I’m a Christian and Not Ashamed to Admit it…with stipulations

I keep seeing posts on Facebook of people declaring that they are not ashamed of Jesus Christ and challenging me to repost if I am not ashamed of being a Christian.  I never repost those things.

Not because I’m ashamed of Jesus Christ or because I am not a Christian. I love Jesus. And I’m proud of being a Christian…as long as you understand that what I mean by Christian may not be totally in line with what you mean by Christian.

I am a fallible follower of Jesus Christ. Getting up everyday and attempting to be the kind of person Jesus calls us to be and never quite succeeding, since I don’t always love my enemies or forgive those who wrong me or share all I have with those who need it most.  There are some days I’m not even pleasant to be around.

As a female pastor, I obviously don’t believe that a woman’s role in the church should be in anyway relegated because of her gender.

I don’t believe that gay people are sinners because they are gay. They are sinners, because (like me!) they don’t always love their neighbor, or embrace their enemies or help the people who need it most.

I am pro-choice and pro-whole life.  I don’t ever want anyone to have to get an abortion, but I would never force that choice upon any woman–especially since it’s not a choice I’ve ever been faced with. And I believe that our call as Christians is to protect and value human life at all stages. The life of teenage girl who ended up in jail after parents tossed her out of the house for doing drugs is just as precious as the life of an unborn child.  And I view any vote to cut funding that feeds or provides medical care for children to be distinctively un-pro-life.

I am not a Republican. Nor do I believe that God has a political party affiliation.

I am not a Christian so that I can be assured of the golden ticket into heaven and saved from eternal damnation in hell. I’m a Christian because I believe that life lived in grateful response to the belief that God loved us enough to become one of us and teach us and die for us and even conquer death for us is a life lived the best way possible.  I believe that life in Christ makes for a better life in the here-and-now and not just in the hereafter.

I also believe that you and I can be devoted followers of Jesus Christ and disagree on exactly what that means and still be faithful Christians.

So I’m a Christian and I’m not ashamed. But just to clear…that may not mean what you think it means.

Rev. Anne Russ is an ordained pastor in the Presbyterian Church (USA), currently based in New York City. Doubting Believer provides tools and encouragement for the rollercoaster ride of your faith journey. Follow me on Facebook , Instagram and YouTube. You can also follow on TikTok. Get emails to keep up with all that is happening.

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