My faith gets me into trouble with those around me. By my faith, I mean what I believe with my heart, what compels me and moves me to action in life.
I used to have a shallow faith, a follower faith. I bought into what others had taught me and was very conservative in my faith and ideals of life. Life was pretty black and white. You fit into one camp or another, you were right or wrong. However, this kind of faith failed me. It didn’t meet the challenges of real life. It made cool bumper stickers, catchy sermon phrases but when it came to standing up to the harsh realities of life it failed miserably. It could not allow questions or embrace not having all the answers. It reduced life of faith to formulas and disagreement was not allowed without being demonized.
I know and love so many who still live in that kind of faith. They are loud and clear about how others should live, who they should love and yet their own life is without true victory or joy. They too still struggle with challenges of life and yet cling to an obsolete non-working kind of faith.
My present faith gets me into trouble because it propels me forward out of the old box of faith into the doubts, unknown and unclear areas of life. It ignores the black and white and launches into the gray, without regard for comfort, clarity or tradition. It embraces the unloved, outcast, unworthy and misfits in the face of and in spite of the self-righteous. It speaks to injustice, even when the injustice is embraced by the biggest Christian celebrity. It refuses to accept, settle for or be quiet about issues and causes the powers that be great discomfort and anger. It gives voice to the unheard and lifts up the voice of Love!
There is an easier way. Many are those who do not agree with my faith or believe that I can have a faith, as a gay man. But they are too late to make me doubt the Love and acceptance of my Savior. Ive tried their brand of belief, it failed me, it left me on the outside with nowhere to go. But there in the outside, in the margins, in the place of not belonging, I found Faith, a real faith, a faith the broke me out of the box of failed religion. A faith that gave me real love, acceptance in a real Savior, that gave his everything for such ones as I. He gave me a faith that not enables and empowers me to press into the unknown and gray areas of life with the confidence of being beloved and accepted. I’m not perfect, nor do I have all the answers, but that is what makes this Faith and life an adventure!
This faith does get me into trouble, because it is trouble for injustice, hate and untruth!