After writing my last blog a few nights ago I realize now there should have been at least seven categories rather than six.
This added category is the spiritually complacent, lukewarm, couldn't care less, willfully sinning and have no desire nor willingness to surrender that sin - Christian. Now - some may actually call those that fit in this category non-Christians (they were never really saved to begin with). I choose not to do that because that's up to God to decide and really only He knows. I know Jesus said we will know other believers by their fruit and so in a way you can make a judgment based on the way someone lives their lives as to whether they are a believer or not; however, that being said... I, like many other Christians willfully chose to walk away from the Lord when I was in college. Over the next fifteen years I made a series of terrible decisions that took me step by step away from God. In all those years though I never forgot my faith. I felt the Holy Spirit telling me what was right versus wrong and I ignored His voice. I felt the guilt associated with bad choices. I felt the consequences of bad choices. Nothing I accomplished, no matter the amount of money I made nor the position I rose to made any difference whatsoever. I remember feeling content and loved and knowing I had purpose back in High School. All of that I attributed to having a real relationship with Jesus - the, "I can hear His voice speaking directly into my life every day relationship" and I desperately wanted to feel that way again. I had an insatiable thirst for something that I thought the world could fill and I was miserable.
I don't want to state that too subtly because it's the reason I can tell you that I'm a Christian today. I inwardly LONGED to be in relationship with Christ again. Every day. I had however no clue whether that was possible and given every bad decision I had made - believed it was genuinely not going to happen. Some people say, "oh what a difference Christ made in my life when I became a Christian" and that may be true for some but there are others, like myself who grew up in Christian homes, were taught right from wrong very early on, were involved with everything in the church from the moment they could walk or speak and loved Jesus as a child. Then they gave their lives to the Lord and at some point later, walked away from their faith.
Why? Who knows really. For every person it's different I think.
I started to walk away from Jesus because I didn't like the legalism of the Christian University I was attending and thought that wasn't what Christianity was about. I still don't; however, Satan used those feelings, a guy I thought was cute that was a non-Christian, a church that was too big and very impersonal and a fellow believer who did her best to quench the fire within me to lead me down a path that I didn't even recognize was taking me away from Christ until I was so far away I couldn't find my way back if I tried. Fifteen years I was away.
I'm not a Christian because logically it made sense to me - although logically it does. I'm not a Christian because my parents and sisters are. I am a Christian and a follower of Jesus Christ because of all the things I've pursued in the world, this is the one thing that challenges me, satisfies me, grips me. It gives me purpose and meaning. It helps me, comforts me and encourages me. It convincts and hopefully changes me. It gives me hope that this world is not all there is. It makes sense to me on every level - mind, heart, soul. Do I have all my questions answered? No but Christianity does offer solid answers to the primary questions of life and that is something I've not found to any satisfaction anywhere else.