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Advent: Are We Called To Be Cookie Cutter Christians?

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Sometimes I wonder how I would view Christianity if I lived alone on an island and a Bible was dropped in my lap. What would it be like to read God’s Word while being isolated from preconceived notions of what a Christian looks like?

Without ever having heard Focus On The Family.

Without ever having known families whose children wear outdated dresses, have neatly braided hair and are so out of this world obedient.

Without ever having heard the political rantings of the ‘religious right’.

Without ever having seen protesters with signs that read, “God hates gays!”

Without ever having heard people use Scripture to abuse others or to elevate themselves.

I gave my life to Christ at age thirty and since then I’ve been wading through the Christian world wondering where I fit in. I’ve encountered everything from elite, judgemental righteousness to apathetic, pew warmers who have attended church all of their lives.

***

When I became a Christian…

…it was made know to me that I should care how old the earth was—you know…the old earth vs. young earth debate.

And I did care for a while.

But the more I grow as a Christian, the less I care. The more I see hurting people and visit hopeless places like Skid Row, the less I care.

The earth is here. God created it. That’s all I care about. How old it is seems irrelevant in light of how many people are in need of God’s love. We’ll find out how old it is someday. And I bet we’ll laugh at how important we thought it was.

When I became a Christian I learned there were those that care more about their image than they do about the health of those around them. There are those who are willing to crush the spirits of others in order put up a righteous front.

When I became a Christian I learned we’re expected to vote a certain way and hold certain political ideals. Yes, our worldview often changes when we follow Christ—but I find it hard to believe every Christian feels led to vote the same way. I’m too conservative for the liberals and too liberal for the conservatives. I guess they call it a moderate.

There are so many things we think are important…to do Halloween or not? ‘Cause–oh my gosh–what will my Christian friends think if we trick or treat and say hi to neighbors we rarely see?

Yay or nay to Santa?

Creation vs. evolution–interesting debate, but don’t get so hung up on it that you can’t look to the future.

The different camps we can put ourselves in as Christians are many. Some find a camp they’re comfortable in while others never quite find a place to belong. How many choose their camp based on fear of what others will think? How many choose based on the fact all the others are going that way?

***

God reached out and touched my young atheist’s heart. Nothing or no one could get me to deny Christ’s work in my life. We’re called to be a part of the Body of Christ, but are we called to be cookie cutter Christians?

This Advent I’m looking past the social expectations we create as Christians. What would the Body of Christ look like without preconceived notions of what Christians look like, talk like and think?

I think there would be more of truly following Jesus and less following the Christian crowd.

“The birth of Christ is the central event in the history of the earth-the very thing the whole story has been about.” ~C.S. Lewis

Yolanda DeLoach (@YolandaDeLoach) is a member of Wesley UMC and through her writing, tries to remind herself to keep life light. You can visit her at her own site, yolandadeloach.com

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