Last night, an earthquake struck my house. I was in a rather heated, frustrating exchange

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Last night, an earthquake struck my house. I was in a rather heated, frustrating exchange with a fundamentalist who has been looking for a reason -- any reason -- to declare that I am not a "true Christian". The earthquake happened when he made a comment that was worthy of serious contemplation. He said that in his observation, there was not a single Christian that I liked. While that is not entirely true, I have to admit that the overwhelming majority of those who publically state their Christianity behave in ways that grate on my nerves -- by assuming that they have special status worthy of respect, by assuming that they, and they alone, are going to be able with a few short words, to bring a nonbeliever to Christ, and by assuming that they are so RIGHT that they can decide and tell me that I am "wrong" in my views (and hinting ominously of dark and terrible things that await if I don't fall into lock step behind them). Now, in any other situation, there would be no difficulty -- if I dislike the majority of the group with which I am affiliated, the only honest and sensible thing to do is to leave the group. Suddenly, as I mulled over last night's exchange, it became apparent that I have been sliding into a situation where I am every bit as big a joke as Grigor-Scott or Prewett, because like them, I have made the assumption that I have a claim to the word Christian, in spite of overwhelming evidence that my views do not co-incide with the majority, or even with any significant minority. It seems gross absurdity to be be told repeatedly that what I believe is not "correct" Christian theology, and to still insist on any claim to the title. I believe those who have told me this are sadly mistaken in their idea of what Christ would have us do in return for His prescence in our lives, but I can no longer argue whether or not their being mistaken entitles them to the word "Christian." They have the numbers on their side, and it is obviously I who have been mistaken in what is involved in membership within the Christian Body. To stay places the Body in jeopardy, or so I have been told, countlessly, by those who would say that if I MUST hold divergent views, I should at the least keep silent about them out of loyalty to the faithful. I cannot do that -- I do not suffer hypocrisy lightly, even less when I am the author of it. If the only way to avoid damaging those who are Christians is to cease to be one, or cease to be me, then I must choose the former. I believe it is what God would have me do, rather than wear His Son's name falsely. I have given considerable thought to this, and what it means for me. Last night was simply the last straw on the back of a camel that has grown increasingly overburdened for the last few weeks. I am not sure that it means anything in regard to what I believe -- and what I don't believe. But it does mean no longer belonging to that arena of Christian life that is corporate, and that is something that I have considered important to my expression of my faith. I read Kevin McKenzie's account of his drop from the faith, and was grieved to read that he felt no response. I have felt what I believe to be God's response to this decision -- the same response he has always given -- "I gave you a mind, Lynda. Think it out carefully. What do YOU think you should do?" I can only say that I am doing this soberly, and that it is in God's hands to decide whether or not He will accept my decision or not. Either way, I have to choose what I think is best for all concerned. I expect there will be those here who will crow that they KNEW I wasn't a True Christian, and be very relieved not to have to deal with me on their "team". There will also be those who read this with sorrow (Al, I am deeply sorry for that). There will be some who claim it as a "kill" and perhaps do a little victory dance, and I hope there will be a few who realize that while this is no occasion for rejoicing, it is not the end of the world, either. And of course there will be many who simply don't care. At any rate, I don't think this will make much difference in the quality or style of my posts, or in what issues catch my attention. I hope it will not change anything in regards to who I consider friend. But I have tried where possible to be honest, even in this echo where honesty is a landmine for the unwary, and I cannot in good conscience be pointed to as an example of Christianity, when Christianity has made it so clear that it does not want my kind within its ranks.

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