Something fantastic happened this week. It really gave me more peace of mind.
Someone asked me, who have been a Christian for 25 years now, if I am a Christian.
But wait. That is not the fantastic thing. It is only the first sentence of the story. I will get around to the fantastic part just now.
I was always shaken to have my Christianity questioned. Am I a bad witness? Am I a terrible representative of the image of Christ? (In a sense, the answer is “yes.” We are all rather bad at representing Christ.) Do I fail so badly that it is justified to doubt my Christianity? Edward K. Rowell was probably not completely wrong when he said:
If one man calls you a donkey, pay him no mind. If two men call you a donkey, look for hoofprints. If three call you a donkey, get a saddle.
And this have happened more than three times in my life: People who say they are Christians sometimes doubt my Christianity, based on me disagreeing with them on something. Nothing in the Nicene Creed, mind you. It is always something about how I think some form of human authority – whether it is pastors, government, or husbands – should be treated. My views tend to be somewhat more wary of one-sided human authority than those who question my Christianity.
So on Monday, I was explaining submission in the light of Jesus, answering someone with how I understand the premise of wives submitting as to Christ:
We should submit to Jesus because he loved us first and showed it even on the cross. Our submission to Jesus is totally dependent on/ because of the love of Jesus. To submit to selfish or foolish ideas of a husband is to submit “as to satan” and not “as to Christ” – who loved us first.
To which a character by the handle of Anne answered:
Are you a Christian and are you married?
This time, a light went on in my head. I was explaining Jesus and what he did on the cross. I talked of how we respond to Jesus who loved us first. I was explaining things in the light of responding to the cross and the love of Jesus – and I got asked if I am a Christian. It is theoretically possible that I could be applying the cross/ love of Jesus to the situation in a wrong way, but that will be lack of wisdom, not lack of belief in Jesus.
If my opponents cannot see Christianity in the words I used there, perhaps it is their faith, not mine, which is suspect. But would I get confirmation from another source that those who doubt my Christianity can be ignored?
Two days later, I got e-mail notification of a reply on a comment I made long ago. My comment was on an article discussing whether women could preach. (Take a guess on whether I spoke for or against the idea!) In my comment, I spoke of equality in Christ (Gal. 3:28), and both genders being created to rule (Gen. 1:26-28).
To which this new commenter, David West, said:
You are pathetically grasping at straws. The Bible is quite clear on this issue, but you cannot accept that.
Go ahead and try to usurp God’s will.
This guy who now tell me I am outside the will of God can seemingingly not even formulate a thought: “Usurping God’s will” is not a thing. Usurping is taking illegally; supplanting. If I take God’s will and make it mine (which certainly is not what he accused me of, anyway), I am not usurping. God wants me to make His will my will too.
Grasping at straws? This is the last straw: I will not doubt my relationship with Christ, ever, again, because people dislike my views on human authority or gender castes.