(Let me preface this rant with that statement that I in no way believe that I am a perfect Christian. I am flawed, in a LOT of ways. I am sinful and imperfect. But this is, I believe, something I get right.)
What happened to all the Christians who are fully committed to their faith, but understand that the definition of faith necessitates the possibility of being wrong? Faith requires a leap, based on whole-hearted belief. It acknowledges the possibility of being wrong, but believes itself to be right, without a doubt.
What happened to all the Christians who loved unconditionally? Who hoped you would make the right choice, but loved you and respected you, regardless of your choice? The Mother Theresas? It is not the job of the Christian to judge. It is the job of the Christian to hold God’s law and word (and Word) close in their hearts, to attempt to live that word and to share its good message with all mankind, not to deride people who have yet to see the Truth.
Christans have become the Pharisees of the modern world. We go around, so assured of our own version of the truth and so disdainful of anyone who disagrees with us, that we deride, degrade, and even condemn and murder and lock away anyone who challenges us or our beliefs. We should be so secure in our beliefs that no one can shake us, even when we open our minds to their opinions! We should be so secure in our beliefs that we feel no need to silence other opinions! We should be so happy with our beliefs that we glow and others can’t help but ask us what our secret is! This modern Christianity, this grasping, desperate, frightened thing that claims Christ’s name, but not his values, is a (perhaps THE) great failure of our times! We have taken the religion of a loving God and made it the very thing that this grasping Christianity most fears: religious extremism. It is so incredibly sad to me that we have thus failed our family and our God.
But there is hope! I have recently realized that there are Christians with respect and with strong, enduring faith, with unconditional love, out there! The problem is, these Christians are very quiet. We are held back by the intolerance of our brothers and sisters in Christ, we are held back by the intolerance of people who have been burned before by the intolerance of our brothers and sisters in Christ. My quiet-Christian call to my like-minded friends is this: Stand up, call your friends to the cause, let people know that you love them! Tell them that you are a Christian and that you respect the heck out of them, regardless of what they believe! Most importantly, love yourself. Know that you are doing your best to do the right thing and that you are not alone!