I was thinking…about my Christian faith

Have you ever wondered if your faith makes a difference? Or to put it another way, would you be a different person if you had no faith?

In today’s world, being “faithful” or “radical” are too often equated with death and destruction.
Think of all the things that have been done in God’s name.

The crusades.

The inquisition.

Segregation.

Last year I was in Belfast, Northern Ireland. There are 40-foot walls dividing neighborhoods, keeping Catholics and Protestants separated. These walls still stand, years after the “trouble” officially ended. They read the same Bible and pray to the same God, but cannot get along with each other.

In Northern Ireland, the divisions are obvious, but division happens here as well. We quickly divide over conservative and liberal ideologies. Religion is too often a sword that divides people into these camps.

Is it possible for our faith to be transforming and healing? Can my Christian faith be a unifying force?

I want a faith that brings people together. I am tired of defining myself by my “distinctives,” the things that make me different.

I do not want to deny unique qualities and individuality. I like the things that make me, me.

But can our belief in a creator God allow for difference? If difference is OK, can we learn to celebrate and enjoy variety?

Only when we can find the courage to do this, then our faith can truly be radical.