especially in the west, we've required christianity to reprioritize itself away from the teachings of scripture and towards the conservative preferences of white people.
i say this, btw, as a fairly conservative white person :)
when i went home this time around, i was often saddened by how much of my "christianity" seems to have been lost. by this i don't, of course, mean that i'm any less devoted to jesus, or the teachings of the apostles in scripture, or that my prayer life is suffering somehow or that i'm not deeply concerned with living so as to hear "well done, g&fs"
just that everything "christian" these days seems to be stuff that isn't A-priority important in scripture (or, even, in christian history and tradition)
so, these days, christians have to be tithers, advocates of intelligent design theory, disengaged from the world, own only "christian" media, dress right, talk right, and persist in forcing their opinions relentlessly.
(you'll notice, p.s., i've left all the "obvious" ones out here...being republican, going to church every sunday, etc...)
but i'm forced to wonder...
can you be a christian and watch R-rated movies, listen to coldplay (or even rage against the machine), dress down, speak normally, think critically about what the bible is actually teaching in regards to creation and/or money and/or sexuality and/or faithfulness.
well, obviously i believe you can.
it's just that it makes me so sad to see how such a belief is truly a minority opinion...most christians just do all these things and then lie about it to each other, or - only slightly better - lie about it on sundays.
as a reminder, i like the creeds for remembering what it means to follow jesus in our beliefs, and i like to use jesus' words to the 70 as a reminder about what it means to follow him in deed.
- I believe in God, the Father almighty,
- creator of heaven and earth.
- I believe in Jesus Christ, God's only Son, our Lord,
- who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
- born of the Virgin Mary,
- suffered under Pontius Pilate,
- was crucified, died, and was buried;
- he descended to the dead.
- On the third day he rose again;
- he ascended into heaven,
- he is seated at the right hand of the Father,
- and he will come to judge the living and the dead.
- I believe in the Holy Spirit,
- the holy catholic Church,
- the communion of saints,
- the forgiveness of sins,
- the resurrection of the body,
- and the life everlasting. Amen.
Jesus told them, "The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. 3Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves. Do not take a purse or bag or sandals; and do not greet anyone on the road.
"When you enter a house, first say, 'Peace to this house.' If a man of peace is there, your peace will rest on him; if not, it will return to you. Stay in that house, eating and drinking whatever they give you, for the worker deserves his wages. Do not move around from house to house."When you enter a town and are welcomed, eat what is set before you. Heal the sick who are there and tell them, 'The kingdom of God is near you.'"