A Reluctant Follower’s Confession of Faith (Part 3)
I believe authentic (vertical) Christianity is the Hope and Help for America. In fact, it’s the only True “alternative lifestyle” left in America. But make no mistake, authentic Christianity is also ripe for persecution. You will get hurt on this ride. You may even die.
The greatest evidence of Christianity’s power and promise is the critic. What other religion has been more lampooned, mocked and hated than Christianity, since its inception to this very hour? And yet what other religion has built more hospitals, food kitchens and homeless shelters? What other religion is the first to send financial aid and workers after a tragedy (and almost always the last to leave)? What other religion is more truly tolerant of those who choose other lifestyles or faiths?
You see, what makes Christianity unique is its inclusivity. All people are welcome. Rich and poor. The white, black, brown, yellow and red. The ignorant and the intelligent. Urban and rural. North, south, east and west. Saints AND sinners. No, Christians are not always perfect and sometimes a few radical, prejudiced and ignorant types can get the press. But, in general, the church is a rather benign, yet promising sanctuary.
The reality is that Jesus will change your life…but like any relationship that means sacrifice and service. Most of us selfishly prefer religion to relationship. After all, religion can be kept in a box, venerated and used when needed. A relationship requires 24/7/365 work. Relationships are messy, strange, indefensible, strenuous and unpredictable. Churchianity is easy. Christianity is hard. Churchianity is convenient. Christianity is inconvenient. Churchianity reduces God to a platform, program or platitude. Christianity lifts God to be seen, experienced and appreciated.
So I’m a reluctant follower of Jesus. I know my imperfections and I recognize my flaws, faults and failures. Yes, the Church is full of hypocrites (so there’s also room for you). I’ll profess I’m a chief sinner. But that’s also why I follow Christ. With Jesus there’s freedom to fail (Grace). With Jesus there’s liberty to be perfectly imperfect (Grace). With Jesus there’s license to correct my character flaws (Grace).
Consequently, I’m a grateful, reluctant, faithful, persistent, peaceful, flawed seeker of Truth. I just thank God I found this God-Man, this Jesus the Christ. He’s the Real Deal able to change a soul instantly. Hollywood defines him as superstar and charges Christians as deluded beneath a Godspell, but for the true seeker there is a passion (and purpose) with this Christ.
Actually I never could run from Jesus’ own words: “I am the way, the truth and the life” (John 14:6).
They haunt me. They hunt me. If Jesus’ claim is true–a proposition certified by His own resurrection–then I’d be a fool not to follow such an amazing Living Being.
In reality, I’d be a bigger fool to reject, deny or mock this Jesus.
And so would you.