Over the years, my understanding of Christianity and how I walk it out in my life has changed. I came from a charismatic Pentecostal background. Here are some aspects of Christianity as I have grown up in them and my current thoughts on them:
Witnessing – Boy, was this one ever pushed in Sunday School. Get out there and tell people about Jesus! Get out there and save people! How can God be heard if we are not his voice? I have almost fully rejected the common interpretation of witnessing. Even as a child this felt innately false to me. I have come to believe that our “witness” is how we live and behave in our daily life and with the people around us.
Other People’s Sin – I no longer believe that I am responsible to point out what I consider “sin” in others. And I’m not talking about interventions when friends are hurting themselves or others. I’m talking about withholding love from someone because of their “sin.” If Jesus had done that, none of us could ever enter into a love relationship with our Creator. I have enough sin of my own to deal with without behaving as if I’m an authority on how others should live their lives.
Love God, Love others as you love yourself – I believe this is how we are to live. No nit picky rules and regulations (though, such rules do make it easier to feel holy and acceptable), just messy, unchartable love. Love is what will draw people to Jesus through us. Jesus is responsible for our transformation—we can’t transform ourselves let alone anyone else.
Jesus was, and is, God – This belief, which has no proof other than personal experience, is unshakable in me. Belief is a choice and everyone has to make that choice for themselves. I believe we are a created race of beings and I believe it is arrogance to think we couldn’t be created. We create amazing things all the time. Why couldn’t there be a greater intelligence than ours out there that could’ve fashioned us is? To think that impossible is, in my opinion, the height of hubris. I believe God wanted to speak to us with a face we could see and touch, a voice we could hear, a body we could recognize and not be afraid of. I also believe he did this to live a human life and fulfill his own moral requirements of us. So that when he died without having broken any of these requirements, he would have the authority to forgive us when we did break them. I believe God wants to be in loving relationship with his creation and that’s why he did what he did.
I love him. I always will. He fills my life with peace in the midst of uncertainty, and hope in the midst of obscurity. He makes life, well, alive! And he meets each of us where we are and loves us as we are. God is good.