Tuesday, June 26, 2012

When I say I'm a Christian, it Doesn't Mean that I Hate You

So, this is a slightly more serious issue.  This is something that has really bothered me for a long time, and so I would really like to speak my mind about it.  I apologize if it turns out a bit rant-y.

Now I identify myself as a Christian.  It is an important part of who I am and how I choose to act in this world.  I consider it a part of me that is a personal choice and that I value.  The problem comes from two main sources and I would like an opportunity to address both.

But first, for anyone who is wondering, this is what I believe as much as I believe in anything.  I make no claims that I am some kind of expert, that I know what is right or what anyone else should believe.  I don't want anyone to feel as though I am trying to tell them what they should believe.  I am just trying to share my perspective.  I believe that because I am a Christian it is my duty to extend love to others that I meet.  It is as simple as that for me.  If I want to be someone who is truly deserving of grace, and really someone who is truly deserving of being a human being.  I am alive and frankly my life is pretty good and for that I am extremely thankful.  And because I am thankful I believe that I should try my best to help those that I am around have a happier life.

And what that belief also entails for me is a lack of judgement.  I have a complete belief in the fact that I am NOT perfect.  I hurt people, I am careless, I make mistakes and so I have no right to tell anyone else that they are sinners and that the way they live is wrong.  Because to be frank, how in the WORLD would I know how to live the perfect life? So where would I get the right to tell other people how to think?  Most of the time I'm not even entirely sure what I think.  With every experience I have my opinions about the world change, because I am given the opportunity to see more of it.  And, I think that is how it should be.

However, in our current society, most people assume that because I am a Christian, that I am judging them.  That I hate people for being homosexual or for any number of other reasons.  And it is simply not true.  First of all, I don't believe homosexuality is a sin.  Second of all, even if I did, I have no right to force others to believe that.  I am leaving the judging in the hands of those wiser than me (and trust me, by that I don't mean politicians).

So what am getting at here? I have two requests.  I would be a hypocrite if I framed them as anything else.  I can't force you to accept what I say, I only ask you to hear me.  

First, to those that preach hate, I am begging you to look at the image of Christianity that you are sending out to the world.  Put your personal beliefs aside for a moment and look at those that are hearing you.  Do you want to be remembered as someone who drove people away or welcomed them in?

Second, to those that think that because I am a Christian that I am filled with hate, extend the same tolerance to me that you would like in return.  I offer you no judgement and I wish you would do the same to me.  Religion is about a lot more than hate.  I just ask that when you see me, do not make assumptions about what I believe.  

If you want to know, ask me.  If you don't, then don't ask me. If you disagree with me, that is your right.  I'm not asking for everyone to believe what I believe.  I know that I am no expert.  All I ask is that you see me as a person and for what I believe, not what anyone is "supposed" to believe.

Thank you,

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