Foofie - thank you for that - I do feel like people are trying to submarine me at times for my beliefs.
I think that Christians are the same as everyone else. We struggle with the unseen just as most people do. We have heartaches and hard times - are made fun of and made to feel stupid for believing as we do, we get sick and we are scared of dying sometimes (despite the fact that we believe there is a heaven - we are human and can doubt) - but we also enjoy the happy things - I think the one thing inportant about Christians is -what most of us cling to is hope. The hope that one day there won't be a tear in our eyes, that one day we will live together in peace, that one day we will be better than we are now.
And I know that the more intellectual of you will see this as a coping mechanism - so what? Hope is a great thing...I bet it gets more people through crap situations than anything else. The problem most people who do not believe have is that they think Christianity is exclusive - it's not. Anyone can choose to believe if they will. There are some who feel that they have to force these beliefs on others - I am not one of them. We all have to live as we are convicted.
But the thing is - for me- as a Christian - I cannot seperate the idea of hope and belief - I DO believe. My desire to do better, to love others better, to be kind, to help when I can - these all are a part of my belief and it comes in the example of Christ. I am a better person than I was before - I know this. I can't prove it to you all...my simple desire is that others know this same feeling if they want to.
I spoke out here to say - Christians don't behave as they should all the time...I know I don't. We are still fallible, screw ups in many cases. But what should distinguish us is our care for others and the hope that we cling to in hard times. I have a hard time believing the screaming pastor from a pulpit understands the love of God - but who am I to say? I do not know his heart- so I do not judge - though it is hard. But Christians as a whole will be known by how they treat others. Scripture says so.
I am no theologian, I do not understand the Old Testament or Revelations to be perfectly honest with you. I know you can poke all kinds of holes in how the Bible is written and who wrote it and some people who claim to be Christians are horrible examples of Christ - BUT - my belief and passion for Christ - following his teachings, my belief that he died on the cross for all
and that all who choose to, can believe - cannot be explained - it just is what it is. I am a wild child at heart and enjoy joking around....it is a constant battle to keep myself in line - but - I can't imagine God frowns upon that - I think he appreciates that about me. He made me this way, so I have to believe he did it for a purpose.
I may flounder at times - I have many times in the past and expect to in the future as well...but I have found that something inside cannot resist the Gospel...it just is what it is. I do believe that every time I struggle through a hard time - I seem to come back through stronger and better - who knows - maybe one day before I die - I will make it to that deliriously happy place - but really - knowing me - I doubt it...but I can hope