Saturday, March 14, 2009

Once a Christian always a Christian

"You never really accepted Christ as your Lord and Savior you just told others you did. A true, born again Christian would NEVER leave the church and would NEVER renounce Jesus Christ as the Son of God," says the true Christian to the ex-Christian.

I've personally heard this several times and it worries me. Not that I'm worried about hell but this view judges your personal spirituality which no living person can truly grasp except you.

Now before I go any further I'd like to state that although I follow Christ and his teachings my view of him is more symbolic than literal. Bottom line, mainstream Christians would not accept me as a fellow believer. Those that learn of this are quick to mark the 23 years of my life as a Christian with their null and void stamps. The fact that I lost faith means that I never really had it.

But how are other people so sure that I never had faith? Although I was never baptized, which is a whole different can of worms, I truly felt the Holy Spirit in my life and I had taken Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Savior. Period! You can challenge that all you want but the fact is that I believed I was a Christian just as anyone else believes in their own religious identity. There is no debating this just as there is no debating your own identity. We can go on and on if I acted and believed as a proper Christian but there is no doubting my religious identity during that time.

Can someone stop being a Christian? Yes, and the very fact that they stopped means that they were a Christian at one point. The more startling point about this is the fact that less and less Americans are calling themselves Christian. This notion of once a true Christian always a true Christian means that there are really only a handful of true Christians in each church nationwide. Those that are now leaving the church were never true believers. How can this be? There is no way to measure someone's faith so therefore there is no way in measuring the percentage of people that are wasting their time since one day they will leave the church. I'm not saying that Christianity is a waste of time but that when a "true Christian" judges the belief of an ex-Christian as non-existent from the get go then it appears as if the True Christian is saying, "you wasted your time". I know it seems like I'm writing in circles but my point is that a person's spirituality is sacred and can not be measured, weighed, or tested in any way or form.

The beliefs we hold which makes us patient, kind, humble, respectful, loving, and compassionate towards our fellow man are the best indicators of their worth. Whatever your faith, or lack thereof, may be if you truly yearn to instill these noble characteristics into YOUR life then what you believe (or not believe) is less important compared to the compassionate and loving human being you are now because of those beliefs. Our goal and our spiritual worth is based on the overall transformation we experience from our spiritual journey not what first set us on that path. We are moving forward on the path towards something greater.


Ernie Fitzpatrick said...

Right on- you EX-Christian you! :-)

Unknown said...

Thanks Ernie for the comment. It's always good to hear from you.

Anonymous said...

Reminds me of one of Gandhi's sayings: "I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ."
I agree that "patient, kind, humble, respectful, loving, and compassionate" makes a "true" Christian regardless of your beliefs in Jesus as Christ the God-man.
Christianity is a great religion once you get beyond the Christians.

Unknown said...

Well said! I've never heard of that quote, but I have yet to study Gandhi's life and thoughts. I do agree, Christianity is a great religion as long as you're focused on Christ, Christians and they're actions and attitudes won't matter. Thanks for the comment.

Anonymous said...

I should amend my prior comment and say: Christianity is a great religion once you get beyond the “pushy” Christians. I’ve known many exceptionally nice Christians.

Anonymous said...

I can relate with what you are saying about Christ. I tend to view his sayings as more literal. However, I don't think he made the claim to be God as is taught by most chritianity today, and for that I wouldn't be labeled as the typical Christian (I kind of side with the Jehovah Witnesses on this topic). I see him as absolutely the Messiah, and the son of God (not God the son).

The attitude you speak about of some Christians reminds me of what Jesus himself said "Some will say, Lord Lord" and I will say to them, "I did not know you."

You can "call" yourself a christian, but that doesn't make you one. Your attitudes, beliefs, faith, and heart make you a chrisitan.

Unknown said...

Thanks Ben for the comment.

The attitude you speak about of some Christians reminds me of what Jesus himself said "Some will say, Lord Lord" and I will say to them, "I did not know you."

I thought about the same verses while I wrote this blog but I decided to write on what I felt on the subject instead of quoting from scripture. I've been quoting a lot scripture in my blog so I've decided to pull back and speak more from the heart. Thanks again for the comment and keep up the good work on your site!

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