?

I know I am venting…forgive me. I am not a scholar and these are just my feelings. If you want to know what started this, go check out this article…

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32 Responses to “I am No Longer A Christian”

  1. 1 tam

    Um folks, Brent came to the dinner table right after he wrote this post. He was a bit heated. He seriously needs a cyber-hug people!

    I’m not trying to make light of this – just stating a fact.

    Anyways, I’ve been on Friendly Christian a lot today commenting and speaking directly with a few people from Friendly Atheist…wow – they do not like me. Not said so much in words – but in tone. I’ve done nothing personally to them – but someone who has claimed Christ name has – and now they won’t “hear” me. It is breaking my heart…

  2. Oh Brent … I can understand. this coming from someone who grew up in a ‘christian’ family and decided because of this ‘christian’ dad in this family that she wanted NOTHING to do with it and became an ‘atheist’. I have to tell you I watched christians like HAWKS I wanted them to slip up and fall. But, you know it was the christians who took the time to allow me to be, just as I was and who were honest about their mistakes and failures that made me see God clearly. I hear you that some christians give God a bad wrap. I didn’t want to listen to christians either because of the much that was done in His name in my home. I will tell you though from someone on the other side now … DONT GIVE UP. Keep being who you are, living your life mistakes and all and allow the Grace of God to cover you and all the other christians out there – even if they do stupid things. God will use it all to turn non-believers around. He did it in my life and he’ll do it in others. Be responsible for your actions … reach who you can. Live your life with hands outstreched to people seeking to know and welcome them as they are. it will go so far and they will be drawn to Christ in you and then God will work on their hearts.

    People give it a bad name all the time and it makes me sick. However, I remember it was the ones who gave it a bad name that drove me to figure it out … to find out if there was more to it or not. So you may think they are driving people way … in my case they drove me closer because I was determined to prove it wrong because of them. God led me to true authentic people and he will do the same for others who are truely searching. These who make a bad name for God … he will not let the thwart the process. He is not a God that would allow that to happen …

  3. oh and many cyber hugs coming your way!!!

  4. Heather – What an amazing perspective. I have to say that I have been pretty sheltered in my life. I have grown up in church and so there are passions well directed or not that speak to that.

    I think your phrase “God led me to true authentic people and he will do the same for others who are truely searching.” is key. I want to be one that is always faithful to living so that He can use me.

    Let’s do it together!

  5. amen……….

  6. WOW B! I was so fed up yesterday my flesh started coming out and had to back off…..but ya, it’s not something I’m proud of sometimes which is sad. It’s been used to take advantage of people in business and socially..where do we draw the line tho with our responsibility of what others think, considering some will use any excuse to not commit to Christ? You need to put that cartoon on FC LOL….love ya!

  7. oops, I meant to say it’s something I’m not proud of at times….

  8. I think our flesh will come out sometimes. The challenge is what we do when we have done wrong.

    Where do we draw the line? I don’t think we can. Our focus needs to be on who we personally are in the midst of all of it. Obviously from what I’ve read, I wish I could do something about it. Not going to happen and it’s not my place, except by what my own actions profess.

    Thanks for the love…back at ya!

  9. 9 lazrus2

    Amen to #8 (especially the beginning). We just have to be ‘salt & light’ by His power, not our own, and follow Him instead of looking around to see if the other guy is (John 21: 20-22). By the way that article I left this AM was written before reading your blog entry last PM. Such a ‘coincidence’?
    D-

  10. Lazrus2 – I am glad you commented. Your email was a bit confusing, but it’s good to see we are on the same page.

  11. 11 Cheryl

    Left Behind…strikes again but I didn’t know it has come to such nonsense.

    Brent, I have had a hard time with this too, I call religious(b/c if they were to really study Christ’s teachings they would recognze the Pharisee in themselves) chameleon (away from the church and in the world they take on their surroundings with ease)…or so heavenly minded no earthly good. It is the one thing that held me back from accepting Christ and it is the same thing that I saw in ministry that turned me right off…and still does. Let me be Jesus with skin on…the real Jesus and if anything in me shows the contrary let Him deal with me on that.

  12. Cheryl, you bring up a good point on the other side of this discussion.

    “so heavenly minded no earthly good”

    I think that can be a big turn off and deterrent for many too. Being Jesus Freaks has come to be known as offensive and attacking.

    Also, do you think “being so heavenly minded one is no earthly good” causes them to respond and/or interact in an irrelevant manner in todays culture?

  13. Cheryl – Thanks for your comments. As frustrated as I get with the “Christian” community in general, it makes me even more angry to hear of abuse withing church leadership.

    Tam – I think a person who is “too” minded has ceased to listen to anyone around them. I think one can stop loving as God has called us to love when we decide to not listen. That to me leads people down a road of segregating themselves away from the world we are to be living in and being the “Salt and Light” in.

  14. 14 Cheryl

    Tam – I’ve seen and heard someone who I could categorize as no earthly good tell good friends of mine that they should get over grieving for their daughter and grand-daughter who died suddenly b/c they will see them in heaven, so suck it up and go on…sick thing is that someone thought that these two individuals should pastor a church. So much for being Jesus to these grieving people and responding in a relavant manner.

    Brent – I have the perfect example of what you are describing. Greg has a customer who would see no problem with coming in with a computer problem at close to closing time as possible and then expect them to fix the problem right away. He doesn’t listen to or hear that it’s closing and its time for Greg to come home and be with his family. Everytime this fellow comes into the store he’s talking to come member of his family saying stuff like “God bless you son, I’ll be home soon…yada, yada”. Christian family values etc but he is so rude to others. He seems to have no idea of how rude he is b/c he’s got his head stuck up in the skies above. Now Greg’s business partner is a non-Christian and he just rolls his eyes b/c so far this is the second “christian” business man that he has run into, who make him run in the other direction. Imagine my surprised when Greg introduced me to him at TRF. It was all I could do to hold my tongue. Lovely…just lovely.

  15. Cheryl…you held your tongue? 😉

  16. Cheryl – Thanks for your comments. I have to say that I am so thankful you are a part of what’s going on at TRF. It is awesome to see you there and to hear about your relationship with God. I think that you could probably teach us a ton regarding who we as Christians look like to non-believers.

  17. Brent,
    I feel ya. I get frustrated with stupid people too.

    Shaun Groves posted a fine example of this recently.

    http://www.shaungroves.com/shlog/comments/ambush/

    Although maybe you should skip that article, it’ll be more fuel for the fire.

    I like your concept of reclaiming the term Christian. It ultimately comes down to what we do personally because we can’t control other people.

  18. Billy – I read that article today and I really appreciated Shaun’s actions. I think he is living a life that would define what we are talking about here. A life that is confident in our convictions and beliefs, yet loving and willing to listen.

  19. 19 godsgalchild

    Hey B & T, I’m just gonna argue for a moment..humor me…I was reading your comments about being too heavenly minded and I’ll tell ya what, while I do understand that it become a pride issue and feeling of Holier than Thou, but there are times, many throughout the day actually that in order to cope the last 5 years in an environment of 12 non-believers and 2 believers I have to tune out quite regularly. His presence is the only thing that has gotten me through….and to be totally honest I wasn’t real concerned at times about the fact that I was ignoring them. Just a glimpse of the other side I guess…Sorry about hiding B, just a LITTLE embarassing!!!!!! 😉

  20. Godsgalchild – I have the privilege of knowing you. You are the farthest person from what we have been speaking of. We all need retreat. We all need quite. We all need a break. I think that is biblical, cause when we come out the other end spiritually full, we can go back to loving as He has intended we do.

  21. i understand GGC – but what you’re describing in yourself is totally different than the Holier Than Though attitude. So I agree with you…of course!

  22. 22 marty

    This is going on everywhere, there’s only a remnant!

  23. Thinking… always Thinking!

    I totally hear you and your position B.

    I think you now have a pretty good idea of what being Muslim might be like at the moment! : ) How many American’s want to get to know them and their beliefs and the reasons they feel the way they do after Sep 11? (I mean the True Muslims, not the extremist fanatics, but how willing are we to try to really get to know them either?? or will we just judge them by their perceived actions?)

    People who are ‘one thing’ (Christian, True Christ followers, Muslim, Jewish, Atheist, etc) all have a tendency in common (human nature) to overemphasise their good points and demonise everyone who does not see the things they ‘see’. ( Me included 😉 )

    Acceptance of this fact can help us see things in a clearer light sometimes.

    The way to overcome that (I believe) is to:
    a) Be True to Thyself (do what you know in your heart to be Right and True – follow Christ?); and
    b) Try to see the view that those who ‘oppose’ you see in order to bring you ‘closer’ to them and in so doing bring them closer to the Truth of who You (and they) are.

    I understand the level of frustration you felt concerning the Negativity associated by many with the term christian.

    One thing i see is that much of that negativity is being perpetuated through the Mass Media which serves to reinforce some people’s personal experiences leading to a ‘they must all be that way’ feeling being adopted by significant numbers of ‘outsiders’ who then pass this belief on to yet more people.

    Do you see any way that there can be a reversal of this by using the Mass Media to show your beliefs/actions? Or is that one serpent that is just too tricky to touch?

    Your Blog and those you associate with are just one very small (but growing : ) ) way of using media to Reach Out.

    As for why non-believers would not want to get to know you…
    everyone probably has their own reason; here are just a few of the ones i used to feel… ( about ‘christians/religious ‘nuts’ : ) )

    IT has taken me a long time to make myself who I am and this guy wants me to throw all that away and be like Him??

    The Bible says a lot of stuff I just cant accept as being Right. Because i have never read it with an ‘untainted’ mind and some of it is just weird/hard to believe).

    I see them (on TV – news/christian ‘ministering’) as hypocrites, more do what i say, not as i do. (Child Abuse, love of money, etc).

    They believe they are right and I am therefore ‘wrong’ – they want me to change without accepting any changes themselves because of what I believe – perceived as a ‘one-way street’.

    I like being a ‘sinner’ sometimes! : )

    Basically, at it’s most fundamental level – it is an ego thing – that little ‘devil’ inside ALL of us that wants to be in charge (and usually gets his wish) and resents anyone or anything (our best intentions included) from taking his power over us away.

    The only thing that can ever beat him is constant awareness and vigilance of his presence right down to our very core and ways he tricks us into doing what he wants instead of what we know to be Right.

    One of his tricks he uses on us is fear – of losing ‘power’, ability to choose our own way in life. Another is pride in our own achievements.

    I’m sure christians can see one side of this based upon their beliefs but this is in no way exclusively a christian or religious concept. It is Universal, I believe.

    Hope some of that helped?

    CYBERHUGGGG! > 🙂 <

  24. Thanks Thinker. The media! Where do we start! It is unfortunate that the media so often guides and directs everyone with their own version of truth. You said it well though,

    Try to see the view that those who ‘oppose’ you see in order to bring you ‘closer’ to them and in so doing bring them closer to the Truth of who You (and they) are.

    How will they know Him if they don’t know us…

  25. 25 lovewillbringustogether

    The Biggest problem i see with getting mass media to counter the negativity that is already there is that contoversy pays their bills – we seem to love to hear the negative on TV and in the press more than we do the positive.

    I feel the best idea to ‘start’ is to find an ‘angle’ that stays true to who you are but appeals to the media’s need to raise ratings and through that, Money – the Media God.

    Are there any examples already in existence where the Media has raised someones ( or something’s) profile in a positive rather than a negative way – ANYONE Think of one?

    Or Like I said are we dealing with a serpent that would most likely ‘bite’ us on the heel there?

    Maybe we use this form of media instead of that controlled by moguls? or do you think a little contoversy could be used for good in the Media?

    Is any publicity ‘good’ publicity as Mae West beieved? If it gets ‘us’ noticed and talked about more.

    Wasn’t it Mae who said the only thing worse than being talked about is NOT being talked about?

    I actually think most of today’s media does not inform or change people’s minds on a topic but reinforces existing prejudices, for or against.

    Reuben Israel seems to belong to that category too, sadly.(www.officialstreetpreachers.com)

  26. Hey Thinker, I got your email forwarded from B – I’ll send you something today. And thanks very much for your note. It meant a lot to me!

  27. 27 lovewillbringustogether

    You’re quite Welcome Tam – that’s the best news i’ve heard all day 🙂

  28. Ah…why is it important that we cling to this, or any other label? Any label is loaded with meaning and I doubt if any of us, even those of us who are generally in accord, will pack all the same meanings into the word “Christian”. I know some good folk, great people, who are Christian, even going to the same church as I do, and our theologies couldn’t be more different.

  29. Oops. Forgot my original intent. This book and site looks interesting;

    http://www.unchristian.com/contributors.asp

  30. Christian, I do agree with you. Labels seem to improperly place everyone into boxes created by misconception, word of mouth or Media. But, I do not want to be ashamed of it. It is the actions of people that make me ashamed of it and I am probably off base in that thinking but I think that is where my thoughts came from. If I am going to consider myself a Christian, I have to be faithful to giving it meaning.

    I picked up Unchristian last week and I am looking forward into digging into it.

  31. I actually think most of today’s media does not inform or change people’s minds on a topic but reinforces existing prejudices, for or against.

    I think you are exactly correct in this. The media only has an affect on what we agree with. The fear in me comes from those who choose to receive all of their “truth” from the TV.


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