Saturday, December 10, 2011

Are we embarrassed to be Christian?

You may have noticed that I frequently mention a person's name and then say "not his real name".  I also am not using my real name when I author these blog posts.  I'm really a Bill, but not Bill Schaef.  Why?  Am I ashamed to be a Christian? 

Everyone's reason is different, but I'm going to try to be frank about it.  There are two main reasons. 
1.   I want to be able to write about what's really going on for me.  For me, I feel more free to be direct and frank when I don't think there will be negative repercussions.  It may be that I will change my mind at some time in the future about that, but for now, I use it as a crutch to allow my thoughts to come out with more realness.
2.   I'm fairly new to the world of sharing info about myself on the internet, and have heard some stories about how you can never retrieve something you've said on the internet. So I'm taking a cautious stance.

What about the people I write about?  Why are so many of them unwilling to let me use their real names?  Does this mean these people are not real, and they are all just made up?

They are all real people.  They are all real stories.

Take Carol, the leader of my Bible Study (search her name here).  At first she didn't want to use her real name because if a person at her son's high school were to read this blog, they'd see that she revealed that the mother of the girl she's letting live in her house is a long-time drug addict, and Carol doesn't want to reveal that info the general public, despite how awful the mother has treated her own daughter. Later, she said it was OK for me to use her real first name.

Take Mick.  In order to tell his God story here, he had to admit that he was engaged in an activity that would separate him from God.  If he used his real name, his relatives might speculate on what that activity was, and it would of course cause some concern or discomfort.

Take Charlie, the man who was helped by Christ to accept foreigners who were "taking" American jobs.  That's the kind of thought it's not PC to admit to having. 

Take John, who spoke about a lustful dream and his reaction to it.  That's a grown man.  Would you really expect him to give his real name? 

Sometimes Jesus works in the parts of our lives we don't want to admit we even have.  Being anonymous gives us more comfort to discuss those parts of our lives, and to give Christ the credit for it.

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