I am a Christian. Denominationally, I am a Southern Baptist.
Phew. I feel better getting that out there in the open. You're all free now to scoff at will, if that's what you'd like to do.
There's a common theme in "religion" these days. It's something to effect of this: You can think what you want to think, and I can believe what I want to believe...but let's just not bother each other with the details. And let's really not try to convince each other that what we believe is "right." Because there are no absolutes. And for all we know there might be lots of ways to get to the top of that mountain of faith. We're all probably right in some respects and wrong in others, so let's just accept the diluted, non-committal beliefs that allow us to continue living our lives the way we so please by adapting our beliefs to our passing fancies. Peace, love, happiness, yada, yada, yada.
Okay, maybe I got off on a tangent there...
The thing about my particular brand of theology is that it's not "a religion." It's a relationship. It's knowing the Will of God by spending time in His Word and believing in the totality and accuracy of the Bible. It's accepting the Truth that I am a sinner and I need grace and the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross to be redeemed. It is an assertion of the absolute sovereignty of God. It's a call to accept the helpful counsel of the Holy Spirit every single day to turn from my sin and live in accordance with God's Will. Because I cannot do it by myself. Furthermore, it's receiving the great commission in which Jesus spoke the words:
All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age. (Matthew 28:18-20)Sharing your relationship with Christ is not just a command, it's a compulsion. If you had something that changed your life for the better, wouldn't you want everyone to know about it too?
Being a Christian isn't about being "right." Being an evangelical isn't about impressing anything on others. If that were the case, wouldn't God have created us without free will? To worship Him on His command? I bet that would be really fulfilling for Him... In the same way, strong-arming someone into "believing" in Jesus isn't what Christianity is about. It's about having a life-changing, heart-altering relationship with the only Person who ever lived with the ability to save us from ourselves. When a Christian shares their faith with you, it's not because they are being condescending, close-minded, or judgmental, it means they care enough about you to let you know what's changed them. (Feel free to read this older post on those "so-called Christians" if you'd like.)
And that's Jesus...who is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8). Amen to that in this fickle, mixed-up world of ours.
I won't apologize for telling you what I believe. I won't be shamed into thinking that I am part of a close-minded hate group. That's not what Jesus is about.
And that's all I have to say about that.