I’ve grown less fond of the word ‘Christian.’
I mean technically I am one, I read the book, I sing the songs, I’m a season ticket holder at Holy Trinity Brompton with good seats. But I feel the word ‘Christian’ brings a whole bunch of sticky labels and storage boxes with it, all from Ryman’s beige range.
Ironically Jesus never even said the word ‘Christian.’ He does the whole emotional goodbye thing up to heaven and then leaves the disciples without a name, and fishermen aren’t really the creative types are they? They probably felt similar anxiety to contestants on the 1st episode of The Apprentice thinking up their team name.
John: What we thinking? It’s gotta be sexy, epic, true to our core.
Peter: How about ‘The Ch-riminals? Kind of swaggy..
John: Sexy Pete, not lame.
Matthew: We could just put the first letter of our names all together?
John: That’s just cringe Matty.
Cut to Ian drunk in the corner
Ian: Haaww abbbbbaaautt the The Christ-IAN’s?
(Burps and farts at the same time, spills Peroni.)
John: Ok anybody else?
When you come out the Christian closet, you suddenly open yourself up to a parade of questions. ‘Are you allowed to have sex?’ ‘ Who sang the soundtrack to Prince of Egypt? ‘Are you allowed to have sex? ‘What’s the deal with the Ark?’ Are you allowed to have sex on an Ark? It’s hard not to react to their ignorance, everything in me just wants to shout ‘IT’S A WHITNEY AND MARIAH DUET YOU FREAAAKKKKKKINGG IDDIOTTT!!!’
So now days I even don’t really say I’m a ‘Christian,’ I lean more towards the phrase ‘Jelieber.’ I’ve already started going round adding it to the religion section on equal opportunity forms. (Actually Bieber if you’re reading please could you drop the copyright on your one. It’s proving a stumbling block for some t-shirt and bumper sticker ideas I’ve got.)
Anyway here’s the sugar, the way I describe my Christian faith not through a Ryman’s beige storage box of default opinions on gay marriage, abortion, why the Noah movie was shit.. It’s through a deep, wild, authentic friendship, that couldn’t tell you what beige even is..
I don’t view my ‘Christianity’ through a point system of church services attended, cigarettes not smoked, swear words not said, girls breasts not grappled. Instead I see a relationship that over the years has been packed with; Laughs, conversation, arguments, celebration, purpose, contentment, passion, intimacy, closeness, loud swearing (all me), frustration, adventure, hope, doubt, loyalty, tenderness, dreaming, decision making, faithfulness, start overs, repair, even louder swearing (again all me.) and most of all, love.
For he reached into a shallow life of mine and carved something worth living out of it.