Am I a Watered Down Christian?

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This possibility scares me beyond anything else out there! But I have had to look it in the eye. Am I? Am I someone who is not willing to stand up for their beliefs? I have thought a lot of things over lately and I am writing out a letter to the church (only a format, not really going to send a letter) about what my beliefs are and I have to ask myself. Have I watered down the gospel? Or merely misunderstood Jesus’ teachings?

I have always thought grace and love were the number one call of the Christian. Am I wrong? I have friends who are gay and I know most Christians would condemn them for being so. But I don’t. I love them. I love how accepting they are. Is this wrong of me? I have always been a fervent believer in the love the sinner hate the sin, but is this wrong? I am not the type to go from person to person handing out tracts or sharing the gospel with people.

Every friend I have – be they Christian or non-Christian – knows that I am a believer and I am a Christian, but have I fallen away? Have I misinterpreted God’s word? Have I watered down my testimony for fear of sharing the Bible with people? Have I fled discomfort and settled into a lukewarm state that will bring about no fruit?

I am scared.

Scared of the possibility that I have. Scared that I have given up on my friends.

I have always thought of the Gospel (which means Good News) preached of grace and love for one another. John 3:16 is the most quoted verse but 3:17 seems to be a better verse for our times. Most people who live in the U.S. know that Jesus came and died, but do they know why?

For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

John 3:17 (KJV)

I can’t tell you how important this verse is to me. Jesus came not to condemn us! He came to save us. My friends who are gay should I condemn them? According to this verse I shouldn’t, but according to Christianity I should. Why has Christ and Christianity differed? What is wrong with those who follow Christ? Why do they then condemn the world when the founder of their religion did not? Why do Christians not follow Christ?

I was told today by someone that they “Hate organized religion.” I have to agree with this person. I do not believe in a religion. I believe in a Savior! The Gospels don’t speak of religion. They only speak of Jesus and his teachings. 1 John 4:7&8 points this out:

Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.

1 John 4:7&8 (KJV)

Why do we then believe that we can condemn people? We even condemn each other! We condemn this Christian for being part of this denomination and that Christian for not believing in this “Biblical Principle”. What Biblical Principle allows those who are not God to condemn anyone? Just as I pointed out before in John 3:17 God doesn’t even condemn us why do we?

I am rambling now. That is all I have to say for now.

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4 thoughts on “Am I a Watered Down Christian?

  1. Could not agree more.

    We serve a Savior that, while calling us to righteousness (where we look and act more and more like him), defends those who are unrighteous against their accusers. He stood between the adulterous woman and her accusers, and finished the interaction with NEITHER DO I CONDEMN YOU…GO AND SIN NO MORE. And 1st John 2:1-2 mentions that He is our defender and advocate when we mess up.

    If someone becomes more and more like Him, then that someone well become an advocate and defender of those who are being accused.

    Awesome, awesome word, Ray.

  2. Well done. I believe it also says do not judge others for we ourselves will be judged. Not sure of book or verse. ECF – Eugene Christian Fellowship offers an ALPHA course that is awesome in exploring your walk with God. There is no pressure and is open to everyone. I went it through it last year and loved it. I am looking forward to the doing it again and going on to the betta version. It’s open to anyone that wants/has questions about God, Jesus, etc…and open to any religion or non-religious person.

  3. I’m pretty sure you’re on the right track. Generally, one’s belief system is a product of what one is taught as a child and then shaped by adult experience and examination of that original inherited belief. There are many ‘sins’ in the bible that are completely ignored by modern dogmas, and many that are given overly-weighted attention, like the subject of homosexuality. It can be difficult to navigate the social land mines of these unbalanced dogmatic structures as a modern Christian. I think you should be careful not to confuse the laudable rationality of your personal faith journey with being a “watered down” Christian. You have every right to listen to your heart. You are, after all, made in the image of God, and He whispers to your soul just as He does any other man who will listen. Love God, love your neighbor, and love yourself. The best witness of Jesus’ love you can be is letting others see that love within you. I know… sounds bizarre coming from me, but hey, I know a thing or two!

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