I don’t like being a Christian today. Actually, I should say, I don’t like most Christians today. Wait. What I really mean is, I don’t want to fight with Christians anymore.
I’m a walking contradiction.
I’m too liberal for the Republicans and too conservative for the Democrats.
I was once a youth pastor, a speaker, a worship leader, an avid blogger, and a radio host. Everything that entered my brain was spit out in 140-characters. I remember the days of running to church, running to leadership positions in the youth group, running to conferences and conventions and choirs.
I remember running to tell others of my faith. I remember running to Bible studies and opportunities to spur others on and sharpen one another. These days, I run away.
I cringe when I think of sitting and discussing anything more than the extremely superficial with those who aren’t my most-trusted confidants. I’m content to show up five minutes after Sunday service starts, sit on the third row from the back with my wife and children, and sneak out during the benediction.
For the first time in ten years, I have no leadership role or even anything that would resemble involvement in my local church. I go a few times a month, and that’s it.
Why am I OK living this way? Because I’ve stepped out of the conflict among Christians. When I am anonymous, I have no chance to offend someone with a Facebook post, to feel like I have to choose sides in a cultural debate in order to honor God, or to be ostracized for seeing the world differently.
I’m a thirty-something Southerner, born and raised in the buckle of the Bible Belt. I was dunked by the Baptists, spoke in tongues in the Assemblies of God, went to a Church of God college, returned to my Baptist roots as a youth pastor, and for a few years, I was a Methodist who agrees with about 80 percent of the Catholic Church’s teachings.
I attended George W. Bush’s first inauguration as a senior in high school but have voted Democrat in at least one general election. I study the King James Bible with a concordance but I read The Message on my iPhone for enjoyment, while having a glass of wine and smoking a cigar.
Maybe there was once room for people like me. Maybe everyone is like me, if we’re all honest with each other. But our culture no longer allows contradictions.
I run from discussions with other Christians because it almost always ends poorly. A loss of friendship, a loss of faith, a loss of fervor. I’m tired of being burned.
Join me for the rest of this story at Yourtango.
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