I am not who you think I am

Caught between camps in a polorised society

I am not sure this is the right place for this, but then again I don’t think anywhere is the right place. That is the problem you see, I don’t feel I entirely fit anywhere.

I often feel torn between two worlds. The problem is I am a christian and also, if I am honest, a part of the liberal elite. It’s a strange mix and means I exist in two groups often at odds. As a result I am misunderstood by both.

Interestingly it would have been less of a problem if I was born a few hundred years ago, but today the world is becoming increasingly polarised, something that is particularly acute among my American friends.

On one extreme of the spectrum there are the right wing fundamentalist Christians. The gay hating, science doubting, literalists who reject much of ‘modern’ society and cling to ‘family’ values. On the other are the liberal elite, who look down on anybody who does not share their ‘enlightened’ world view. And then there is me, sitting in the middle. Part of the silent majority, but feeling slightly left out.

The fundamentalist christian looks at me and sees somebody with a wishy washy faith. Somebody who has abandoned Biblical truth in favour of conforming with ‘the world’.

The liberal elite presume that as I tag myself a ‘christian’ I must be ignorant, prejudice and holier than thou.

In truth I am not what you think.

I follow the teaching of a man I much admire. I try and live my life in the way he did. I try and understand what he taught, because he is a man worth listening to. He is a man who transformed the world in which we live.

To me it’s not about religion. Its about discovery. It’s about understanding the nature of the universe and existence. I seek that understanding wherever it can be found, whether that is in the teaching of a man who lived 2000 years ago or in the latest scientific discovery.

I believe in evolution, the big bang and see no reason to reject our scientific understanding. But I don’t think science answers all of the questions. It is not designed to.

I am not ignorant, stupid or ill considered. I have probably thought about the big questions of life as much, if not more, than you. I look at the universe and see order, beauty and a structure that leads me to believe there maybe purpose behind it. That doesn’t make me stupid, it just means I see things differently to you.

I am not what you think I am.

I am not somebody who hates. I don’t hate gay people or women who have an abortion. I follow the teaching of a man I much admire. A man who loved unconditionally and never judged anybody except those who judged.

Like him I put an emphasis on caring for the poor, the weak and the vulnerable. Once I have addressed those I get the luxury of debating morality or who should or should not get married.

I am not what you think I am.

I have not watered down my faith, been seduced by the world or turned my back on scripture. I passionately believe in the same Jesus you do, just different things he taught resonate more with me. For me Jesus was somebody who cared more about social injustice and ‘the lost’ than whether the rights of his followers were being eroded or their children were being taught about contraception in school.

I am not what you think I am. Do not put me in a box, judge me, condemn me or presume you understand me.

Feel free to disagree with me, but only when you really understand what it is you are disagreeing with.

And if you do disagree with me, is that actually so bad anyway? If you call yourself a Christian shouldn’t you leave it to God to judge? If you are a liberal, shouldn’t I have the right to believe whatever I want?

Isn’t it time to stop judging me and each other?

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