Yes, it’s true. My name is Jennie. I’m an evangelical Christian. It’s Sunday. And I feel like a good rant.
I didn’t actually know the real definition of “Evangelic” until yesterday and thus, until today, I could not actually subscribe to being one. –Besides, I figured it was hard enough to call myself a Christian without adding a further polarizing label. Words these days have so much unfortunate baggage…
So anyway, during the course of reading this great book a friend recommended to me, it was finally made clear: to be an evangelical Christian is to believe the Bible is true, but that it needs to be read in its historical context, rather than as a literal list of laws that we follow to the letter today (reading it that way would make you a fundamentalist).
So, yep. I’m an Evangelic. Hmmm, I wonder if I can shorten it to Angelic…
Anyway, that’s not to say I can explain some of what’s in the Bible. Nor is it to say that I think we have even close to all the answers — despite the fact that many-a-Christian will claim that they do. But, as crazy as it sounds to my former self of about 10 years ago, I do believe it is the true, inspired word of God.
So, why is it so repugnant to most? Why is it that I refused to even read it for so long, preferring, instead, to stand on the words and opinions of so many others — parroting new age-y ideas and shifting creation scenarios based on something good I had read; thinking Jesus sounded like a pretty good guy… but God? I wouldn’t normally accept a friend’s view on so much as a piece of luggage without thorough research, so why my ambivalence on this life and death issue? I honestly don’t know. If I were to guess, I would say that I was afraid of what I would find. I liked my life and I didn’t want anything to change.
Everyone is different and has different reasons why they reject the Bible. Maybe they think it condemns gay people (when in fact, it condemns us all). Or maybe they can’t swallow the Jonah story (hardee har har) and reject everything based on that. Maybe they can’t believe in a God that judges us – or worse, the Christian we all know who loves to judge and preach has turned them utterly off. Personally, I didn’t want to answer to anyone but my perfect self. (I still don’t.) I didn’t want to be one of those “born again Christian types” (I still don’t.) But after long, hard, skeptical thought, arguing and rationalizing, believing, then not, and starting all over again, reading both atheist and Christian authors, I can finally say I am a believer and I can articulate and defend my faith. And, hopefully I am done starting back at square one again. Now, it’s more likely to be 3 steps forward and 1 step back, rather than the inverse of that.
Anyway, here’s the question that I can’t help but ask you: Assume for a moment that God is real, and the Bible is true: THEN what? I’m having this very discussion with my dad right now. Obviously, since we are having the discussion, my dad doesn’t share my views. But it gets me thinking about everyone I know and just this once, I’d like anyone reading this to consider it.
Because, just imagine IF the Bible were true about Jesus being the son of God and that salvation only comes through belief in Him — where would that put you? As I said to my dad recently, I’d be totally cool with dying and having that be the end. Ahhhhh. Dark nothingness sounds not-too-bad in this annual season of spring craziness. (I’m not kidding.) But what if there *isn’t* nothingness. What if, like just about every single near death experiencer tells us, there is *something* after death. And, what IF that *something* is the God of the Bible? THEN what?
I only ask you to consider it. And to consider rolling up your sleeves and making an informed decision based on the evidence – for yourself – about what you believe and why. Personally, I believe if someone opens the door even a crack to God, he will reveal himself, but without that invitation, it will stay closed. After that, it’s up to you. I wouldn’t expect anyone to simply believe the Bible without good reason. I know I didn’t. (This isn’t blind faith.) But also don’t reject it based on a bunch of vague opinions that you haven’t researched for yourself. Don’t reject it (and Him) because of a lot of false Christian teaching, bad politicians and flawed churches made up of flawed humans. Make sure your decision is informed. Make sure that you’ve kept an open mind to both sides of the argument. And don’t get hung up the “details” that don’t matter to the central theme (Jesus saves). Look at the larger picture, the evidence and base your decision on that.
Because, if you reject Jesus and end up being wrong, then you will have been very, very wrong. (Whereas, If I’m wrong, meh, no big deal. I just get that nothingness that sounds so good right about now.)
But I’m not wrong. Because, I’m never wrong. You should know that by now. After all, that’s the central them of this blog.