Do you think of peace?
Do you think of love?
Do you think of forgiveness?
I don’t, and I wear the title — albeit haphazardly, in no small part because my particular brand of Christianity was used as a weapon — on me, on everyone. No one escaped the condemnation and shame. Then, too, I’m lazy and being a Christian — the kind I think one is meant to be — is damn hard.
Plus, I cuss. Good Christians probably don’t cuss, I think.
Yet even now, with all my accumulated wisdom, when I hear “Christian” I get a little bit defensive and I go on guard. How sad is that?
I sometimes wonder if the brand hasn’t played itself out. I don’t mean that I think Christianity is a spent theology. I think it still has a lot to offer the world, if it was interpreted as it was originally intended (read this but try it with inclusive language) — and I don’t say that to sound judgmental, I promise. We talked recently about how certain members of the tribe interpret the text in ways that in no way resemble what we think was the original intent. That guy who put a billboard up in front of his church condemning both Muslims and every one but evangelical Christians comes to mind, but he’s just one example.
So what if we rebranded ourselves? What if Christians called themselves followers of Jesus, and then those who rebranded themselves go back to the text and live their lives by that creed, not the hateful, judgmental, condemning misinterpretation, but the peace-loving, sharing, do-gooding approach patterned by, well, the one they purport to follow?
O.K. It’s not even 6:30 a.m. and this feels like a sermon. Over and out.