Sunday, November 06, 2005
look how happy they are... they must be Christians
"Sometimes they try to invoke parts of Christian tradition to support this; but the fact that they go on killing each other shows clearly enough that it isn't Jesus whom they are worshipping. Christian doctrine isn’t a matter of intellectual algebra. It is directly integrated with the way people behave.”
-N.T. Wright (For All God’s Worth page27)
I’ve been wrestling for as long as I’ve been Blogging with the nature of salvation, what it means to be a Christian.
Have you ever been talking about a friend or family member and the person with whom who you’re talking asks “is he/she a Christian?” and you don’t know what to say. Usually if you can’t answer the question it has something to do with the person’s behavior. Either they act to good for you to say ‘no’ without wondering or they act too wrong for you to say ‘Yes’ but you know they go to church and ‘believe.’ I hate trying to answer that question. Who am I to judge that? I’d like to say that the only people who are Christians are those whose actions and beliefs match. Sounds good doesn’t it? But it gets complicated when my ideas about acting it conflict with theirs. What if they think that holding signs with “God hates Fags” written on it is the best way to approach homosexuality as a Christian when I would say that there’s no way that a Christian could do that? What if someone believes that the best way to fight Abortion is to protest it by blocking the doors of an abortion clinic or throw things at women walking in when I would say that no way could a Christian do that? How do I answer the question without being ‘holier than thou’ or judgmental? I just don’t know.
Not everything is as black and white as I like to think. We need to identify the tension; we need to recognize that this whole thing is not as simple as we’d like to think.
I have no answers in this post… but I want us to know that we can’t be arrogant or closed minded in our answers because questions can be easily answered only by the ignorant.