Saturday, March 07, 2015

Lost In Christianity

Why I’m Coming Out as a Christian - The Daily Beast:

The title is kinda like "lost in space".

In the beginning of Christianity, there was Christ and his disciples. One went bad, all the rest save John ended up martyrs according to the best histories we know. We certainly know that early Christianity was unpopular. The writer of over half the new testament, the Apostle Paul started life as Saul and was stoning Christians around the mid 30's AD -- not very long after the crucifixion, 30-33AD.

"Coming out as a Christian" is still worthy of the death sentence in Islamic territory, but here in the old US of A, apparently some feel the greatest obstacle to confessing Christ is:
No, I’m nervous to come out as a Christian because I worry I’m not good enough of one. I’m not scared that non-believers will make me feel an outcast. I’m scared that Christians will.
Compared to having one's head hacked off, being crucified, being fed to lions, or other forms of nasty death, somehow the idea of fearing one will "not be accepted as good enough" by other Christians seems rather tame. Reading through the article though, I wonder if Ms Cox may want to contract the Ex Governor of MN who feels that sueing the widow of the most successful sniper the US has ever had is the best manner to get back into the good graces of fellow SEALS whose company he claims to sorely miss. Her article seems to be spiritually aligned with Jesse's views of the proper way to be accepted by your peers. 

The claimed origin of Ms Cox's heartfelt need to stand up and be counted as among Christendom is the following. 
I’ve lately observed conservatives questioning Obama’s faith with more than professional interest. Because if Obama’s not Christian, what does that make me?
Thankfully, she can rest her fevered mind. There have been no "conservatives" questioning Obama's faith, save the quite unlikely possible case if the reporter that asked Scott Walker about Obama's faith was in fact a "conservative reporter" (a very rare breed), actually seeking some information from Walker on the subject. 

Note, there seems a second misconception in play here. While there is a good deal greater percentage of "conservatives" that self-identify as "Christian", the correlation is FAR from unity. Something like 60% is commonly quoted, vs less than 50% of "liberals". 

"Conservatives" questioning your claims of Christianity is NOT the same as Christians possibly questioning your claim. But discounting the extremely unlikely case of the reporter being a conservative looking for real information on Obama's faith from Scott Walker, we have zero recent cases of EITHER "Conservatives" nor "Christians" questioning Obama's faith, so Ms Cox stated concerns are completely vacuous. I wonder if she would breathe a sigh of relief on that news? 

It appears that SHE is COMPLETELY certain of her Christianity, however I would be remiss as a Christian to not provide a more coherent path to saving faith than she provides. 
  1. As she says, we are saved by faith in Christ, not of our own works, lest any man should boast. 
  2. As we grow in faith, we regularly find that we need to repent of your own sinful desires and follow Christ instead (daily repentance and contrition) . She seems to have missed this. 
  3. The means of this following -- well known nearly two thousand years, but becoming less agreed to today is Holy Scripture, Holy Preaching and Holy Communion 
The following is Ms Cox "statement of faith": 
Here is why I believe I am a Christian: I believe I have a personal relationship with my Lord and Savior. I believe in the grace offered by the Resurrection. I believe that whatever spiritual rewards I may reap come directly from trying to live the example set by Christ. Whether or not I succeed in living up to that example is primarily between Him and me.
The statement leaves out recognition of sinful need, repentance, desire to follow Christ and join with fellow believers, which unless we are talking a death-bed like conversion (eg. "thief on the cross"), would be key aspects of a typical Christian statement of faith.

She seems to make light of not having much knowledge of the Bible, which is an ODD Christian position given John 1:14 "And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.".

Christ is the Word and the Word is Christ -- to know Christ, you know the Word. As a Christian, the knowledge of Christ is knowledge of the Bible and vice versa.

It is hard to read her column as being anything but a very thinly veiled smear on Scott Walker saying that if someone wants to know about Obama's Christianity, they should ask him, not Scott Walker, but I took her more seriously than that -- anyone can write something that looks bad and mean well after all.

I pray that her intent is actually an honest concern and that she will seek out the Word and a body of believers in which she can receive instruction, Communion and grow in Christ.

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