i had a conversation with someone recently about, statistically, how many christians there are in america. i really don't remember the particulars of the conversation, but i do remember becoming irritated.
most people in this country, according to statistics, identify themselves as christians. i'm not really one for drawing lines between "real" christians and "fake" christians. if such things exist, i certainly hope it's not my job to make the distinction.
what does bother me, however, is how religion is identified with almost like a nationality - something we just are, by no choice of our own. christianity is an intentional journey. it bothers me when people claim it only because they don't want to leave the religion box blank.
if i called myself a painter, simply because my parents were painters, i would not be taken seriously. if i called myself a painter because i found the art form interesting, i would not be taken seriously. if i called myself a painter because, even though i wasn't really into art, if i were, it would be painting, i would not be taken seriously. why, then, when people give these reasons for calling themselves christians, is it often taken seriously?
i can only imagine that i'm not the only person who feels this way about their faith. any time that a person claims to be something that comes at a cost they haven't paid (for instance, learning to paint), someone will probably be slightly irritated, at least. i'm not really talking about seekers, or people unsure, but taking steps to find truth. i'm talking about people who have no interest in incorporating the spiritual into their everyday lives, but enjoy the christian label for it's let's-fit-in benefits. we're not supposed to fit in.
i'm not sure about how much i have sounded like a brat, whining about something that's not really important, but i urge you to let me know.