I guess you could say I’m a cradle Christian…
Baptized shortly after birth, I was ‘saved’ at age 3, the first of many desperate attempts at the Sinner’s Prayer in hopes of keeping my already-building sense of guilt at bay.
By 3rd grade, I had carried my whole church team to an AWANA Bible quiz gold medal. 25 years later, those verses still cling to me, as if tattooed upon my heart. Which is why I choose to stay the Christian path…inspite of how much pain the strictly religious version of it has caused me over the course of my life.
A decade after departing from a fundamentalist church culture that saw the world as separated by ‘godly’ and ‘ungodly’, I found my niche in Lutheran theology. Martin Luther’s “Simul justus et peccator”, we are both sinner and saint, made so much sense to me. However, my experience in this church was on par with all those before it. I left Seminary (er, was chased out by pitchfork wielding Lutherans) with an even greater sense of my own spiritual awkwardness.
How is it that I cannot find much evidence of the Christ I know and love within the various denominations that bear His name?
Anyway, I’m content to say to hell with the institutional church. The way I see it, if sainthood and godliness is supposed to look like what so many practicing Christians in America believe it to be, I’d much rather be lumped in with the rest of the sinners and ungodly ones.
Besides, as the ungodly woman, I have unfailing confidence that Christ is for me. Even, and especially, when His people are not.
“For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.”
Romans 5:6 (NRSV)