Monday, February 1, 2010

God: Part II

I’ve been making a list the last few months of the similarities between someone who claims Christianity and someone who claims . . .um, not-Christianity (for lack of a better word). I see so many similarities between these two groups that I started writing down what they share.

Christian- Ask for forgiveness and move on, changed.
Non-Christian- Forgive yourself and move on, changed.

Christian- God is the biggest, baddest thing ever; we can never fully understand Him.
Non-Christian- Life is big and deep and wide, we’ll never have it all figured out.

Christian- Surrender to God and His ways.
Non-Christian- Surrender to the universe, let life happen, don’t be a control freak.

Christian- Be still. Listen for the voice of God.
Non-Christian- Be still. Take a deep breath. Listen to your heart. Trust yourself.

Christian- Tell God the burdens of your heart.
Non-Christian- Embrace your thoughts. Say it out loud. Write it down.

Christian- Church unites believers.
Non-Christian- …so do Super bowl parties, dance clubs, concerts, and coffee shops.

Christian- I’ll pray for you.
Non-Christian- I’ll be thinking about you.

Christian- I believe in miracles.
Non-Christian- I believe that amazingly life always works things out.

Christian- I trust God to lead in my life.
Non-Christian- I trust that life will happen with or without my permission.

Christian- To follow God is to accept His will.
Non-Christian- To be a sane human being, is to accept that you can’t micromanage life.

Both Christians and non-Christians can be nice, volunteer at a homeless shelter, donate money to charities, surrender to let life happen, build community, and avoid substances that may be harmful to their bodies. The list goes on. I’m trying to figure out what makes a Christian different than anyone else. Because if they’re pretty much the same, why would I choose Christianity? Especially in light of a book I’ve been reading called, UnChristian: What a New Generation Really Thinks About Christianity. . And Why It Matters by David Kinnaman. The writers conducted a nationwide survey project in which they asked, “What do you think about Christians?” The top six answers among 20-60 year-old non-believers were that Christians are hypocritical, pushy evangelicals, anti-homosexual, sheltered, too political, and judgmental.

Now, let’s think logically. If there aren’t many significant differences between Christians and non-Christians and it all comes down to a choice; why, oh why would I choose the Christian side? What’s in it for me? Scorn? Lost credibility? Disdain? Dislike?

Claiming to be an Adventist-Christian sure would make my life easier in some ways. I could take the title and then I wouldn’t have to think so hard about it. My parents would feel better and I wouldn’t seem to make people around me feel so uncomfortable.


Katie said...

i think you put the differences very well.

the reason i chose "the dark side" :) is that reading the second line in each of those pairs gets me way more excited than the first. i feel like a better person--more whole and good and loving--now than i ever could as a christian. i feel free now.

and the same way a christian has a hard time not wanting a non-christian to see their side of things, i naturally kind of wish that everyone would give life outside of christianity a chance, just because i've found it to be so life-giving and good.

Seth said...

The difference? Hope. I think it is so good Heather that you are thinking and not just taking on a title no one should, although some do.

True "Christians" do have a bad rap and I believe that is for three reasons; 1 we are still humans, 2 some have just taken on the title and with it feel the right to look down on others, 3 "non-Christians" expect "Christians" to be perfect to their mistakes are amplified.

"Christians" are just as messed up. it's how you handle those problems that make a difference.

What's in it for you? Hope and a someone who will be with you when it falls apart, not keep it from falling apart, but be by your side through it and help you pick yourself back up when it's all over.