Coming out as a Christian
I am sure this is no big deal if you have grown up in the church, but yesterday I admitted I was Christian to some people. Hah! Noticed admitted there – how funny!
There was a meeting at the exhibition space, figuring out some logistics and we were having a chat and I invited the artists to come and read poetry at the event I was hosting. I added it was in a church, and one declared that he couldn’t step foot in a church. Which made me laugh as I used to say the same.
I said he would be more than welcome, and we ended up having a conversation around religion, and he was talking about Paganism (although he had misunderstood it), and I said that I had trained to be a minister in prison for Paganism, but now I was a Christian.
That felt really…good. I don’t like preaching or trying to convert people, but I do want to say I am a Christian, when it is relevant and appropriate, which in this case it was. One of the reasons that I took such a very long time to come around to being a Christian was the vast amount of mean people who are Christians and seem to use it as a reason to judge and hate people. Not to mention the outright bigots.
I’ve taken to calling myself a reluctant, heretical Christian, because I am not comfortable with the church’s history, and I don’t hold with a lot of the doctrine, most of which is based around things created by the early church as a way to hold power over people. And of course heretical means freethinking, able to choose and rejecting doctrine.
But, Jesus’ message is undeniable to me and I want to plant seeds in people’s minds, that there are people like me who are Christian. Creative, messed up, broken, with physical and mental disabilities, those who’s faith is not a rock certainty with which to bash people, but a stream fed by living waters.
If, in the future, they hear some more about Christianity, they want to find out more, they may remember me, someone who was creating art like them, who had mental health issues, like them and who was a bit alternative like them. Then they may be a little more open to the message, and not have to fight so hard against it for so long.