Are you, Rod Smith, a Christian or not?

by Rod Smith

Says it all......

I love the Body of Christ – I think. I’ve had mail from real Christians who have decided I have a one-way ticket to hell.

“How can you believe in women in leadership and Jesus? Read the Bible you idiot,” says a letter. “You will fry,” says another, “if you keep being so liberal, you will fry in Hell.”

Nice. How loving. Can you smell the sweet fragrance of grace?

It gets worse. Much worse. But, I think I’ll leave it at that.

Flip through my Email and it is: “I just can’t read you anymore. I feel like you are too preachy. When are you going to understand the separation of Church and State?” and “I don’t buy the newspaper to be evangelized.”

I guess I’m doing something.

Some Christians, and those who claim no Christian alliance, are equally reactive and often over the same piece of writing.

The truth is I am a Christian. Despite the invasive, intrusive efforts of many “evangelists” (I think of them as “meddlers”) throughout my childhood, I did see the love of God expressed through the Life of Jesus. I’ve seen the power of a Jesus-centered life. I have tasted, although I admit in a limited manner, the pain of following the most controversial, radical Person in History.

My life with my children is as direct a Divine Intervention as I have ever witnessed anywhere. I hope you will continue to read my work – even if I get sidetracked into other matters.

And, yes, I will continue to embrace people who are very different from me, despite what many real Christians try to tell me. I must follow Jesus and not those who claim Him for their often conservative, often very hateful, causes.

Oh yes. I remember one Saturday I got two special responses: a death threat from a reader who also said he’d hoped I’d get “sh-t-canned” from the paper (I’d written about how to identify men who are prone to domestic violence) and, flowers. They were sitting on my front steps with an anonymous note saying simply “Thanks” – both were in response to the same column.

2 Comments to “Are you, Rod Smith, a Christian or not?”

  1. Seems to me Jesus was the sort who associated heavily with and loved sinners while the religious of his day, he heavily challenged, ignored or even condemned – yet his grace was for them too! While I wish no one to hell, I think people who are so busy judging the spiritual walks of others must already be in a hell of their own thinking. Unfortunately many are not as strong as you are Rod, and some of them take the condemnation of mere mortals to heart and self-destruct – even to the point of suicide. If there is justice in the end, I hope they see their error and nonetheless make it home to where Perfect Love dwells.

    The Master went after the one lost sheep… healed the sinners without their earning it… spoke to and lifted up the women in his life despite the society’s values in which he lived, defied the rules of the religious of his day and finally died to pay an humanly un-payable debt for all humanity. I dunno, seems like you are endeavoring to do the same and there’s something mighty right about that. Jesus was a full blown liberal if you ask me.

  2. Obviously you are following the right Jesus to get such a varied reaction:D
    I love your column, your books (just ordered A is for….) and remember you in both my CIN 95 DTS school 93 as a great teacher and enjoyable meal companion. Heck I do music for kids as a result of some of your great Openhanded advice. So please, reward yourself with a fine scotch ( at least 12 years old) and I hope to send you my cd soon ( recording as I speak)
    Be well,
    Raymond Van Gobel

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