I have been outed. Some readers of my books and these daily ramblings have somehow discovered that I am, deep breath, a conservative Evangelical Christian. A blog called Disaster Area reviewed When Bad Christians Happen to Good People. A couple of things he said cracked me up. First of all, he says the book is by “a guy called Dave Burchett.” That also happens to be my name so that may well be the reason I am called Dave Burchett. Secondly, he oddly states that I am “apparently an Emmy winner in sports broadcasting.” Apparently? But the biggest revelation against a guy called Dave Burchett who has apparenlty written this book is this breaking news. (emphasis is his) ”However, it becomes clear about halfway through the book that by Christians he means North American Fundamentalist Evangelical Christians.” I guess they are on to me. Feedback to my post about Richard Dawkins noted the following with this quote which I have reproduced exactly as it appeared. ”The article also trys to make Dawkins look bad (I’d guess because the author is religious motivated).” Busted! I should have known they would figure out that a website called “Confessions of a Bad Christian” is, in fact, a Christian site. How did I think I would get away with this?
When I became aware that word of my Evangelical Christianity was out I went to the secret underground bunker where we all meet to plan how to advance our agenda.
“I have been Valerie Plumed!” I told the group.
“They know?”, they asked.
“I’m afraid so. Should I come clean?”
They looked horrified. “You mean tell them your agenda?”
“Yes,” I said boldly. “I am going to lay out my entire agenda so there will be no doubt.”
So here it is. I certainly don’t speak for all Evangelical Christians but I think I just might represent a number of them. So here is what I believe and my entire agenda.
I believe that there is one God, eternally existent in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. I believe the Bible is the inspired and authoritative Word of God. I believe in the deity of Jesus Christ, in His virgin birth, His sinless life, and miracles. I believe in His atoning death, in His bodily resurrection, in His ascension to the right hand of the Father, and in His personal return in power and glory. I believe in the present ministry of the Holy Spirit by whose indwelling the Christian is enabled to live a godly life.
Let me tell you what this particular evangelical Christian does not believe…
I do not believe you have to be a Republican to be a Christian despited accusations to the contrary by some of my critics. Like it or not, heaven will be bipartisan and I am totally fine that there will not be sides of the golden aisles.
I do not believe that God is “judging” America for any particular sin. But if He is judging this country I would suspect it is for the massive squandering of wealth and resources that we have been blessed with while giving back an average of less than three percent.
I do not believe in ranking sins for their offensiveness to a Holy God. Some things are more offensive to us but all sin is equally intolerable to a Holy God.
I do not believe that censorship, boycotts, or politics will redeem this culture…only a spiritual renewal can accomplish such redemption.
I do not believe that it is my place to relish or desire eternal punishment for others. I am willing to leave that to a righteous and just God who sees the real heart and motives for each one of us and Who will judge justly.
And finally, here is my complete agenda.
To try and see everyone through the eyes of Jesus because my eyes are prejudiced and prideful.
To try and love them like Jesus because my love is selfish.
To let them others know that my relationship with Jesus has changed my life, given my life purpose, given me strength to endure tragedy, and real hope for the future.
To authentically relate how this personal relationship with the living God saved my marriage and made me a better father to my sons.
To be gentle in relating the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ to people in every situation and mired in any sin. My goal is to introduce them to Jesus and let them work out their salvation in fear and trembling.
To exhibit grace and forgiveness to those who attack me for not sharing their views.
To be an example of the living Christ to everyone I come in contact so that I can be salt and light to my little circle of influence.
To be a advocate for those wounded by the church and other Christians. Our lack of unity must grieve the Lord who prayed for unity of the body during His final agonizining hours before His betrayal, mock trial, and crucifixion.
To try to never be surprised or repulsed by the actions of those who do not have a relationship with Jesus. The Lord Himself was always gentle with sinners and always tough on religious hypocrites. We have reversed his example far too often. We are too tough on sinners and too gentle with the hypocrites.
To try and give generously of my time and treasure to those who have not been as materially blessed in my neighborhood, my country, and around the world.
To let people know that I love Jesus and I am not at all ashamed of that fact.
In short, I am praying to be a “troublesome” Christian. It is easy to dismiss the hypocrite. No problem to ignore the angry and judgmental religious types. But I was troubled when I saw some Christians who displayed something different in their lives. I could not dismiss so readily the joy, peace, strength, courage, and love they modeled. They were “troublesome” Christians to me. I could not ignore them because their lives were authentic and different (different good, not weird). I want to be that kind of Christian. That is my agenda. Sorry if I have disappointed you conspiracy types. But I have come completely clean with you. My entire agenda is to be a “troublesome” Christian because Jesus is transforming my life every day. There…I feel better. I am glad you finally know the truth.