Do I Dare Call Myself a Christian?
Christianity is accepting and sharing the love of God fleshed out in a Jew named Jesus.
Christianity is both an encounter and a relationship. It’s an experience and a process.
Christianity is growing in the knowledge and understanding of the unconditional love of God with both our mind and our heart, so that we can continue to respond, “Yes,” to God even when the going gets rough.
Christianity is, as Henri Nouwen writes in Reaching Out, a journey inward through our own brokenness to find God within, a journey outward to a broken world, and a journey together as earthen vessels, unique, flawed, but empowered.
Christianity is about realizing that though we have been filled with the Spirit of God, we leak.
Christianity can free us to recognize that the Spirit of God works in diverse ways in diverse people; sometimes like a geyser, sometimes like a brook, sometimes like an underground river.
Christianity involves recognizing that God is bigger than anybody’s bread box.
Christianity is valuing the fruit of the Spirit, peace, joy, and love, in whatever ethnic or religious context we encounter it.
Christianity is loving people more than loving thinking we’re right or feeling chosen.
Christianity is summed up in 1 Corinthians 13:1-7
If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have faith so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give away all my possessions, and if I hand over my body so I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant of rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrong doing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Vs 12-13 For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known. And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three: and the greatest of these is love.
If this doesn’t humble us when we are claiming to be Christians or judging others, nothing will.