So there are couple of times I’ve talked about Christian Identity and I’ve mentioned Identity in Christ before. But last night, in the midst of a discussion involving smores, el chupacabra, and the sacrifices that Marines make overseas, a guest to our bible study made a comment that has really stuck with me… actually he said a lot of comments that stuck with me and I can’t remember them all but I can remember the spirit behind them which went something like this. “I can either enjoy my life, or live the way the church tells me to.” The unspoken implication being that the church wants us to be miserable.
Now I’m going to give you my response to this comment in a moment, but first I want to provide you with a bit of context for this conversation because my first reaction was anger. Amazingly enough I wasn’t angry at this guy for completely taking my bible study off track, because it allowed me to take the conversation where I wanted it to go. I was actually angry at the people who had so horribly ruined this man’s opinion of what God wants for him. I was angry at the people who had told him to live his way in such and such a way that there was no joy in it. To quote Graham Cooke: “If the continual expression of joy on your face appears as though you’ve been baptized in prune juice, you might be a Pharisee.”
My second reaction was sadness. I know for a fact that this man (let’s call him R) has suffered (R talks a lot) and I know for a fact that the Body of Christ hasn’t really done all that much to help him out. It pains me to think that he is convinced that God and His Church don’t talk to each other, and it pains me even more that R has the experience to back up that belief.
So I don’t know if I responded out of compassion or anger but here’s what I said.
“R. First of all, I’m so glad I don’t go to the church that taught you that stuff, man that just sucks. Second you’re base premise isn’t quite right. I’m not saying that there are two ways to live your life I agree with that part, but living a life in an identity with Christ includes all the good things of living for yourself and makes them better.”
(insert brief side discussion about difference between sin and just being stupid)
“But seriously R, take me for example. Two years ago I was living in an identity that was incomplete that I was trying to build for myself. That identity does not allow me to be here having this discussion with you. However, my identity in Christ, that I am a new creation because of Him, that I am a beloved son and heir, that I am a teacher, a friend, (and hopefully a father before too too long) that identity allows me to live a wonderful and abundant life. I can get rid of the good, and pick up the best.”
How about it? Any stories of when the good life was an enemy to the best? I need some more ammo to bring to next week’s meeting. =)