I want to be completely transparent with you: I’m a Christian. That means I’ve given my life to following Jesus, but I’m really, really tired of the game that we kind of find ourselves in. I wonder if I’m not alone.
Maybe you’re like me: You’re happy to call yourself a Christian–a little Christ–but you can see as plain as day where we’ve let that come to mean less than it ought to, and you’d rather follow Jesus with abandon than abandon the cross for an echo chamber.
Maybe you’re like me: grateful for our Christian family across space and time but frustrated that we’ve let an unchecked addiction to power, money, vengeance, and self-preservation run our little family reunion for way too long.
Maybe: you’re like me and you see no conflict between revival and reform. I want both, and I believe God wants both for all of us. I don’t see how you can read the Bible–filled from cover to cover with God’s passionate and sometimes angry demands for justice, fairness, and righteousness–and not think that God wants transformation to ring true in both our hearts and the society we build.
Maybe you’re like me: believing that scripture has authority in our lives and helps us to see and know God. But without other believers and the Holy spirit, it can too easily become just one more way that we remake God in our own image instead of the other way around. I need the church and the Holy spirit or this book starts agreeing with what I already thought way too often.
Maybe you’re like me: you see no logical conflict between faith and science. And you believe that both responsibly in honestly practiced, help us to see and know the truth as God intended. After all, if it’s true that God made the world then we’re not going to find something he didn’t put there.
Maybe you’re like me: believing that if we don’t pursue truth as an idea we’ll quickly settle for power and self obsessed autonomy instead.
Maybe you’re like me: you recognize that there is much more out there to know than you know right now. And that doing the homework to know it has always made faith stronger, not weaker. Questions are worth asking and it’s worth believing that there are, in fact, answers out there.
Maybe you’re like me: believing that when God said to love him with our whole selves–body, soul, mind, and strength–He meant it. God isn’t after some disembodied soul alone, but the total package. He wants me to lay down everything that makes me me at the foot of the cross and to take on a life in Christ.
Maybe you’re like me: you recognize and reject racism, both systemic and personal, but that doesn’t mean that you’re comfortable with identity politics or moral relativism. If we can’t start to talk about issues for what they are on their merit and not as part of some package deal, then we’ve abandoned hope and reason.
Political tribalism? You can keep it. I belong to a kingdom from every nation, every tongue and every tribe anchored not in my own ideological or economic or even moral purity but the grace and mercy of Jesus Christ. And frankly, I’m alright If that means I’m politically homeless.
Maybe you’re like me and you’re for life, but you can’t understand why we’re acting like life ends at birth. We should love our neighbor as ourselves. That’s everyone, including our enemies for their whole lives. Even at cost to ourselves, not just their incubation.
Maybe you’re like me and you still believe that the Spirit is alive and well and at work and incredible ways all around you. But you’re heartbroken at thE personality worship and exploitation we’ve accepted as normal, like we’re happy to take the gifts of the Spirit without ever looking for its fruit.
Maybe you’re like me and you believe that Jesus calls us to model radical grace in a world, deeply shaped by sin. Maybe you believe that each and every one of us are genuinely equal: very good and very broken. Each and every one of us is an image bearer of God, born with inherent worth and each and every one of us called to live into reflecting God’s image, becoming in increasing measure of the sort of person God made us to be in the first place.
Maybe you’re like me: desperate for some humility, thinking that self righteous bludgeoning will just keep us drawing smaller and smaller circles until each of us is a world unto ourselves. Alone, and frankly, still hurting.
Maybe you’re like me: knowing the church has been awful to people whose visible sins are unlike our own while we brush our own sins under the rug but we don’t see how insisting that none of us are broken in the first place is going to help.
Maybe you’re like me: believing God loves us as we are but loves us too much to leave us that way.
Maybe you’re like me: believing that the God revealed to us in Jesus loves all nations and hates nationalism.
Maybe you’re like me: feeling politically homeless and frankly exhausted from the incoherent package ethics expected of us on the left and the right. But don’t get me wrong. I’m not a centrist. I’m not in the middle of some game that somebody else wrote for us. I’m out to flip the script and play a different one altogether where Jesus is King in my whole life and I’ll do whatever I can to be a bastion of that same hope grace and mercy in the world.
Maybe you’re like me: heartbroken over so many having to deconstruct a Christian faith that too often was built on caricatures that were never anchored in Christ but a broken culture, unaware of its own blind spots.
Maybe you’re like me: frustrated and tired at the intellectual dishonesty and lack of humility so prevalent in conversations about faith on both sides.
Maybe you’re like me: a broken yet redeemed little Christ, trying to figure out how to use your voice and your life to help Jesus change our minds, our hearts, and our world, for good.
Well, if that’s, you know, this, you’re not home. And I think there’s probably a lot more of us out there than we think. And we stand together on the shoulders of giants, laying down our whole selves at the foot of the cross, loving God and neighbor with heart, soul, mind, and strength.
If that’s you, maybe I’m like you. Let’s do this thing together.