This one comment below is what got me the most. This person describes a real Christian to the best of anyone's ability. I hope christians read this comment and try and strive to be more like the man who this person described. I am sure the world would be in a much better place then.
I met a Christian once. Once. It was back in the '70s when I was a just a kid hitchhiking across the country through Nebraska. My friend and I climbed into someone's car, and for that particular ride, it was my turn to talk to them while my friend slept in the back seat. I saw a bible on his seat and asked him about it. I was raised as a Pentacostal Holiness Evangelical Christian that had decided pentacostalism was not for me, but I still know the writings well.
The driver told me he had a bible because he was a minister and promptly changed the subject. We talked for several hours, and he never once mentioned religion. Thinking it must be something he was itching to share, I brought it up a few times, but he wasn't really interested in discussing it. He was more interested in talking about what he was experiencing at that moment: the sky, the road, people he knew, people I knew, our histories, and so on.
He asked me if I was hungry. I was; at 17 I ate like a horse and hadn't eaten in a day or so. He stopped at a diner off the interstate and bought the three of us a huge breakfast - he ordered it himself, I think, to make sure that we didn't skimp on his generosity. Harry and I wolfed ours down. We finished long before he did, but as soon as we were done he called over the waitress. He told her to bring us each another complete breakfast because it was clear to him that we were still hungry. And she did.
He never did talk about God, Jesus, getting saved, heaven, sin, or any of the other things that most of us associate with Christians. He dropped us off with a smile and a wave, and off he went. I never saw him again.
I've never forgotten him although I don't even remember his name. I've bought meals for dozens of people in his honor. After being raised under a Christian roof, I finally met one. He was completely non-judgemental. He saw my need and filled it without asking for anything in return - he didn't even ask us to pray with him before the meal. There was no preaching, and I don't think there was any agenda of 'if I treat them right they will come to Jesus'. I think he was filled with love, and sharing his love was just what he did. He didn't do it because he was supposed to; he did it because he was filled with love for his fellow man and that's how you treat people you love.
If I had to put a meaning to it, I would say that he believed that it was God's job to take care of the insides of people, the soul, and it was his job to take care of the outsides of people: the person. He never set foot in God's territory.
What does this have to do with Ted Haggard? Very little. I don't think you are a Christian just because you say you are. I think you are a Christian when the love of Christ comes billowing out of you without usurping God's part of taking care of the insides: the soul. When you do that, you aren't a Christian - you're trying to be God. Ted Haggard wasn't a Christian in my view, but then, very few people are. Christianity, or any religion, should be a program of attraction rather than promotion.
I don't hate Haggard. I don't relish his pain or pity him. He is what he is, and I'll leave judgement to God. I'll continue to give to those that are hungry and need help whether they are Christian, Islamic, gay, Iraqi, or have just reaped what they have sown. I'll keep trying to do the best I can with what I've got.
Posted By: YosemiteSam514 | November 08 2006 at 08:56 AM