I’m hesitant to call myself a Christian

I believe in God. I’m a follower of Jesus, but I’m embarrassed to call myself a Christian. This is because lately, the definition of Christianity has gone haywire. It’s a shame as my faith has always been a significant part of my life, but when I tell people I’m a Christian, they hear, “I’m homophobic,” “I don’t like people with other beliefs” or “I’m racist”.

This is a result of the way fellow Christians have portrayed our religion to our communities and the media. Especially in a time of such polarizing politics, traditional Christians have made their values and beliefs more loud and clear than ever. I wish they would stand up that passionately for love and equality.

I’m just very confused as to how “love your neighbour” led us to where we are. There is almost nothing about President Donald Trump that reflects the values of Jesus. Jesus wanted us to love one another. He wanted us to care for God’s earth and to share our bread and fish. But some Christians voted against love, against LGBT, against immigrants, against the poor, against saving the environment. A lot of them voted for Trump . . . and for some reason proceeded to call themselves followers of Jesus.

According to exit polls, 81% of white evangelical Christians voted for Trump. Every person has their own reasons for which way they cast their vote, but most conservative Christians share the common value of wanting to protect unborn life. I too believe every life is precious, but that is exactly why I am against Trump. The amount of existing lives, rights and identities that have ended because of the way he runs the country is disgusting.

I have no doubt in my mind that traditional Christians are kind, loving people. They just show compassion in ways that are different than what the world needs in this day and age. For a lot of Christians, their faith is one of the biggest parts of their identity and the way they live their lives. It’s a source of hope and guidance when they can’t see the light. It’s scary for anyone to change a mindset about something that they’ve been so sure about their whole life. But we can’t keep discriminating, hating and judging the way we do. That’s not what Christianity is about.

As someone who wants to feel okay about calling myself a Christian again, I pray God can help guide future generations of Christians to an open mind and back to the true meaning of Jesus.

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