I am a failure. A bad christian. A horrible husband, and a lousy father. I have not been reading the bible. I have not been praying. I have not been “shining my light”, and I certainly have not been immersing myself in “Christian” media.
At least by the standards of some.
For the last eight months, I have admittedly been caught in a dilemma. To state I have been “on the fence” concerning my “biblical” worldview would be a relief, but at the current time, remains an overstatement. It is more likely that I have been just looking at the fence, and ignoring it. It has been much easier to know the fence is there without doing much about it than it has to simply take action.
It is also during this time that I have removed my family from the confines of any “church” type structure. Be it house church, organic church, or whatever church, we have simply ceased to participate. Has this affected our spirituality? In principal, yes. Should it be of great concern to me as a husband and a father? You bet! Has that concern motivated me to take action and inject some sort of pseudo normalcy that represents a form of “Christianity?” Not really.
Several reasons are the cause behind my inaction. These are also the leading contributors to the “leaks” in my worldview.
Biblical Christianity seems to me nothing than an Adjective and a Noun: What I mean is, they are just words. The definition is not definitive or conclusive. No two churches, groups, or organizations will look the same. Unless you are a cult (ie. Jehovah’s Witnesses, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints), consistency is not common.
Conforming to acceptable standards of piety are not inherently bible based: Most standards for which churches, groups, or organizations base genuine adherence to the faith of “Christianity” is superficial and/or untrue. Dare I say what is true for you may be so, but it s not always true for me? For me to adhere appropriately in most circles, I have to have a daily bible reading plan, attend specific meetings (regardless of how loose the requirement is), and speak/act in similar cultural fashion. There are also the uncounted and rarely spoken rules of conduct and conformity that also qualify you as a legitimate member that seem unqualified by scripture as well.
So little of what passes as “Christian” has anything to do with what Jesus actually taught: The inspired scriptures, or the writings of 1st Century Saints, are all we have to tell us about what Jesus taught. Harder still, the context by which we see adherence measured in the United States is woefully “American Patriotism.” The teachings of Lord Jesus when adhered to as they are written, often result in shunning from his “followers.” Yet, doing what he has instructed seldom manifests itself in today’s church. If I choose to remain in the minority and reject conformity, I continue as a pariah, or rebel and remain labeled as disobedient and unfaithful to my family.
So, have I gone crazy? Not yet. Am I lost to the faith and never to be seen again? Unlikely. Do I still have faith and trust in the Messiah Jesus Christ? You bet! Do I feel alone in the wilderness? Not really, there are only “one set of footprints” out here, but I know who is carrying me right now. So I guess you can say, I am praying. I am meditating upon the teachings of Christ our savior, and I am confident that true piety is found in how he rates my obedience. Hearing “well done” comes from him, not your pastor so and so or brother whats his face.