Is there any remark in the entire lexicon of the English language that rolls off the tongue more easily? So why is it so hard to say that these days without adding the obligatory qualifying remark?
The thing is that these days confessing your belief in Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour (because that is what the Christian faith is really all about) has all kinds of weird connotations. To the average person, this must mean that you hate gay people for example, and that you are most likely a card-carrying Republican.
Nothing, at least in my mind, could be further from the truth.
Perhaps I'm a bit naive, but I simply cannot understand how things got so convoluted. The last time I checked, Jesus Christ was the guy who championed things like feeding the poor and healing the sick. Sounds like a pretty damn good Democrat to me. So why is it that when I say that I consider myself a Christian, these days I feel so compelled to qualify this? Why is confessing your faith considered so politically incorrect?
Just the other night, I felt such a compulsion for this sort of qualification of my faith. I was out with some friends at a bar after work (and yes, we Christians have been known to enjoy a beer or two), when the subject of religion came up. I found myself, without even thinking, acting in a defensive sort of manner by qualifying my Christianity by saying that I was a "liberal Christian."
So what does that exactly mean?
All I know is this. As a young boy, I became concerned with whatever events were supposed to lead to the end of the world. Don't ask me why. I just did. So I turned to the Bible to try to sort it all out. What I found, reading through the prophetic books of Revelation and Daniel, was that there would be a time in our not too distant future where every man would be called to account for his life. And that the world would be controlled by a one-world government headed up by a really nasty character called the Antichrist.
Based on what I have read (and trust me, I'm no biblical scholar), I believe, like many Christians do, that this particular time is imminent. I won't go into all of the gory details, but things like the rebirth of Israel as a nation and the revival of the Roman Empire in the form of the European Union back this view up pretty solidly.
What bothers me is the way cynical politicians cleave to this to justify things like denying the least fortunate amongst us the right just to carve out something resembling a meaningful life. This just doesn't reconcile itself in my mind with the God who healed the sick and fed the poor.
Sin is sin. I'm every bit as guilty of it as you are, at least if I am reading my particular interpretation of the Bible correctly. Which is exactly why, again if I understand my bible correctly, we humans need the atoning, ultimate sacrifice of Jesus Christ to cleanse us from this.
So color me a "liberal Christian" then. One that I can guarantee you will not be voting Republican in the next election.