Faith is something that is important to me. But even that is a strange sentence because it’s like saying breathing is important to me. My faith is just who I am, entwined into my being. Culturally, we all like labels, and the best label to fit what I believe is Unfundamentalist Christian. I’ll get into that later.
I grew up in what folks call Evangelical Christianity. I could tell from early on that in my household this belief was a bit one-sided. My dad always drug me to church on Sunday, prayed before every meal, read the Bible everyday, prayed all the time, and was the epitome of what one thinks a Christian man would be. My mom on the other hand didn’t go to church with us most of the time, when my dad wasn’t around we didn’t always pray before eating, and I didn’t see her in front of her Bible every night before bed. That’s not to say my mom didn’t also believe in God or have faith. She just expressed it differently. I value both of my parents and each of their expressions of faith growing up. After all, they contributed GREATLY to the person I am today.
In 2009, I was introduced to a different type of Christianity that focused on the grace and forgiveness of God. There was a belief that we were no longer sinners when we believed in Jesus, and that the gift of eternal life is open to anyone who accepts it. It was pretty similar to what I grew up with, just much more “free” so to speak. Rules were taboo and people were encouraged to embrace healing, signs and wonders. I took hold of it very quickly and became very vocal about it. For about two years I was diving head first against types of Christians like Westboro Baptist Church and making enemies along the way. You’d think with a message of love and grace I would have been more peaceful, wouldn’t you? But alas, I was so set on “correcting” all these Christians that I felt were wrong, and I forgot the point of what I was believing. Ironically, the main group I was following, Revival or Riots, also recanted their methods and took down their website.
Now, I’m at a completely different place. I still have the foundations of Christianity that I grew up with, but my way of looking at the Bible and Jesus is a lot different.
For starters, I don’t think the Bible as we read it in English today is inerrant (Not to mention that historically Christians didn’t believe in biblical inerrancy until like 400 years ago…but that’s another story!). I do however value the Bible. I value what I read in context of surrounding passages as well as history and culture. It opens up interpretation to a different level when I read it this way. Plus, it seems as though too many people worship the Bible. It’s just a book, people!
Secondly, I am a huge supporter of same-sex marriage, LGBT people, and justice for them in the church and under the law. I’m not going to go into every last argument that may be made, but here’s the fact of what I believe: There’s nothing wrong with being lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT). LGBT people are valued human beings, no different from straight people or people who’s gender identity agrees with their sex. There should be no distinction under the law to discriminate against people of a different sexual orientation or gender identity. This is what I believe BECAUSE OF my faith in God, not in spite of it. I will be posting a more detailed blog on this part of my beliefs in the near future.
Now there are other things that don’t usually ruffle as many feathers that I think differently about such as tithing, hell, the Church body vs the church building, evangelism, rules, and pastoral authority. Then again, those things may ruffle someone’s feathers, but I don’t feel the need to go into detail of each one of them. Ask me if you are interested.
As I said earlier, I consider myself an Unfundamentalist Christian for those who need labels. John Shore came up with the title as well as tenants of belief. You can find them here. That is the most concise list of beliefs and I agree with them wholeheartedly.
But still the bottom line is this: I believe in LOVE. I believe in loving others unconditionally as God loves us. Dogmas will differ from person to person, and I don’t mind discussing my particular set of beliefs, but LOVE is the ultimate motivator of my life and my beliefs.
So, there you have it. A general overview of where I came from and where I am as it applies to my faith. Feel free to ask questions, but know that this is who I am. Don’t come at me thinking you can “change” me. I appreciate discussion and differences though, so please contribute if you want to!