So, You Wanna Be A Christian?

So, You Wanna Be A Christian? December 30, 2020

For the first 25 years of my life, I was a Christian who was told that you had to believe certain things about Jesus in order to be saved. In other words, orthodoxy (ironic term for Protestants to use, but whatever) was emphasized over orthopraxy (how one lives out their faith). Now that I don’t even think of the term “Christian,” and at best reside on the edge of the inside (to borrow one of Rohr’s phrases), I’ve flipped the whole script. That is to say, to my mind being a Christian should be all about what one does with their faith. Have your doctrines, sure, but let’s see how you walk it out.

To that end, here’s some things any Christian can start doing today, regardless of what one believes about theology, doctrine, or any of that white tower stuff.

I. Donate Your Stimulus

Assuming we actually get the stimulus – which isn’t a given, admittedly – Christians who don’t need it for day to day living expenses should give it to those who do. Donate it to a friend or family member in need, or buy a bunch of non-perishables and donate it to a local food shelter.

II. Donate Your Time

I know we are in the midst of a pandemic so getting around people to volunteer is difficult, but if you are healthy, wear a mask, wash your hands, and take all the other necessary precautions, volunteer work is still possible. Food banks need help. Homeless shelters need help. Trash clean-up crews can be assembled. So, get out there and do something.

III. Shop For Others

If you are young and generally healthy, then you can shop for those who aren’t. I’m sure you’ve got neighbors down your block who take huge risks by going out to get essential items. How about shopping for them? Leave the items on the porch and let them write you a check or wire you some money (or do that digital transaction stuff the kids do these days).

IV. Social Calls

Did you know you can sign up to make phone calls to elderly people who are essentially alone? Well, you can. Here’s a link for such a place in Northern California, decently close to where I live:

V. Become an Activist

Don’t know what it takes to become an activist? Now’s the time to learn. Start researching about how to get involved with the climate crisis. Learn all you can about how to reduce homelessness. Become active against the failed, racist War on Drugs. Learn all you can about the again racist justice system and get involved with prison reform.

VI. Books for Foster Kids

Kids who grow up in poverty don’t have much access to books. And access to books is a sign of whether a kid will have life’s cards stacked for them or against them, if you catch my meaning. So, get involved with Barnes and Noble’s Holiday Book Drive or donate to places like Champions for Kids, and start donating today.

I’m sure there are a ton of other things anyone who calls themselves a Christian can get involved doing. The point being, let’s make sure Christian becomes synonymous with giving more than anything else.

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About Matthew Distefano
Matthew is a best-selling author, blogger, podcaster, long-time social worker, and hip-hop artist. He is an outspoken advocate for nonviolence, happily married, with one daughter. Outside of writing, his interests include gardening, hiking, and European football. He lives in Northern California You can read more about the author here.

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