Sunday, June 8, 2008

Christians who are out to save MORE than just your soul...

I recently watched an online video from the American News Project called "Greening the Evangelicals" that I thought was pretty interesting. One of my favorite parts is about 5 and a half minutes into it, when one of the leaders of the progressive Christian group Sojourners describes the old (right-wing) guard of Christian Evangelicals who want to either deny or embrace the destruction of our planet through global warming as standing in the middle of a river with their hands held up saying "STOP! There are only 2 issues that matter to Christian Evangelicals: abortion & gay marriage!" According to the Sojourners representative, because the vast majority of Evangelicals, apparently, has already made up its mind that fighting global warming is a moral issue worth fighting for, it's like these old men are standing there trying to hold back a river that has already swept past them! It really is a very interesting & hopeful video, even if it's not totally about gay rights/marriage/equality.

As a gay man & a believer in Christ (if not a Christian), I'm glad to see that more & more Christians are understanding that there are REAL & ACTUAL threats to their physical & spiritual worlds, and not just the contrived threat that people like me are supposed to represent. I'm not naive & I understand that there are still many out there who see both global warming & "the homosexual agenda" as equally destructive to the "natural order", but--as a human who has to live on the same planet that the Evangelicals do--I'm just happy that there are sizable numbers of Christians who are at least also paying attention to & wanting to fight a REAL enemy!

2 comments:

Paul said...

Amen.

When you say that you believe in Christ but aren't necessarily Christian... do you mean you believe in Jesus?

"Christ" is a messianic title that means "savior..."

Mr. C said...

I get that question quite often. I can understand how it confuses people to hear me say that I believe in Christ but I don't consider myself a Christian. It may be like hair-splitting semantics to some people, but--for me--it's a distinction WITH a difference!

During most of my own personal journey through the Valley of the Shadow of Death (a.k.a. "the closet"), I had no one else in the world to spill my broken heart out to but God. My former family in Christ (a.k.a. the Southern Baptists) had made it known that people like me were not wanted, so, of course, they'd be no help in helping to alleviate this particular pain. I know that to say that "all I had was God" would make it sound like He was a consolation gift or something, and that's not what I mean. What I mean is that, when it came to saving me from the slow death I was enduring day after day, all I had was God to save me from it all, and only then only when I let God fix it all for me; when I first learned the true meaning of "leap of faith".

So, now at this part of my journey--where I am just beginning to learn to deal not only with the pain that my former family put me through in taking back all they had told me was mine for being a child of God unless I changed the unchangeable in myself, but also the hidden anger at being abandoned and the anger at myself for allowing them to do this to me--because of the issues I have with Religion & with those Christians who demonize (people like) me, I find it very difficult to associate myself with that word & all its negative connotations.

I know that Jesus Christ loves me even before I drew my first breath & He will love long after I have taken my last on this planet. My God saved me from the living death of the closet & He has brought into my life people who are walking, talking, breathing blessings to me every single day, so there is no doubt in my mind that God exists & He loves me more than I will ever know.

I work so hard to always remember that there is a difference between Christ & those who claim to be His followers (a.k.a. Christians). It was Christians that pulled the welcome mat from under my feet, but it was Christ who caught me as I began to fall. I know the difference because it has been burned into my mind & into my heart.

I understand that--in a lot of people's minds--I might fit into the technical definition of "Christian," but where the modern societal or the de facto definition of that word is concerned, I am unable to use that appellation to describe me or the faith with which I do my best every day to guide my life.

In short, I have given up on Christians, but I can never give up on Christ. In the the most spiritual & even the most literal sense of the word, He has been & continues to be my "Savior"! He is as real to me today as He was when I first learned about Him as a child. I owe Him more than my life, and He sustains me today even when so many of His children cannot find it in their hearts to see me as anything but "the enemy".

I hope this makes sense to you & that you can see why it is I make the distinction between a "follower of the Living Christ" & "a Christian". Sometimes it's just hard to explain out loud what makes perfect sense in my head.

Thank you for reading this & for engaging the conversation!

Clarence
:-)