Thursday, June 13, 2013

When You Say, "I'm a Christian..."

When you announce your Christianity, particularly when nobody has asked and it's not germane to whatever is going on, do you have any idea what I hear?

I hear religiosity is important to you. Not necessarily religion, not necessarily the principles and ethics of it, just religiosity is important.

I hear a great big chip on your shoulder, expecting some kind of adverse comment, some kind of challenge or persecution. Somewhere there be lions.

I hear unwarranted pride: you made the best choice in the world, making you the best in the world.

I hear you say you're going to Heaven, the rest of the world is going to Hell.

I don't hear you identify as Lutheran, Catholic, Mormon, Seventh Day Adventist, or whatever, so I hear some extreme evangelical sect that doesn't even need naming because, hey, you picked the best and the details are irrelevant.

I hear intolerance and judgment for everybody who doesn't say the same, and even many who do.

I hear your place in the world is top of the heap and everyone else should aspire to be you, blindly following and accepting your assessment.

I hear a word that you believe says everything about you while actually saying nothing, because so many others have trampled the path before you ever got there.

So next time you want to make your big announcement, when nobody has asked, and it's not germane to anything in the conversation, shut up first, think about who you are, why it's important, what it means. Then don't say it. Live it.

Then you won't have to say it.

And people like me can hear you.

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