ChurchFrom The Grio — “You’re a Christian, right?” a friend asked me recently.

Years ago, I would have given a knee-jerk, “Of course!” However these days, I find myself offering a long explanation, one that lays out my internal conflict with claiming Christianity without sounding like Judas.

I believe in God, pray multiple times daily — for myself and others, and the world at large. I read The Bible occasionally. I work out to a various selection of gospel songs, mostly classics that I was raised listening to or sang—a long time ago — in a church choir. I actually think, “what would Jesus do?” when I debate doing something that I have no business doing. I actively try to correct negative on-goings in my head, because I honestly believe God knows my thoughts. But I intentionally don’t go to church anymore and I’ve actively stopped referring to myself as a “Christian.”

Somewhere along the way, it seems that to some — certainly not all — Christians being Christian became synonymous with being perfect. Last week, Real Housewives of Atlanta co-star Kandi Burruss released her first gospel single, “Stay Prayed Up” featuring gospel great Marvin Sapp and was swiftly derided by other Christians for what they deemed her un-Christian-like ways, including a sex toy business, a racy radio show and speaking openly about having sex with her live-in fiancé. “I knew when I decided to do it that I would be criticized,” Burruss wrote on Instagram. “I believe in God but I have always struggled with the rules of the church, just like a lot of people.”

That same week, NBA player Dwight Howard, also a self-described Christian, took a few verbal jabs for declaring he wanted to “raise the name of God within the league and throughout the world.” Howard isrumored to have as many as five children out-of-wedlock by as many women. Tracey Edmonds, who was once accused of being a mistress of ex- NFL star Deon Saunders (an allegation she swiftly denied), also raised a few eyebrows when she recently announced she would launch a TV network “with Christian values.”

(Continue Reading @ The Grio…)

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  • Crystal

    Religion is about rules, structure, and order, but essentially one believes in God thru relationship. The religion was created to explain the aspects and give structure for man(gender-neutral). Religion can even begin to define God in all of who He is only relationship with God can do that.

    • camille

      Religion is not just about rules, structure, and order. It is also about belief and affirmation. The fundamental difference between Christianity and any other religion, monotheistic or otherwise, is that a Christian believes that Jesus was/is divine. If you believe this, you are a Christian, if you don’t you’re not. There is no grey area here

  • JoMama

    There is a saying that goes “Every saint has a past, every sinner has a future.” If people read the lives of the saints and I mean the saints from back in the early days of the Church, they’d realize many of them were far from perfect! St Mary of Egypt was what we would consider a sex addict. St Augustine lived with a concubine and fathered two children with her. The Apostle Paul was responsible for the deaths of several Christians prior to his conversion on the road to Damascus. God doesn’t want us “perfect.” If we were perfect already, we’d have no need of a Lord and Savior. We come to him as we are: broken and in need of salvation. That is the Christian message, that without Christ we cannot make it on our own. It’s His being willing to come to us as human to suffer, die, and conquer Hell and the grave and then resurrect in glory that gives us that hope of eternal life. There are good things (as well as bad) about religion but at the foundation is the unconditional Love that God has for us and his willingness to meet up halfway…and accept us and save us.