I never thought I would think those words, much less utter them aloud. But here I am, middle-aged, decidedly blessed, and feeling more strongly rooted in my faith than ever before in my life. And I’m asking myself that question.
It’s not God’s Word that has me questioning my Christianity; nor do I question His love. Nothing there has changed. I still love The Lord and believe in His divinity, His grace, and His mercy. I understand these things are the only reason I am breathing, walking, and living a good life.
Prayer is a huge part of my life. In our home, we not only pray before meals and bedtime, but throughout the day. Sometimes it’s a brief prayer for strength or patience. Lately, we’ve been praying quite a bit for the health and welfare of ailing friends and relatives. But most often we give prayers of thanks. We are thankful for our lives, our love, our health, our home, our faith, our families, our jobs, our friends and myriad other things. So nothing has changed there, either.
What has changed for me is that I no longer want to be associated with many of the people who call themselves Christians. I was raised with Christians who were kind and generous. They strove to be honest and faithful, and were unafraid to call out dishonesty, cruelty, and the like. These were the Christians who were kind to me at church and always had a smile for me when I saw them outside of church. These were the older ladies who called me “Baby” and tended to my scraped knee when I fell off my bicycle on their block. These are the people who prayed for my husband when he was ill, and showed up in voluminous numbers last year to comfort my family when both my father-in-law and my dad passed away.
Too many of the Christians I see now are championing cruelty and immorality, and doing so in the name of a politician, not in Christ’s name. How do you protest to keep people in subhuman conditions without proper food or medical attention? How do you claim it is God’s will that people from other countries suffer the consequences of violence and poverty?
The Christians who helped form my Christian values embodied the following scripture: “So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus…” — Philippians 2:1-30 ESV
If being a Christian today means embracing the antithesis of these things, then I don’t think I am a Christian anymore.