I'm Christian. That isn't what I've changed my mind about. It's how I perceive that.
I've stopped making that a part of my life. It sits in the back of my mind, an interesting part of my personality, no more important or influencing in my thoughts or actions than the genetics that make up my ethnicity. This is what needs to change.
I don't live a sinless life; none of us do. That's not the point. But there are certain habits I need to break. I'm sick of all the little comfort devices I make to keep pseudo-friendships. Being fake. It's something I absolutely despise in others, so why do I do it? There are some friendships I only hang onto because I've gotten so used to hanging on to them. That's no reason for a friendship. Either I actually develop meaningful relationships with these people, or I avoid them. I'm sick of this uncomfortable limbo.
I hate that I can be a great boyfriend and a terrible friend. Or that I can handle people one on one but tense up and retreat into some false persona in large groups. I just want to be comfortable with myself. And I know that while a lot of that will be an internal struggle, who I surround myself with can be just as important too. So I've got some ties I need to break.
I'm sick of the fact that most of my friends are hypocrites, too. Hypocrisy is something that thrives in numbers, so unless we all make some sort of conscious effort to act the way we think, nothing will change. Each of us bring our own stupid and destructive brand of behavior to the table, myself included, so that's just going to be extremely difficult, if possible at all.
How does this relate to Christianity? Well, for starters, I see being Christian as a faith, not a religion. Religion is generally an institution of man, and it's usually so entrenched in doctrine and ceremony that the original message is lost. Faith, on the other hand, is taking the Christian message personally, the way it was meant to be interpreted. Jesus never distanced himself from his disciples or the common people. So why is there such a lofty, aristocratic bureaucracy in most modern Christian churches? Why is Christianity being taught as something high-minded and distant? As something we can only detract certain coded meaning from? The Bible is alive, people! The New Testament is loaded with personal confrontations and has a very simple and straightforward message. And most of the Christian "religions" skip over this message, or just make it a formalized step in Christian Certification 101.
I want to show people what I get out of following Christ. But a lack of self-confidence, guilt over my own hypocracy, and limited support make this almost impossible. I just wish I didn't feel alone in this.
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