Until very recently, I would declare with little or no thought that I am Christian; even more precisely, Roman Catholic. However, as Christians have become more and more political, we have done so with the exceptional attitude that we, each man-made flavor of Christianity, have God uniquely on our side. And this is not the unique position of either the progressive or conservative side, but throughout most of our history it has been both sides that have used it and had it wrong.
And yet, one might believe that the conflicting claims about what God, or more precisely, Jesus wants would lead to more doubt, more seeking of the truth and maybe even a greater understanding. In my eternal optimism, I still hold out some hope for the possibility of that in the longer run, but in the immediate view, it is vastly apparent that we are listening less, hearing little and shouting past each other more and more. Anyway, here we are.
So, looking over the long history of people claiming to speak for God and or Christ, it is evident that we are frequently on the wrong side of history and here are 10 things that American Christians of the conservative stripe got completely wrong when they were so sure they were speaking on God’s behalf: Slavery, Women’s suffrage, Evolution, Pain relief for childbirth, Catholics (in general), Prohibition, Segregation, Contraception, School prayer and most recently, Marriage equality.
Now it is not my intention to go into a protracted and prolonged argument in defense or to lambaste any of the items I have listed above, since so many of them are still in play and still being argued. They are offered as example only and thus as the backdrop to why I am writing this particular entry into the place where I regularly spill my thoughts… It is simply to say this. I will no longer refer to myself as “Christian.” My new faith walk will be hence forth referred to as “A Follower of Christ.” Yep, that’s it.
You see, I do not speak for Christ. I don’t even claim to understand all of what he taught and certainly cannot begin to discern the deeper meaning of those items that many will point out to me to illustrate the apparent incongruities of His words and the words of those who claimed to speak for Him with divine exactitude.
And then, I wonder if any, or even many, of those that are now regularly quoted from their Biblical place of infallibility ever thought that what they wrote, when they wrote it, would ever be positioned as “The Divinely Inspired, True Word of God and Christ.” I can only say that I’m not sure I would have had the audacity, let alone the self-confidence to have believed that then. I doubt they did.
You see, I am a man… that is all… just a man. I can no more tell you “the answers” then I can tell you the number of stars in the sky. And while there are those that will assign a number to them, the stars in all of their vastness and infinite number are dwarfed by the vastness and immensity of The Divine.
So, now, when tasked to provide answers to those things that even my profound arrogance will not begin to approach, I simply answer “I do not know. I do not need to know… for now. I will one day know. I call that faith.” I do not speak for Christ… However, when I am very quiet… when I am still… when I am listening… He speaks to me. Amen!