Today, I have decided to do something I wish I would have done a long time ago. I would not have wasted many years and countless dollars in my life had I done so. Maybe I would have made a true difference in the world rather than feeling like I was doing something good with my life….I could \”maybe\” all night long but I can\’t change the past. I can, however, make a decision that will make a difference – I am leaving Christianity. Yup, that\’s right. A missionary just said that he is leaving the very thing we claim to share…..but that\’s why I\’m doing it. I\’m leaving Christianity for something much much better. Let me re-phrase that, someONE much better- Christ.
Ashley and I have been on a journey trying to figure it all out for a while now. We have read a lot of books but one book and one Author have made this decision for me. Christ never called us to Christianity – he called us to a life devoted solely to him….not a following.
I have had the opportunity to lead a lot of mission trips and visit a lot of churches. In this time I have been able to witness a lot of Christianity but I see very little of Christ. I see and have been a part of giving the \”ABC\’s\” of salvation but other than from Christ and few other books I don\’t hear anything about following him. How can we take part of what he says and deny the rest? I am guilty of it, horribly guilty of it. Now, I want no more of it.
I want one thing in life – Christ. I don\’t want the theology, buildings, programs, speeches, week-long experiences, or counterfeit conversions for the number book. I want Christ and I want him to have all of me. I don\’t want money – I want Him to take all of it. I want to desire wisdom, a glimpse of Him and for people to see Him in me rather than wanting support, to sell my house and insurance.
I am frustrated with the fact that in almost a quarter of a century, I am just now getting this but I have had access to it my whole life. I can\’t blame a church, a following, or even an idea. I can merely blame myself. My heart is deceitfully wicked, I have allowed my self to be blind to these things.
I have now, finally, realized one thing – I no longer am alive, it is all Christ who lives in me (Gal.2:20). I have been cynical about many things and not realizing my hypocrisy at the same time. I want a life that loves all, no matter what. It is easy to love Indians who need love, orphans, widows….. I want to love my enemy. I want to love the homosexual man that grates my nerves when he walks by, I want to love the Muslim who slaughters my country-men because he has heart as wicked as mine, I want to love the one who hates me for loving him. I want to love them so much that I would prefer to go to hell just so they wouldn\’t have to. (Romans 9:3)
I want the world to look into my eyes and see Christ.
So, today, I deny my christianity, my patriotism, my life, my family, my desires, my comfort, my happiness, my pride, my church, my friends, my mission board and any other thing that I put in front of Christ.
I want to spend my life for the poor, starving, uncontacted, dirty, hurt and despised. I want to find contentment in sorrow and pain. I want to suffer to make His name known. I want to share in His sufferings, I want to take on more than I can handle, because it is not I who do it but Christ. I want to confound the wise and religious with my actions. I want to do it all not for me, and not to \”earn\” my salvation, that\’s impossible, I want to do it because it is what Christ tells me to do. We hear \” all you have to do is accept Christ in your heart, you don\’t want to go to hell do you\” but we never share Luke 9:23-25, 57-62. I want it all, not just \”to know I\’m going to heaven\”. When Christ gave the gospel he never said, \”you want to know you\’re going to heaven, right?\” He said, \” Love your neighbor as yourself, sell all you have, take care of the widows and the least of these, take up your cross daily, don\’t worry about tomorrow, worry about today, live as I live, etc\”. That is what it takes to follow him – not \” to go to heaven\” but to fulfill the sole reason I exist.
I don\’t want my savings account, diploma, logbook, possessions, and ideas unless they do exactly what he would have done with them. He didn\’t have anything, he gave it all for our sake. I want to give it all for His.
He didn\’t ask for our \”hearts\” , money, life, families, dreams. He DEMANDS it all in order to follow him. I no longer want to be lukewarm, thinking I\’m hot. I want to be so hot that it burns, that it hurts. I want there to be no question.
I had the awesome opportunity to show Christ to a young girl who had a massive cut in her foot. Everyone else was busy playing but she could not. I took my drinking water and washed it, then I cleaned it with my fingers and bandaged it as best as I could. I rubbed her little feet and later washed them in the river. Why is this in here? Because she looked at me and said, \” are you a Christian?\”. She had no idea we were a church group and I had not said one \”Christian\” thing the whole time. I simply loved her, gave what I had for her and she saw Christ in that. I would rather clean the wounds of the dirty, diseased and despised for my entire life than to live one day glorifying myself. She saw Christ – not in my Christianity but Him who was living through me.
I deny it all, not so that others might be saved or to find true joy – those are all secondary. I deny it all for Him and His glory.
For anyone who thinks that this is somehow, not right or out of line….it is – with Christianity. It is, however, right in line with Christ….he is the one who said it- Luke 14:33
Let me ask you something, I had to ask myself. Are you following Christ or are you following Christianity?