Recently I got some strongly worded opposition to the Stuff Christians Like blog. And I think that’s OK. When I get what feels like a personal attack, I also receive two gifts:
1. A chance to spend time in the Bible making sure I am not misrepresenting God’s word and truth and hope.
2. A chance to live out Matthew 6:8 where Jesus says “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you that you may be sons of your Father in heaven.”
Let’s be honest, those are not my first knee jerk reactions when someone piñatas me. I usually want to write something horribly sarcastic back to the person or at the bare minimum print their comments on a novelty belt buckle. But if I take the time to pray and think about it, God usually brings me back to those two points.
The truth is, sometimes it’s easy to focus on the squabbles or the negativity or anything else that gets stirred up in our days. So even though it’s a Sunday and I usually don’t post on Sundays, I wanted to share with you an email I got last week. Although it was addressed to me, it’s your email too because you’ve made this site a community. You’ve made this free, silly blog a place where honest conversations are taking place. Here’s an email from a reader:
A while back, after several events culminated in my leaving Christianity and beginning to consider conversion to Judaism, a friend emailed me a link to SCL with a simple message that she understood my problems with Christianity, but that if I had been given the opportunity to develop my own spirituality in a healthy environment (I was brought up nominally Christian, until the day my grandparents joined the Branch Davidian church, and it all went downhill from there), that this was the kind of Christian she thought I’d be. I read some of the posts (Booty, God, Booty especially stuck with me), laughed a bit, told her she was right, you’re the kind of Christian I look up to and respect, and went about my business.
A couple of years, a nervous breakdown, a lot of prayer and soul searching and quality time with the Scripture later, and I’m at a point in my life where I’m seriously considering coming back to Christianity. I’ve been attending church with my boyfriend, who has been absolutely amazing about talking to me about religion without pushing or pressuring me, and I’ve been doing a lot of reading and praying on my own — I think it says something that even after the Branch Davidian debacle and a serious crisis of faith surrounding some health issues, among other things, the farthest I can really get from Christ is to follow the faith He followed during his time on earth. And I’ve started rereading SCL, and reading Prodigal Jon a bit more in depth.
Anyhow, I guess I just wanted you to know that your blogs have been comforting and helpful to me, and even in the tongue in cheek entries, I’ve found a lot to think about in my ongoing search. I don’t know what your intentions were when you started the blog, or your motivations in continuing it for as long as you have, but you’ve honestly touched at least one life and made it better. Thank you.
There are going to be people that don’t like this site. Part of the risk of “going first” is that you create a target for people to fire at, but you know what? By going first with your story, with your faith and your hope, you also create a lighthouse. You also create a neon sign that says, “Jesus is here. Jesus is real. Jesus loves laughter. Jesus loves you.”
And that’s what I hope you and me and a lot of other people with blogs keep doing.