Monday, 18 February 2008

Why I am Still a Christian

There was an article in the Life and Work (Church of Scotland magazine, I know, I'm a big loser) this week, which asked some relatively well known people why they are still christians. Their answers were totally appalling for the most part (with the honorable exceptions of the current moderator and slightly disturbingly, conservative MSP Annabel Goldie) and included mentions of 'moral values' and 'going to church as children' and no mention at all of 'Jesus' or 'Grace' or 'The kingdom of God'. And in the funny week I've been having, this feels like a very relevant question for me.

I'm increasingly feeling like a number of the people around me are beginning to feel that while I'm a christian, I'm not really all that serious about it, and its not really that big a part of life, and this is heart breaking for me. I don't know why it is people think this (and I may just be being paranoid), maybe its partly because most people don't think its possible to be a christian and feminist or a christian and left wing or whatever. Most worringly of all is that perhaps people think this because I don't give off the impression that Jesus is important to me. I certainly talk about feminism more than Jesus, which I would like to change, much as I will become even more socially unacceptable if I start talking about Jesus as well as sexual violence at dinner parties!

So, to the questions, 'Why am I still a christian?'. Ultimatly I guess I'm a christian because I love Jesus more than anything else in the world (even feminism!). My life is based around the fact that I have been redeemed (what a good word!) by Jesus' amazing sacrifice for me and that I am called to live my life for God's Kingdom (thats where the feminism comes in). To quote Galations, "I have been crucified with Christ, and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, then Christ died for nothing!"

I'm not a christian because I 'believe in christian morals' or because 'I think christians tradition is important' these are terrible, soul destroying reasons to believe in Christianity. I'm a christian because of grace, nothing more or less. I have been given what I don't deserve (which is part of what grace means), and I am eternally grateful to God for this.

I know this post is a little bit rambly, and maybe doesn't have a whole lot to do with Christian Feminism, but I just want to make my base point clear. Christ is my priority, my aim is to be a Little Christ (or 'christian'), and feminism is a part of that, but feminism is not the starting point - Jesus is.

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