Tuesday, 29 November 2011
I am considered to be a pacifist. I accept this label because it describes my stance on violence in a simple way. However, I reject this at the same time because Christ never taught passivity. He taught about praying for our enemies, turning the other cheek, loving others, and blessing those who persecute us. This is not passive, though it is non violent. So, I would rather accept the term, "non-violent resister". I understand that can get a little complicated, so if you'd like to call me a pacifist, I probably won't correct you unless it is clear to me that you don't understand my approach to non-violence.
I also consider myself somewhat of an anarchist. This term, again, raises some misconceptions. I believe that government is a legitimate authority in this world, though I believe it is dangerous to mix government and religion. I can't help but do just that if I were involved in government, so I choose to stay out of the voting system. I believe in building the Kingdom of God to bring about the change that we really wish to see in this world. I try to focus on the Godly things rather than the worldly things -- because the Kingdom of God is eternal. That is what anarchy is to me: Kingdom living. I respect my worldly authorities, though, the one with the true power sits on a throne in His Kingdom.
I am not a fundamentalist. I believe there is more to the bible than what it simply says. I believe in evolution and I believe that it is God's intended design for us to evolve. I don't believe that the Bible is God's word, but rather, that it contains God's word. There is much interpretation involved in translating scripture and we have to take the contexts of time and area into consideration. I believe the Holy Spirit still reveals God to us; the Bible shows everything we need to know for salvation.
I am a teacher. It's what I'm good at. God has given me a gift to explain Christianity in an easy-to-understand way. This is how I received my calling to pastor the Church and teach theology in a higher-education setting.
If you would have told me 7 years ago that I would be a Christian anarchist non-violent resister who has a passion to teach on the mysteries of God, I wouldn't have believed you.
In high school, I wanted to be an actor. I had no calling into the ministry. I was a war-hawk fundamentalist republican. But God has a way of turning things upside down. You don't think Jesus Christ can change a life? I am nowhere near the person I was when I was in high school.
Am I a better person because of Christ? I think so. I don't hate. I'm much nicer. I work towards peace. I don't let the little things bother me as much. I am much more generous. I am more nurturing. Before I allowed God to mold me into what God wants me to be, I would have been a much more negative person. And God isn't even finished with me yet.
Has God changed you? When did God change you? In what ways is God changing you right now?