Most of my friends are christians, and some versions of their faith are admirable.
The Closet Humanist
One of my friends, Failte, is a closet humanist. She says “everyone who is doing the work of loving is really a Christian whether they know it or not.” She admits sheepishly that her views align with humanism, but only because Jesus’s message does.
For her, christianity is about relationships, character building, and showing love to all. As a result, she has many LGTB friends. She is a safe haven for people with all sorts of mental issues from anxiety to bipolar. She is honest about her own failings and doubts and gives others the freedom to share theirs without shame.
She is fiercely loyal. I doubt she would ever leave Christianity or even her local church. She sees no boundaries between different groups of Christians and freely communes with all.
The Practical Helper
One of my friends, Children’s Pastor, loves to help others. For her, church is a venue to help families grow closer together which is her passion. She is funny and silly so children love her. She manages to find a positive uplifting spin to any topic. Whether she was Muslim, Buddhist or athiest, she would be the same caring non-judging friend to all. When confronted with theological oxymorons, she sighs and pretends she isn’t smart enough to understand the dissonance.
Ok, this last part really frustrates me. But it means that we never talk about religious subjects while we can talk about running through the house naked to rescue a child who happens to have hurt herself in front of the largest open window available! I am confident that our friendship won’t change when she finds out my non-beliefs.
This one loves truth more than comfort. He or she is not afraid to try something new or ask hard questions. Since they are seeking answers, they don’t just sit on the side but actively join whatever they are trying to learn about. If others are prophesying, they will try too. Then they will read and research all about prophesying. They will seek out frienships with people who are different and try and learn from them.
These types of people are often familiar with Orthodox Christianity, Pentecostalism, different flavours of Catholicism as well as Mainstream circles.
When they choose where they are, it is well thought out and seldom a permanent state. My husband is one of these. My friend Pastor’s Wife was one until she realized where her questions might take her.
This one follows Christianity because he or she finds the traditions meaningful and the messages inspiring. They easily filter the crap and don’t need ridiculous excuses like “it was valid for that time”.
They are respectful to all people while free to disrespect damaging beliefs and systems. These are rare in fundy circles since they are viewed in the same light as apostates, but seem to be very common in the rest of my country.
The Chosen One
This one believes it his or her duty to remind all others that they are right and everyone else is wrong. They suddenly treat me like I’m stupid when I don’t react how they expect to ‘inspiring’ sermons of how only Christians have: hope, real love, truth, good marriages, an ‘in’ with God…
Ok. This is my least favourite type of Christian, but many of my favourite people are in this category.