I am a church-goer. I enjoy singing the songs and reciting the liturgy and prayerfully spending time with people of a like mindset. I love looking into things of a spiritual nature. This morning during worship, I got this intense urge to begin writing a blog, sharing my thoughts to that end.
And so, here I am. I haven’t a clue why I am doing this. I am not entirely certain that anyone at all would be interested to read what I have to say. But it is no matter. I feel it is at least an interesting way to pass the time.
I wanted to begin with a blog about why I am strongly connected to the Christian faith. I think it is important for me to really start thinking about why I believe and act the way I do. I also realize people who are not of a religious bent, or even those that are, might be interested to know why I am so fervent in regard to my faith.
But first, a few things that do not go into play.
I am not a Christian because I am boring. I am not a Christian because it makes me ‘feel good’. I am not a Christian solely because I grew up in the faith. I am not a Christian because I’m scared something else may be wrong. I am not a Christian because all of my friends are. I am not a Christian because I want an excuse to judge others (following Jesus in fact does not give you license to judge others, quite the opposite, but I digress). I am not a Christian because I have strong Republican viewpoints and that’s just what you do (I don’t, and God does not belong to politicians). I am not a Christian because I am an American. I am not a Christian because I like to have a label and plan on fitting that stereotype to a tee.
In fact, this last statement is probably the most crucial for me. I have never fit into a box, nor do I want to. I call myself a Christian not because I want to have a label, but because it is the word used for someone such as myself. Someone who wants to follow Christ.
I fear, however, that so much has tainted the word ‘Christian’, that now there is a stigma attached to that name. A stigma that I would argue most true believers should not feel imprisoned by. However, it is as it is. I can easily say that many people I know would be offended to know that I am a Christian. I would share this fact, and automatically they would make assumptions about me that may or may not be true. Along those same lines, I know many people in the church who have an idea about what we are supposed to do and who were are supposed to be that doesn’t really line up with the teachings of Jesus. There is fault on both ends.
I am a Christian. But I do feel strange using that name. I go by another often. My fiance and I came up with this title, and I think it fits. I am a Warrior Hippie. I have been referred to as a hippie often in my life. I have quite the bent toward things natural and aesthetic. I love to sit outside and enjoy the wind, the trees, the mountains, the animals…the beauty. I enjoy singing. I enjoying reading poetry. I enjoy painting and writing. I love a good session of tie dying. I am peace-loving. However, while I strive for peace, something inside tells me there is a war going on. A war I must fight.
I’m talking about spiritual warfare here. Those of you who aren’t particularly spiritual or religious may scoff at me for speaking about this war. I would argue, however, that even if you don’t believe in evil powers, somewhere inside you feel that something is going on here. Something is not quite right.
For example, today marks the tenth anniversary of the tragedy of the terrible attacks in New York and Washington, D.C. A day of sorrow and death. If there is no evil in the world, how can something so tragic be explained? If there is no Higher Power, how could all of us rise up and pull through and be here ten years later?
I am not here to preach at anyone, I don’t have that authority. I am here to share my thoughts. My thoughts are that I love peace. I want good in the world. But I think there is a war going on. I am ready to fight it. I don’t fight against other people. I fight against that which afflicts those people. I am a Warrior Hippie and a follower of Christ.
Ephesians 6:12 (NIV) – “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”
Why am I a Christian? Because the Christian faith is one of reconciliation and love. It’s a faith that tells me “blessed are the poor in spirit.” Sometimes I think we forget to send that message. The Gospel, the good news, is that God loves us. God is not mad at us. God wants a relationship with us.
What is the most important commandment for us? To look down on other people? To lie, steal, and cheat to get our way? To do more good works than is humanly possible? To tell everyone that they are sinners and no more than sinners? To alienate those who do not fit into our boxes?
No. Our greatest command is to love God and to love other people. God help me, that’s what I want to do. It’s so simple, but it is also difficult. Lord, help me love everyone.
I am preparing to be confirmed in the Charismatic Episcopal Church on September the 30th. I am excited. I feel as if I am standing on a precipice, my toes curling over the edge, ready to jump. I pray God gives me the strength to find my path. I fully believe he will do great things through me for other people.
Why am I a woman of faith? Because it takes courage and is a realm in which love rules.