I’m a Christian. This statement alone can evoke so many responses from different people: joy and hate, camaraderie or hostility, and every response in between. It can unite people or divide them, lift them up or tear them down, make friends or enemies, It amazes me how disquieting Christianity and the name of Jesus is to people.
Why So Much Vehemence?
In some ways, it’s hard to understand the vehemence that rises up in so many when they hear the name of Jesus. Jesus lived on this earth for 33 years. He showed love, healed many and taught everyone He met of the love of God. He didn’t mince words. He spoke of God’s love but was also not afraid to call people out on their behavior and their character. He freely gave His life to give us hope.
In other ways, it’s completely understandable. There is power in the name of Jesus. The expressions “Oh my God”, “God”, “Jesus”, “Jesus Christ”, “Godforsaken”, “For God’s sake” and many others have become commonplace in the world today. Even those who are agnostic or atheists use these phrases. Why have they become so popular? Why say these Names as an exclamation of something good, bad or surprising as well as to stress how someone is upset or angry? Why is the phrase not “Oh my Buddha” or any number of names. I believe it’s because there is power in these names. Any other name would not carry near the impact that God’s and Jesus’ names do.
Since I’m a Christian, I stand on the promises God has given us. I live with the hope that His love will never leave me and that I am His, both now and for all eternity. Other faiths have different promises and hopes that they rest in. For some reason, though, hope incites hatred in some. Every faith has those who oppose them. However, Christianity is attacked more than any other religion (faith) in the world. But why are people so set on silencing and even killing Christians?
The silencing of Christians has become brutal and a source of many legal battles. Even our children are called out for talking about God. When my oldest was in Kindergarten in a public school, his teacher called me one afternoon. She told me that he had talked to his friends about Jesus and that doing so was not something he could do. I thanked her for calling me and said I would look into it, and I did. I researched the legalities of my son talking about Jesus. I found that there was nothing illegal at all about his talking about Jesus. He could even lead another child to Christ with no ramifications. I wrote a letter to the teacher explaining this to her. She never mentioned it again and my son kept talking about Jesus, however, the teacher was pretty passive-aggressive with me from then on. I didn’t care.
We Need to Live Our Beliefs
As Christians, we aren’t aware of our rights. Too many people are choosing to stop talking about their faith and not being bold and talking freely. There is nothing keeping you from talking about God in public. It is part of the freedom that comes from living in the United States. I’m not sure what the laws are in other countries, but I know in many it is also legal. We are self-silencing ourselves out of fear. We need to not live in fear. The most frequent command in the Bible is do not be afraid or do not fear because we are not alone.
We need to live boldly in every area of our lives, including our faith. Those who are against Christians are certainly being bold with their words, why aren’t Christians? So many talk about tolerance anymore. We are told we need to be tolerant of pretty much anything that anyone wants to do, except Christianity. It seems to be fair game where Christians are concerned and with growing animosity. It isn’t right and it doesn’t make sense.
I’m a Christian, Can You Tell?
I know that many Christians, just like those of other faiths and those with no faith at all, do not always make the right choices. We don’t always show the love of Christ. I have seen the videos with people yelling to others that God hates them, but it’s not true. God doesn’t hate anyone. The sad part about this is that most people have come to hate Christ because of the way some Christians behave. Mahatma Gandhi stated,”I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” That’s awful. We, as Christians, are to be a reflection of Jesus. When we give our lives to Him, we will become more and more like Him over time if we allow Him to truly be the Lord of our lives. However, if we just become about the rules and denominational additions to Jesus, or we simply state we are Christians but don’t really live it, our lives are no longer a reflection of Him and we become judgmental and look down on people and not loving people as Christ loved them.
True Christian faith is based on a love for God and others through Jesus. Those who hate God don’t really know Him. Some have been hurt by those who say they are Christians but don’t live it. Others have been brought up to openly disregard or hate Him. Still others don’t want to be under anyone else’s guiding or rule and, therefore, any restrictions. But Christianity, when it is truly lived out, is a life of freedom and the knowledge that you’re never alone. We need to live out this truth in our lives for others to see. We have to be bold.
So, I will boldly continue to say that I’m a Christian.
~ Joanna Lynn