Don't stereotype me as a Christian!
Ok, before you start attacking me for saying that, let me explain what I mean. First, here is the definition of Christian:
adj. Manifesting the qualities or spirit of Jesus; Christlike.
So, if you want to know who I am, yes, I am a Christian.... I strive to be Christlike, even tho I fail misserably multiple times. But what is the stereotype? Quite honestly, its what the world sees us as. It's the hippocrticial boring people that infiltrate the front lines telling people to turn or burn. I think thats probably most of the Christians out there..... but I'm a little confused because I dont see that in the Bible. I don't see Jesus doing any of the stuff that "Christians" do today. 1 Corinthians 13:13 very clearly tells us what the most important thing is.... It's Love.... Please tell me how condeming everyone for everything they do is showing love? It shows you as a tyrant.... and then you add to it the fact that all of us, even tho we strive to be Christlike, we sin all the time. We are human and we fail.... so now wait.... Matthew 7:4 should point something out to us. Hasnt it occured to anyone that when we condem people, we are sinning? Ok, so maybe your not a theif..... and the person you are condeming is.... but I think that sin is sin.... and there are plenty of instances in the Bible that God shows us that. So your not a homosexual? Your still a sinner, just as the homosexual is. Don't try to tell me that you can condem homosexuality because you are straight..... SIN IS SIN and that means that you are no better or no worse than the homosexual. So, if your condeming that lifestyle, then you are nothing more than a hippocrit.
With that said, let me say this.... I am just waiting for the first email I get that someone starts attacking me because they want to start saying that I'm a homosexual or something like that. It seems that I am standing up for that lifestyle, but please understand that I *DO* believe that homosexuality is a sin. What I am trying to get across to people is that we arent the ones to condem them. We are to show them the love of Christ.... that is our commandment. It's not to be "holy terrors"....
Christians have painted the perfect sterotype for all of us that makes us out to be these boring people that go around and attack everyone. I am not like that. I dont want to be like that. If that is your style and you feel that is what God is leading you to do, then so be it. That is between you and God. The thing is that I do not want to be known as that. That isnt me!
This all started working through my brain yesterday when I was talking with guys from work and I said I was leaving for the festival..... and the response was basically "yea, a bunch of Christians getting together to listen to music. no drugs, no sex." ... Well, yes... true.... but it wasnt the content of what was said, it was the ideal behind it. People view Christians as people who have no fun and are nothing but uptight people. Again, I say, I'm not like that.
So, I hope that everyone understand what I mean by when I ask that people don't stereotype me as a Christian. I am a Christian by definition, and I will call myself one because I want to be Christlike.... but I am not the idea of "Christian" that the world sees....
Regarding the festival yesterday.... it was completely awesome! It was very moving as well..... and combined with the sermon today at church, God really opened my eyes again. Last night as Jeremy Camp was on stage, I was in awe. I love concerts... I love the lights... I love the music..... alot of people do.... why? I think partially because it's amazing and brings awe to us. And there was something about the people that were there. There was a presence felt that I havent felt before.... at least not in a long time. Everyone there seemed to be in one accord... the hands lifted high praising God.... it was amazing.... I found myself taking pictures of the crowd with their hands in the air because it was just an awesome experience. And then I started realizing that this area truly is different. God is doing something here.... there are some really strong people here and it's like God is setting up for something big..... but I dont think anyone could answer what....... and that, of course, brings more amazement, wonder, and anticipation.
What's so important about amazement and wonder? Well, quite simply, it is how a child behaves. As we grow up, it takes more and more to amaze us. To a newborn, that little child may be amazed by their hand.... A toddler is amazed he can walk.... a four year old may be amazed by something a little more..... the point is, as we grow, we become less and less amazed. Matthew 18:3 tells us that we need to be like little children. See the connection? God wants us to be amazed by Him and the things that He does.... but we grow less and less amazed. Is it such a shock then that so many of us are so refreshed by just watching a little child play? I love kids.... I love playing.... but maybe I dont do it enough? People hate to see kids grow up.... because there is something so innocent about a child..... but the thing is, we need to become more like that. It occured to me that I feel the same way about Eli. I dont have a child.... but I honestly love Eli like he was my own. It kills me that I can't get to see him everyday... let alone every week... or somethimes even month.... and it kills me that he is growing up.... Someday I will miss playing with him and doing things just like tossing him in the air.... things that amaze him.... things that amaze me and make me feel like a child again. Someday I will miss that. Why? Because that's who we are! God wants us to be like little children and thus He created us that way. Even tho society tells us what an "adult" needs to be, we are wired so that we still desire the things we had in childhood... and I dont mean posessions.... I mean qualities.
They say that I can move the mountains
And send them falling to the sea
They say that I can walk on water
If I would follow and believe
With faith like a child
(Jars of Clay)
I think there are so many obvious things that we ignore that we need to start paying attention to. We need to look at those little children in our lives and we need to learn from them.
I'm about to head up to PA.... and hopefully at sometime I get to play with Eli and experience a little more of what God wants us to be like.
I leave you with this file of videos and pictures from Awakening Fest 2005. It's a pretty large file (About 50meg) so be warned. Also, the videos need Apple Quicktime to view them - and keep in mind this was all done on a cell phone so the quality is pretty bad.... but if you want to download it and take a look, please do so.