Why I am not a Christian.

In Pakistan the third question new people generally ask after meeting you is, “What is your religion?” In the beginning I would tell everyone I was a Christian. But I quickly found out that this wasn’t the best way to describe what I am. In Pakistan Christians have the (mostly earned) reputation for being drunks, swindlers and promiscuous. I can remember walking into a video store and, once the owner found out I was a Christian, being offered porn.  Something was wrong.

So I stopped saying I was a Christian and started saying that I followed Jesus.  Same thing, right?

Maybe not.

In forcing myself to use different words to describe myself I found that my brain started noticing subtle differences between following Jesus and following Christianity.  Or maybe, to be a little more fair, a difference between the brand of Christianity that was given to me and following Jesus.

  • The cry of Christianity is, “Obey!”  The cry of Jesus is, “Love!”
  • Christianity says, “Hold these opinions, never let them go.”  Jesus says, “Hold these people, never let them go.”
  • Christianity’s enemies are silly little things like movies, books,and people.  Jesus’ enemies are serious things like sin, poverty, sickness and death.
  • Christianity has destroyed the lives of many.  Jesus only fixes lives.
  • Christianity helps Christians.  Jesus helps everyone.
  • Christianity offers you religious satisfaction.  Jesus offers you your heart’s desire.
  • Christianity accepts you when you start looking good and helps you to look better.  Jesus accepts you at your worst and makes you really better.
  • Christianity fills your life with religious rituals.  Jesus fills your life with the omnipotent power of himself.
  • Christianity makes excuses.  Jesus makes change.
  • Jesus suffers the little children.  The children of Christianity suffer.
  • Christianity limits your options.  Jesus gives you options.
  • Christianity damns.  Jesus saves.
  • Christianity commands you to defend it.  Jesus defends you.
Jaded?  Maybe.  But there is a time and a place to be jaded.  Am I a Christian?  That depends on what you mean.  The word is so vague that I see no need to cling to it anymore.  So I follow Jesus.  Because following a living God is always better than following a religion.

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