Contrary to what you may have observed from certain preachers, authors, and talk-show hosts, Christianity is actually a beautiful faith. It is not the intolerant, bigoted, rigid, guilt-inducing, powerless, boring, stuffy and ineffective belief system that many Christians you know may have led you to believe based upon your observations of their lives. On the contrary, it is the embodiment of love, acceptance, grace, forgiveness, renewal, hope, joy and peace. It is mystical and mysterious. It is far richer and more miraculous than we can ever fully realize on this side of eternity. It is the greatest story of love in all human history. It is the answer to messed-up thinking; and in my opinion, messed up thinking is at the root of humanity’s dysfunction.
The beauty of Christianity as I see it: (sans all the theological explanations which certainly have value as do big words like Substitutionary Atonement, Christology, Eschatology, or Soteriology, which have their own beauty but not really where I’m headed with this right now – but thought I throw them around anyway just to show that I know them!)
There is a God; a Force, an Essence, a Power that is sovereign and working in the universe who is good, and just, and perfect and pure Love. By some miracle, this Source of Life loves imperfect, messed-up, twisted people like us. Since the dawn of time, we have known, in our collective consciousness, that this is true. We have felt it deep within our spirit. We have tried to reach God through countless practices, some pure, some purely evil, and sadly, have failed. Divinity, full of grace and love made a way for those who wish to enter into this miraculous relationship to do so by allowing one perfect person, Jesus Christ, to supernaturally take upon Himself all our messed-up-ness, bury it in the ground, and reclaim life – for all of humanity. All that is left for us to do is accept, by faith, that what Jesus did for us is all that ever needs to be done. Period. End of story. End of seeking. End of trying to be good enough, to do good enough, to think well enough. We may rest. We are loved. We are forgiven, and we can know God and all the juicy goodness that goes along with it.
It’s simple. It’s mystical. It requires faith. It’s counterintuitive. But it is freedom.
Why some folks twist the beauty of this message into guilt and bondage, or rules and self-righteousness, I don’t know. I can only assume it has something to do with a lust for power and the desire to control others, and probably some sort of fear. To me, the only response to perfect, selfless, beautiful love is to accept and love and bless others as an expression of the gratitude felt for being in communion with the Divine One.
Is faith in Jesus Christ the only way to achieve a relationship with God? The Bible says it is. I know some folks who seem to be in relationship with God who have not chosen to be a follower of Jesus Christ. I also know people who claim to be followers of Christ who seem to have no concept of Divinity working in and through their lives. It would be intellectually dishonest of me not to admit that this incongruence exists. I don’t believe it is my right to judge the soul of another. The only thing I can do is tell my story and share my experience and I have chosen Christianity in spite of my questions, and because of my experience. It is a beautiful faith.
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