Why I Might Not Be a Christian.

I call myself a follower of Jesus, but sometimes I just don’t feel like I am a Christian, or at least a recent version of that description. That is what this post is all about.

  • If being a “Christian” means believing everyone who has not accepted Jesus into their hearts is going to be eternally tormented in hell, then I am not a Christian. – I just cannot fathom, nor want to follow, a God would be so unmerciful to put the vast majority of humanity into an eternity of pain and utter suffering because they chose to believe in a different version of him. Jessus message while he roamed this earth was all about love, not anger or wrath.
  • If being a “Christian” means thinking the United States is a “Christian nation,” I am not a Christian. – Even before I knew why, I was always uncomfortable with the U.S. flag being behind the altar of our church. Jesus made it pretty clear that we are all our brothers keepers. Nationality, which seems to change in a wink of an eye has nothing to do with that. Every human being who has ever lived on this earth are God’s children. God doesn’t have a country, he has the universe of man.
  • If being a “Christian” means using only the Bible for my spiritual formation, I am not a Christian. Taking the Bible literally means that I would have to deny so many things that God has presented to me in my lifetime. The longer I live the more convinced I am that those who spin the Bible to meet their political agenda are anything but believers in Jesus.
  • If being a “Christian” means not being with those that the institutional church often excludes, I am not a Christian. – This one has been especially grating on me for the last few decades. To tell people that they can’t be Christians if they didn’t choose correctly who to marry the first time around is idiocy. To say that the sexual act must be done in a certain way or you can’t be a Christian is the same to me. The current church just seems to find a new way daily to exclude those from their pews.
  • If being a “Christian” means having God figured out, I am not a Christian. – One thing I am totally convinced of is that God was not set in stone some two thousand years ago.

I borrowed this list from my friends at Red Letter Christians. I don’t think they will mind. But the words beyond the title of each item are my own.

I have been told by some of my friends that they are uncomfortable with these types of posts at RJsCorner as it puts Christianity in a negative light. Each of us who calls ourselves followers of Jesus need to frequently step back and think what being a follower means to us. If it means bucking some establishment then so be it.

4 comments

  1. I am there with you, RJ. Parts of Christianity have been hijacked by people and ideas that have nothing to do with who or what Jesus was. As envisioned by its original founders, it was a simple believe in a God of love and inclusion, who put no barriers between him (or her or it) and humans. As a series of stories, metaphors, myths, and basic life truths the Bible is a great read. It is not a literal guide about how to live.

    Humans have an innate need to belong. Too often that becomes an us vs them battle, with rigid rules and reasons to exclude. Jesus didn’t come to found a new religion, rather to show how those that existed during his time were missing the point.

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    • Thanks Bob, for the thoughts. I know from past discussions you and I are very much aligned in this matter. And of course there are millions of others who believe the same. We just don’t shout as loud as the Evangelicals so we don’t get the attention.

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  2. The only true is that a Christian attempts to follow Christ’s teachings. Would you be confusing Religion with Faith? Religions are about gathering people of similar beliefs about a faith. There are as many takes on the religion surrounding Christianity as there are people attempting to practice them. I had a great discussion about this with my LDS family. I see. Base of Christianity as Three persons in one God. They see Jesus as the modern part of the many parts of God. I am monotheistic. They are polytheistic. We all see ourselves as attempting to follow Jesus, making us all Christian. I do think we were formed on a Christian/Jewish foundation. Our laws are formed after many of those religious beliefs.
    I don’t need to judge other’s walk to be a Christian. In fact, I believe that is a big part of my faith. I am most comfortable following the religion that I do because it gives me information about Christ every time I gather with the religion.

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    • Hi Janette, and thanks for the thoughts. Of course your logic is very institutionally based. “It is not for me to judge”. In the small matters I agree but when I see that argument I think back to Dietrich Bonhoeffer and his fight against Hitler. He took a stand because he knew what Hitler was doing. There were literally millions of other Germans who turned their back on atrocities he did with the logic that it was not their place to get involved.

      The trouble with that logic currently is that there are millions who are now totally turned off on learning ANYTHING from Jesus due to the silence of those who should be speaking out against the radical right Evangelicals primarily radical political agenda of turning their back on some many that Jesus taught us to help. You might say that by their silence the true Christians are almost as complicit in the destruction of Christianity to future generations.

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