What caught my eye in the article was this quote by Pullman, "Atheism suggests a degree of certainty that I'm not quite willing to accede. I suppose technically, you'd have to put me down as an agnostic. But if there is a God, and he is as the Christians describe him, then he deserves to be put down and rebelled against. As you look back over the history of the Christian church, it's a record of terrible infamy and cruelty and persecution and tyranny. How they have the bloody nerve to go on Thought for the Day and tell us all to be good when, given the slightest chance, they'd be hanging the rest of us and flogging the homosexuals and persecuting the witches." *wince* What I hate about that is that it's so true. Grant it the true Christ centered Church would not do those things --- but through out the ages men have misused the name of our Savior... Hitler called himself a Christian...
And sometimes I'm scared to call myself a Christian because I don't want people to equate Christianity to me, I don't want to define it for them. Because frankly I'm a huge mess and my life is the same. Now I understand that I shouldn't worry about that, that God is bigger than me. Oh I know this in my head. But there's still that quiet voice in my head that tells me that I could screw it up. It's so easy to be distracted by my sin, failures, and screw ups.
I mean like sure it's cool handing out tracks or going door to door. But actually having close non-Christian friends? Who are involved in my life and see me day to day....that scares me. I mean I'd almost rather mess up around my Christian friends. They understand that we all mess up and they aren't going to define their faith by the way that I live. But people who aren't Christians---they'll hear me talk about loving others like I love myself, then see me degrade a person. They'll hear me talk about how great my God is and how amazing joy is....but then they'll see that I get down like everyone else. And there are countless other examples.
Does any of this make sense?
Then----did I ever tell you how much I love the Bible? =) It's sooo chock full of people who are screw ups....just like me. Yet God loved them....Oh do you get this guys? Think of Peter. Rock of the Church. Also denied Christ 3 times. Think of David. Lier, adulterer...murderer. Yet God equates Himself to him! He called him a man after His own heart. This is unbelievably comforting to me. How can my God be this good...
I'm going to put my faith in Him.... I'm going to stop fretting and worrying about screwing up. I'm going to screw up. I know this. But my God is so much bigger than me...even bigger than my sin.
32And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel and the prophets, 33who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, 34quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies. 35Women received back their dead, raised to life again. Others were tortured and refused to be released, so that they might gain a better resurrection. 36Some faced jeers and flogging, while still others were chained and put in prison. 37They were stoned; they were sawed in two; they were put to death by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated— 38the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, and in caves and holes in the ground.
39These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised. 40God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.