One of my writings that somehow slipped into the ether, and reappeared :)
Being a Christian is hard, not necessarily doing good, but doing the right thing. It's hard, and it will put up a fight, and you have to fight for it if you truly want it. Letting go of long held personal beliefs that really have little to no basis in scripture is frightening to a lot of people, but this has to be done. Letting go of false teachings, is as important as dying to self.
I recently opened a dialog with a couple of atheists, and these are wonderful, really funny guys. Also very intelligent, which I dig on big time. I told them that a lot of the views fundamentalist Christians hold are false and have no basis in scripture, some are downright hateful. I used to have fundamentalist views, passed down to me from my Mother. Thank God I have a Mother who loved me enough to bring me to church, even though I had to walk away from church to find Christ.
I wanted to talk to these guys, to apologize for things Christians said to them on their show, that were full of hatefulness and judging condemnation, and there was no love in them. As a Christian, we have to be able and willing to cross the battlefield of ideological lines to truly meet people where they are. That is really hard to do when you have long held beliefs about certain groups of people. Like atheists. But I wanted to ask them for forgiveness, for my own false beliefs, and for the hate they receive from callers on their show. To tell these guys that I was sorry that they've been spoken that way to by such hateful people, people who call themselves Christian, but didn't seem Christ-like at all.
The response I got was encouraging, and heart warming, and I'm so glad that I took that step. Even though I believe in God and they don't, we agreed that some people are very hateful, and hide behind Christ while they hurl that hate at others. That's wrong, and I wish it would stop. Stopping that has to start with Christians though.
Do I still believe (or did I ever?) those things I was taught about atheists? NO!! These are wonderful people, the ones I talked to. Full of forgiveness. They said that these people being hateful didn't bother them, and that they accepted my apology, even though they thought it was unnecessary.
If you want to be a Christian, it's going to fight you, and challenge you. If you want to be a Christian, you have to have radical compassion, and unconditional non-judgmental love for others. You have to meet people where they are and love them where they are, and expect nothing in return. You have to forgive blindly.
That's another thing, forgiving people that say things that deeply hurt you is hard, this is something I'm fighting for very hard right now. I don't want to be angry when they tell me that being transgendered is sinful. I don't want to lash out when they tell me I'm going to Hell because of the way I was born. I don't want to lash out when people say people like me make them want to vomit. I don't want to be angry when people want to hate on me, bully me, or even possibly harm me physically. I've already been wounded deeply by the church emotionally, I don't want to be wounded physically. Even more though, I don't want to hate them, or be angry when or if they do. I want to understand them. I want to understand why they do these things. And I want to walk across that battlefield, open my arms wide and hold them, and tell them I love them.
Because it's true.