I want to be a Whole Christian.
I want to love the Lord my God with all my heart, all my soul, all my mind, and all my strength, and be part of a worshipping community with others who do.
I want to love my brothers and sisters the way Christ loves me,
my neighbor as myself,
and my enemies.
Especially my enemies. For I have discovered that I only see the log in my own eye after I find grace for the speck in someone else’s.
Christianity has been practically defined by our divisions and labels since at least Acts 6, if not Mark 9. I myself have enjoyed many such labels over the years. Protestant. Fundamentalist. Conservative. Evangelical. Reformed. Orthodox. Charismatic. Postmodern. Missional.
I continue to honor and cherish those traditions, even as I critique them. But I no longer want to be defined by them. Especially since they are largely defined by what (and who) they are not.
I want to embrace all of Christianity. Not just the Catholics, liberals, and traditionalists who disagree with me on doctrine and practice. But everybody and everything that has been part of Christian tradition — the good, the bad, and the ugly. The heretics and the persecutors. Torquemada and televangelists. Crusaders and Conquistadors. Pedophile priests and southern slaveholders.
I don’t agree with them. I have serious doubts about whether I’ll see some of them in heaven. But I am content to let Jesus sort the wheat from the tares at the end of the age.
Because all of them are my people. Their sins are my sins. Their failures are my failures.
For only by embracing their failure can I hope to transcend it; instead of repeat it.
One thought on “Becoming a Whole Christian”
Excellent post, Ernest. The last line really hit me. Every day we really are a big part of creating a relationship with God, in some way choosing not to create the kind of relationship we’ve seen others have. Thank you for sharing this!