Admittedly, I’m what some might call a progressive when it comes to theology.Â That’s partly from my experiences growing up in the Christian subculture and being overwhelmed from a young age with all of the niceties of Christians. In my view, this type of Christianity robs our faith of much of what it means to be human: the rawness, the brokenness, and the questions. But it is these things which also create the mystery and the beauty.
SoÂ to my fellow Christians reading this (and to those who aren’t but are looking to listen in and be entertained for a moment), allow me to encourage your faith today by unsettling it just a bit. You may be wondering what the title of this blog post refers to given my setup thus far. What could words like “crudest” and “rudest” possibly have to do with Christianity? They actually come from a commentary I read on Galatians 5:12. In case you don’t have that verse memorized (which I’m willing to bet you don’t), here’s what it says:
“I wish those who unsettle you would castrate themselves!” NRSV
According to George T. Longenecker, this verse is â€œthe crudest and rudest of all Paulâ€™s… statements.â€ You remember Paul right? I think we can agree he’s on pretty solid ground in the faith. Yet this is how he chose to make a point. And it’s in the Bible! Some other versions are even more entertaining. One says:Â â€œTell those who are disturbing you I would like to see the knife slip.â€
I encourage you to let this be a reminder to you that you need not pretend to be someone you’re not. Faith in Christ doesn’t neutralize your humanity, it actually makes you more human. You don’t cease to get angry, you don’t cease to feel emotions, you don’t cease to be all the things that make up our experiences as part of humanity. And let’s agree the world already has enough cookie-cutter Christians who appear so plastic they may break.
“Faith in Christ doesn’t neutralize your humanity, it actually makes you more human.”Click to tweet
So live fully today. Be the fullest you with the fullness of Christ inside you. Yes, it should look different than a person who doesn’t have the Spirit of Christ inside them. But if it looks like Barbie or Ken, you have a bigger problem. You are officially free to stop pretending.