I believe that Jesus Christ is the son of the living God. I believe that he came to earth and lived a perfect life… He died after being nailed to a brutal cross, was buried in a tomb for 3 days, and then was raised from the dead to live forever in heaven.
That may be a weird way to start a new post but please, stay with me. While the previous statement is indeed a brief view of my faith, it is statement that I would much rather work my way up to as I get to know people, not something that I feel the need to broadcast on the back of my car.
Recently, The State of South Carolina started taking orders for a new license plate that includes the statement, “I Believe”. I don’t know which part I have a bigger issue with… the “I Believe” part, or the cheesy golden cross in front of the cheesy stained glass window. (side note: The court system has just determined that the plates are unconstitutional, or something… so they aren’t going to make them available now) Is this really an effective way of evangelizing the world? I simply don’t think so. To me, this just becomes another way that well-meaning Christians isolate themselves from those who don’t believe. I feel the same way about many of the t-shirts that attempt to mimic popular logos or sayings, but churches them up… again, it seems a way for the bearer to say, “You and I are different”.
When I am with the Gentiles who do not follow the Jewish law, I too live apart from that law so I can bring them to Christ. But I do not ignore the law of God; I obey the law of Christ. When I am with those who are weak, I share their weakness, for I want to bring the weak to Christ. Yes, I try to find common ground with everyone, doing everything I can to save some. I do everything to spread the Good News and share in its blessings. 1 Corinthians 9:21-23 (NLT)
I’ve come to understand that my faith is something that I must live much louder than I must say. When I invest myself in a relationship with some one, I earn the right to share my faith with them. In all of my years around churches, I have never met a single person who claimed to profess a belief in Jesus because of something they saw on a t-shirt or bumper sticker. However, I have met countless people who came to a place of personal faith in Christ after some one they know and respected showed them that Jesus is real.
I want to be all things to all people, like the apostle Paul said he was. I don’t ever want to be perceived as some one who is out of touch or irrelevant because of the tenants of my beliefs. My faith in Christ doesn’t mean that I have mastered anything in this crazy life… it just means that I know who will walk me through the craziness… and I want others to know that they have the same access that I do to the God who walks with me. Who is better at telling them that: me or my license plate?