Sunday, April 1, 2007

The Life of a Christ-Follower on American Idol

If I have one regret about my time on American Idol, it is that I didn't sing some Elton John. If I have two regrets (and this is the real regret here) it's that there was more time to connect with a local body of believers while I was on the show.

On the show, we work 7 days a week, and our work days are never less that 7-8 hours and usually more around the 10-12 hour range. I didn't have a problem with that...I actually enjoyed it...for the first time as an adult I got paid to do something that I loved (music). But it didn't leave a lot of time for extra-curricular activities. The one activity that I would not call extra-curricular, but just didn't fit into the schedule was attending a local church. During my 8 weeks out in L.A. this time, I was only able to get to a church once, and that was visiting the mega church Saddleback, where Rick Warren is the pastor.

I can't explain the emotions I felt as I worshiped with 10,000 people in that auditorium that Sunday (the 2nd week of semi-finals before I sang "Trouble"). It was as if I was coming home so to speak. Worship music is so often so cheesy, and when you take part in it every single week, it can become monotonous and easy to take for granted. But that Sunday, I sang my lungs out and a feeling of refreshment washed over me. It was absolutely strange.

The message that Pastor Warren gave was so touching....the message of it didn't really touch me, since it was all about how to get sin out of your life, and literally my pastor back home had just done a series with the exact same points...but the heart of Pastor Warren coming through was incredible refreshing.

I came away from that service (after taking about 4,000 pictures with church members and after meeting Pastor Warren and receiving a bear hug from the man himself) recharged for the next few weeks.

Honestly, I can't wait till Easter Sunday...I'll be with my home church for the first time in 2 and a half months, and I know the refreshment will wash over me even more so than my time at Saddleback. Plus I get to see my friends again.

Boy, I can't wait!

61 comments:

Karen Burns said...

Chris, I enjoy reading your blogs daily. I most enjoy theologicaldig and have been waiting for new entries. Today I was so happy to see one. I don't know if you know how many people lives you have touched in a spiritual way. And that most of the people you have touched are in the older (I am 44) range. I entered a blog (on the other page) that God sent you on a detour and I truly believe it was to help those of us find what we have been looking for. I have prayed and been to many churches in my adult life and have not found the "comfort" of belonging to the "right" church. I have been to the links of your church, and in reading about things tears fill my eyes. I want that belonging. I live in southern Florida and have found nothing here. I guess I will have to take a vacation and stop into yours. Sorry to run on, but I had to let you know ALL the good you are doing.

Cynthia said...

I can't wait for you to be back home with your family and friends. To be surrounded by love like that is an amazing blessing!

You are a breath of fresh air, Chris Sligh! To the best of your ability, you try to live out of the heart Jesus gave you ... and that is way cool!

It's funny because I have never really been a fan of anything. But, now, I can't help but tell people about you and your music! There is something special about you, and I can't wait to see what God has in store!

I will keep you in my prayers as God brings you to mind. Keep letting your heart shine. You are a true gem!

Cynthia

Steven Macon said...

Hi Chris,
It is great to see a believer who's heart if for the Lord. I kind of had a feeling there was more to you than than just another contestant on AI. Just remember Jerm 29:11-12. I think the nation hasn't hard the last song from Chris Sligh

Brad said...

Chris, I just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate the example you've set as a Christ follower before a national audience. I know there's been some press about you and Bob Jones, but I think it's awesome that you've been able to show America that not all Christians are bible-thumping, bumper sticker theology, judgmental, uptight lunatics who have no sense of humor and bad taste in music (major props for singing Mutemath and Ray LaMontagne... and you and Blake turned me on to The Zombies, so thanks for that). I was very proud of the way you went out in style by showing your love for the other contestants and not being angry about it.

You are obviously not ashamed of your relationship with Christ, and it weaves into the rest of your life very naturally. I just wanted to say that I'm proud to call you a brother, and I pray that you'll continue to nurture the relationships you've made over the past couple of months, as well as keep your current ones strong.

Hope you're having a great Palm Sunday, and that your return to your home church for Easter is everything you hope it will be!

Brad Moore

Diana Hill said...

Chris: My husband and I have been fans of yours since your first audition--you actually remind us so much of our 20 year old son--same cutting wit, quick perception of a situation, and the ability to speak intelligiently in difficult sitations, and yes, a little on the chubby side! However, when I found out that you and your wife are also Christ followers, I knew why there was this fondness.

I am so glad I found THIS blog, because I think this one touches the non-pop side of you.

May I take this opportunity as one a little further down the road to encourage you on your journey. Keep you eyes fixed on Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith, and do not let sin, which so easily entangles us, have its way in your life. Stay true to Jesus and stay true to yourself and your relationship with your wife. And, as one who doesn't have a problem with rock and roll and Christianity in the same boat--ROCK ON!

If you are ever in Capital Region of New York, please feel free to worship with us at Grace Fellowship in Latham, NY. ( As a matter of fact, our tech/worship team is coming down to your home church in a couple of weeks to learn how you guys do things so that we can improve our procedures!) Small world!

Thanks for being available to your fans!

CountryGoalie said...

Mmm, I wondered if you were given any time to attend church during your time on AI. I don't recall if it was you, or another contestant, but someone along the line mentioned that fact that they work seven days a week on things related to the show, and I had to wonder...

I'm glad that you're getting to return and fellowship with your local body of believers.

Bo said...

hey chris... I want you to know that I love your bands cd. I purchased it off amazon, and i cant wait for it to arrive. I want you to know that I think you are an amazing musician and I was pulling for you to win american idol. Your relationship with God is something that has really impressed me, and I want you to know that I admire you for that. It's been great to watch you, you remind me alot of myself! I am a student at Bible College, and its been great to someone positive in the music industry.

risalea said...

It is amazing, isn't it, the feeling you get when you are worshipping with other Christians. And doubly so, when you have been away from that....it makes you appreciate it that much more.

It's impossible for me to even have a grasp on how Heaven will be with millions and millions of voices united in song, worshipping the Savior.

I know your church uses instrumental music, but do you ever do acapella? I'm a member of an acapella church, and just wondered.

Happy Sunday, and hope you and Sarah have a marvelous Easter at home with your friends. Risa R.

Patty MacArthur said...

Chris, I'm so very glad that you will be home for Easter with your family and friends who love you so very much. I will have all my kids home here with me on Easter and I very much look forward to having them all under one roof again, it's something that doesn';t seem to happen very often anymore. I know it must have been very hard being away from those you love. I hope you have a most amazing Easter.
Patty

Josh said...

Hey Chris... just had one quick question.

Was there any part of AI (other than not being able to meet with other Christians) that was really hard on your faith?

chapsrib said...

Mr. Chris!
You are an absolute gem, a challenge to my own spiritual stereotypes and have been such a memorable highlight for our family of 6 to watch! How great that you connected w/ God at least on one Sunday and we celebrate that you will be rejoicing (or rocking out) with your crew back home. Blessings to you ... thanks for honoring your wife and marriage so much! May you grow stronger in Him together! May Peace that surpasses understanding surround and shadow you and your loved ones. Warmly in Christ, The Contreras Family of San Diego

TheNorm said...

I hope you don't mind that I've made a conscious decision to visit this blog every now and then. It is quite refreshing to find out what goes through the mind of a fellow musician and Christ-follower. And while my roots are in jazz, and yours perhaps in rock, I'm sure you will agree that home is just one place for us. Welcome home, Chris.

Hmmm. And you know what? You would have sounded great doing an Elton John.

Happy Easter, bro.

T said...

Chris,

I just wanted to tell you how much I liked and admired you on AI. I found this blog and read it soon after the first time I saw you. It made me feel like I knew you and I really wanted to have the opportunity to invite you and wife over to have dinner with my family, so we could sit and discuss everything.

I'm so happy to see a true Christian in the spotlight, someone who can show others that we aren't all intolerant or hypocritical.

May God richly bless you and your family. Have a wonderful Easter. And if youa re ever in Western New York, please come visit us at New Life Center in Tonawanda.

God Bless,
Toni

Craig said...

Hey Chris! Great job on Idol. Don't let your friends at BJU get you down. There's always been a tension between the arts and church that can turn into legalism. Tolkien had a great quote: "But in such 'fantasy,' as it is called, new form is made; Faerie begins; Man becomes a sub-creator." He's talking about "fairy stories" as he defines them, but it's true of all arts. Just do what God made you to do, emulate Him in creating, and you magnify Him. Go to it, have a great life, and a great career.

Craig
http://www.StCelibart.com

Lydia McEvoy said...

Hey Chris,

I was so sorry to see you go. I have been cheering from my couch every Tuesday night. As a person that went to that same small Christian school in Kansas City (in fact, my mom was your English teacher), and now goes to an "outside the box" church that raises the roof with praise and worship, and binds people to Jesus and nowhere else, I am proud to be able to say, "I knew you when..." I e-mailed your mom while you were on the show, and tried to encourage her. I know this wasn't always easy for your family because not every Christian can reconcile the indie rocker and the Baptist missionary in their minds, but I am so glad that I reconnected with your family. Your appearance on AI made me google you and your family, and I am now plugged in to your brother's blogs (POWERFUL), and I check in with your mom now and then. What an amazing family. I've got your CD, and I can't wait for more.

By the way, I'm singing your "Communion Song" at my church for Easter. This will be my first time singing at this church. The worship model is so different than the traditional background I grew up in. I am working so hard to make this not a performance, but a way to use music to guide others to worship. Its a paradigm shift.

Keep writing and singing...

--Lydia

PlaidHearts said...

Funny thing is my children and I loved you on the show before we knew you were a Believer. Once we found out that bit of info we rooted for you even more. Looking forward to seeing where the Lord takes you post-AI by following your blog.

Kyleen Junier said...

Hey bro! I've written to you on facebook before, but once I read this last entry, I just had to write (bother) you again. I'm in LA for an internship this semester, and I must say that after 3 months of searching, I still haven't found a good church out here. So no worries. It's a hard process even for a person who hasn't been working 7 days a week! I've found two good young adult ministries, but no Sunday morning services yet. But I will say that Calvary Community Church, which is just a little north of LA, has a pretty good pastor on Sunday mornings...if you're ever in the area again :)
I think your appearance on American Idol was exactly what non-Christians need more of. You were talented, kind, witty, and intelligent...exactly what people think Christians aren't. So bravo, Chris.
And I wish I could've heard you cover some EJ, too. He's my all-time fave.
We love ya and can't wait for a CD to come out from you :)
In Him,
Kyleen Junier

Dutch_Kids said...

Hey Chris,

Good to see you back. We've missed you but enjoyed watching you on Idol. We were rooting for you all the way. God will take you further than any "American Idol" ever will.

Joe said...

Chris-

I have a hunch we have a lot in common. I was a church planter and pastor in my 20's and now I'm a professional actor and filmmaker in LA. Visit my blogspot if you want and their is a link to my email there if you wanna chat. www.rebelpilgrim.blogspot.com

Best,

Joe

Rebecca said...

You know, I'm an ex-fundie myself, but unlike you, I have completely lost my faith. My old church turned out to be a complete farce, and this has clouded my view of the church. Though I consider myself agnostic, I envy those with faith. I long for faith, for some kind of purpose. Reading about your experiences through your journals has me wanting to give church a go again. Who knows- I just might find something there. And what will it hurt? Anyway, than you for this.

Ash Greyson said...

There is a growing movement, especially among younger Christians, that it is all about Jesus and not "church" I believe it is very important for our Christian walk to have the support of a body of believers. As someone who has traveled a ton in my day, I can tell you that when I do get to go back to church, any church, after missing out for a while, it is like a re-fueling station for my soul.

Anonymous said...

Hey Chris, heard you were returning home tonight. Hope you have a rejuvenating time with your family and church. Sure missed you tonight on Idol. Will look forward to seeing you on the finale in May. Praying for you and Sarah. Celebrating 20 years of marriage in May, appreciate how you honored your wife several times in your songs and comments on Idol.

tvguru said...

Chris, I was sorry to see you leave AI. I'm glad you got to attend church at least once when you were here (I live in LA). I don't know what your plans are, but if you come back out to LA, you should check out www.hollywoodconnect.com. It's a great resource for Christians working in the media.

jimmysgirl409 said...

I am not a big AI fan, but I go to Seacoast in Greensboro--that's how I've kinda gotten into listening to you. Last night at small group, our leader pulled up your blog. Today, I checked it out, and I I am looking forward to reading more of your theological blog. I think it's incredible that you make yourself so accessible to the public at large--if they are willing to look. Anyway, I really enjoyed reading about Saddleback and your experience there! Take care and God bless... Lindsay

BRIAN said...

Dude,

I thought you did a decent job. It did seem like you did get a little jaded with the whole AI thing as if you were too good for the whole thing.

I did appreciate your first interview on IDOL EXTRA and how you spoke of your faith.

Good luck and don't let that big head of yours get any bigger with the success you are getting ready to enjoy.

Peace,
BS

A cop's wife said...

Dear Chris,
I was stunned to see you have leave AI. You were my favorite in the tryouts and when I found out you were a Christian some time after, I was pleasantly surprised and voted as many times as I could for you.

The night you left AI, I prayed so much for you regarding this apparent and devasting disappointment/blow. Just 2 weeks earlier, my hubby was baligerantly passed over for a promo. It stung for me as the wife to watch him be in such pain. I could only imagine it was similar for you and your dear wife. I trust God has comforted both of you and will continue to do so.
God bless you and your marriage.
Best & warmest regards, a cop's wife.

Lisa & her wile gang said...

Chris,
I find this entry and all your blog pages so refreshing, and encouraging! After seeing you on AI, I thought you might be a limelight 'Christian'... the kind who for the sake of appealing to the 'goodness'(or whatever) in people don a Christian dimension to themselves, only to become a poor measuring stick. Anyhow, I'm going to go look up your band's CD, and definitely I (and my family) will be looking forward to what your future holds! Enjoy your Easter week, and your Sunday home, best to you and your lovely wife.
--Lisa

K said...

Chris...this is such an awesome post. It's awesome to see you share your faith like that....and I think it's inspirational for those who struggle to, just to see someone have that much joy and enthusiasm. It has been a real long time since my husband and I have felt that way in a church, you know, like that feeling of home you said in your post. Anyway, I admire you Chris, and I wish you all the best. I downloaded your CD from your site, and I love it:). Very professional, and man, it's just so good (my parents love it, and so do my kids). God bless...and keep it going.

Sarah said...

Rick Warren is an awesome author! He really does have the anointing of God on him.


It must have been tough not being able to go to church. There is nothing like gathering with fellow believers and worshiping the Savior.

Cathy Storms said...

Chris, I am excited for you to be at your home church for Easter. I know all your family & friends are excited to have you there also. I bet the music will be amazing. I quit going to church (not my choice) they actually asked me to leave. I guess I was a little to outspoken for them.I'm a little leary on finding a new one.Haven't lost my faith,kind of lost my faith in organized religion. Your church sounds amazing. I wish I lived close enough to attend. It would be quite a drive from Encinitas California...Thats about as far on the West Coast you can get without getting wet....Anyway have a great Easter.

Mrs Zeke said...

I understand very much missing one's home church we recently joined another church home for reasons I won't go into here.

Here is what your post left me thinking. If in America we had to walk for miles, sit on the ground and just listen to God's word without a band and polished speakers would we?

I almost prefer to go to church any other Sunday except Easter because I think sometimes the simple message of Easter gets lost in the production of Easter.

I will of course go as will hubby and kids but I pray we go with just a wanting to praise God not worry about a head count, God can take care of that.

Nice to find your blog.
Love now tomorrow is not promised to anyone.

HstryQT said...

Tomorrow's Easter and I know you're looking forward to it!

Worship songs have a way of bringing you back home, no matter where you are.

Have you considered blogging about your personal favorite worship songs?

Happy Easter to you, Sarah, and the puppies!

Lori

Stephanie said...

Chris,

When you left AI, my son said, "I'm never going to watch that show again. I convinced him, however, that Melinda Doolittle needed our help, as well as Phil (my other personal favorite) and he has begun watching again.

Though we liked Haley as a person, we cheered when she left, because we really didn't want to see Chris or Phil leave. You are our favorite, here at Pathway of Light Church in Ocoee, a small Spanish congregation.

On another note, I love your blogs, particularly because they were written well before your AI experience and follow a path of faith and real introspection that is refreshing. May God bless you.

Stephanie
www.geocities.com/storymakingmother

Natalie said...

It is so awesome to see a Christian represent. You'll be missed on the show.

Maurrowe said...

Happy Late Easter, Chris!

I'm so glad you got to go to church during your time on AI. I was wondering if all the Christian contestants on Idol were ever able to go worship... I know how busy you guys must be!

You have definitely connected with my family and friends. We all liked you since the beginning but when we found out you were a fellow Christian, It made us feel even closer to you. You're more than just our American Idol, Your our role model!!!

God bless you!

Tom Neyhart said...

Thanks for using your talents as you do. even when the music isn't "Christian" I believe God is worshiped when one of his children are using the abilities and gifts he has given. I loved your music on AI and your raw honesty about who you are and what you stand for.

mark said...

Hey Chris,
It's so great to read your heart for Christ on this blog. My family just moved to G-ville recently and have been trying churches for months. (I think we're up to about 10 or so.) We have been going to Grace, but felt very unsettled. Then we heard about Seacoast from a friend in Charleston and decided to try it out. Much to our surprise we were able to see your heart for Christ through your music first hand on Sunday. What an awesome experience!

My wife and I absolutely loved Seacoast and are praying hard about making it our church home. We also had the opportunity to meet your wife and chat with her about the kids program. She was very sweet and really took her time to show us around.

You both really represented the church well and provided a much needed breath of fresh air into what we've been looking for in a church down here. I can understand the refreshment that you're talking about. We finally felt it on Sunday too.

Anonymous said...

Is this blog still active? Does Chris read this? I'd love to know more about how you wrote "The Communion Song" and how the Lord worked with you on this song.

AmyK said...

Just wanted to say, I was rooting for you from day one (you had me at "cry"). I melted when you showed so much love & respect to your wife on the show. To find out you are a fellow God lover was just the icing on the cake - and I love cake!
Seriously, you were our pick (my husband even liked you - and he hates AI!) for American Idol but I know God has bigger plans for you. Can't wait to watch it all unfold!
PS I was reading your blog just now and my 7 yr old kept asking why I was laughing :) You rock!

God bless!

Anonymous said...

Chris,

Is the term "Christ-follower" a Seacoast thing? Not that there's anything wrong with it. It's just that you use that one term consistently to refer to a Christian (at least that's what I take it to mean), and I see others in the comments using that term as well.

Ash Greyson said...

The word "Christian" can mean many things. If you were to trace the historical roots of the word it was often considered derogatory. "Christ-follower" is more straight forward and IMHO does not carry the baggage that "Christian" can. To some people a "Christian" is "someone who loves George Bush and hates gay people."

Marleybone said...

For whatever reason, since I have started reading your blog, I have gotten closer to Christ. I can't explain it exactly, but it is a wonderful peaceful feeling.

One funny note - when I finally chose a church, several weeks ago, I was of course the center of attention to the
"greeters". One particularly distinguished man approached me and asked me why I had come back to the church. I could have gone on and told him about AI, Chris Sligh and the blog, but it sounded a little lame. So I went on to say something about searching for peace and love, etc. Then I looked at his name tag. I am dead serious, when I tell you his name was Randall Jackson. You can't tell me God doesn't have a sense of humor!

otto said...

This is the blog I would like to see updated. Are you going to be at any festivals this summer like Cornerstone?

ChrisSligh said...

Anonymous,

Christ-follower is, for me, the way I delineate between what I was and what I am now. When I was a kid, I got saved at 15. But really it wasn't until I was 21 or 22 that followed hard after Christ. There is a difference in my mind between a Christian and Christ-follower, but it's not my place to judge them to know - it's a personal thing.

Chris

gdahimself said...

To Chris
From GDA

I DON’T understand the difference between being Christian and being a Christ Follower. I never encountered the term until I saw it in print on your blog.
Does it mean out of the Holy Trinity that much greater attention is focused or devoted Christ?

I believe it would be in exceedingly poor form to mock or desecrate someone’s belief and the greatest sin in both the religious and secular sense to damage or destroy that which is working for them, but I am greatly perplexed. You seem compelled to tell people on first meeting that you are a Christ follower like it is your primary profession, which one would expect from someone studying/training to be a priest, minister, or monk. And if you are in hard pursuit of Christ how does that make a career as a public performer possible?

Can I assume that being ‘saved’ is that moment when bestowed the gift of true belief or a grand revelation?

Am I stepping beyond propriety to ask any of this?

To Ash Greyson

“To some people a "Christian" is "someone who loves George Bush and hates gay people."“

Anyone who holds this view is probably liberal democratic who also left any religious belief of any faith behind quite a long time ago.

gdahimself said...

To Chris
From GDA

I DON’T understand the difference between being Christian and being a Christ Follower. I never encountered the term until I saw it in print on your blog.
Does it mean out of the Holy Trinity that much greater attention is focused or devoted Christ?

I believe it would be in exceedingly poor form to mock or desecrate someone’s belief and the greatest sin in both the religious and secular sense to damage or destroy that which is working for them, but I am greatly perplexed. You seem compelled to tell people on first meeting that you are a Christ follower like it is your primary profession, which one would expect from someone studying/training to be a priest, minister, or monk.

Can I assume that being ‘saved’ is that moment when bestowed the gift of true belief or a grand revelation?

Am I stepping beyond propriety to ask any of this?

To Ash Greyson

“To some people a "Christian" is "someone who loves George Bush and hates gay people."“

Anyone who holds this view is probably liberal democratic who also left any religious belief of any faith behind quite a long time ago, and that the separation of Church and State should mean more than merely meaning that the government not support one faith and impose it on it‘s citizens..

Ash Greyson said...

So, since they have left behind any faith they once had, they are irrelevant? Arent these the very people that Jesus would go after the hardest?

Be careful with your labels and politics. Christ, was very much a liberal, especially for that time. He was a carpenter, probably a democrat. He was also a Jew, had dark skin and hair like lambs wool. So, it is not a stretch to consider that Christ may have been a black Jew that was a liberal democrat. Just something to think about.

ChrisSligh said...

GDA,

I make the deliniation for a few reasons.

#1 and most important thing is that the term "Christian" has a lot of baggage tied to it. The men who slaughtered Moors in the Crusades were Christians. We call America a "Christian" nation. The list goes on. I'd rather latch on to a term that doesn't have the baggage that certain terms have.

#2 - it explains what I am attempting to do - Follow hard after Christ. I am following Christ and His example in Scripture.

#3 - I like it.

Chris

Ash Greyson said...

Well put Chris, I am not sure what else there is to get. To me, "Christ-follower" is pretty straight forward while "Christian" as I pointed out above, can mean just about anything.

I dont want to open up a can of worms but many churches have forgotten #2 on your list and seem to be following their preachers, who are following politics or national evangelical leaders, etc. etc. I often wonder, would Jesus even be comfortable here? Or would he storm into the church credit union and kick over the table that had the stack of Christian loan applications on it?


ash =o)

Zach Tanksley said...

Chris,

You I am sure, had a definite impact on many people in your time. Perhaps the idols, perhaps the judges, or even the many fans who watched you perform. I hope that your ministering continues to in magnificent ways.

Brenda Zizolfo said...

So I've been reading your blog since you sang "We all wanna be loved". I got so excited because you were one of my favorite contestants and I knew that only someone who was probably a Christian or at least grew up in church would know the obscure DCtalk song:-) TobyMac grew up in my church and went to my church's Christian school (which has since been closed and our church is reaching so many more people for Christ since- but that's a whole nother story) and then he went to Liberty (not exactly BJU) but he still managed to get kicked out for wonderfully dumb reasons- but you 2 seem to be a lot alike. You've been a great example of true Christ-like love and me and my husband can't wait til you write a book titled "Theological Digressions" and you sell a million copies:-) When you're in DC this summer if you're looking for a place to Worship check out fairoakschurch.org. Can't wait to see ya on tour! Sorry for rambling:-)

gdahimself said...

To Chris &
Ash Greyson

Starting with Chris’ reply, I understand points 2 & 3 as for point 1, the negative aspects of the term “Christian”, it doesn’t exactly stand alone.
I know people at various times believed, but it has never been part of my thinking or attitude, the following.
Jews - Christ killers
Protestants - heretics
Islam - Infidels
And my recollection is that the Christian Right got tagged with "someone who loves George Bush (originally Ronald Reagan) and hates gay people."

I can also see that to many upon the first casual reference to “Christ-follower” dismissing it with zealot or cult until they encounter person or news item that gives them information that brings greater understanding.
In using #2 to explain “Christ-follower” many will find the term redundant and unnecessary, unless they already noted and lamented how lax the average Christian has gotten in the practice of their belief.

All of the above ungenerous and unfair.

In regard to the Crusades, etc.
Choose any religion, how many military campaigns regardless how mercenary were conducted with the notion that God was on their side?


Ash,

1. What is the difference between a name as an identifier and a label?

2. Politics is a minefield, reliable information scarce and I tend to be naïve. I generally ration opinions and resist giving advice.

3. What do you think of the notion that many churches either downplay or don’t mention the concept of sin because they don’t want the resulting discomfort to negatively impact attendance?

Chris,

Is it possible to answer the following without being too personally revealing? I am seeking insight without prying.
Can I assume that being ‘saved’ is that moment when bestowed the gift of true belief or a grand revelation?

x-ray chick said...

I am not Chris, but I would I like to say that to me, being saved is more than your definition GDA.
It is one thing to accept Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior, but you also must repent or turn away from sin. For example, I used to believe Jesus saved me, but I still slept around and took my salvation for granted by not turning from sin. I was truly "saved" (and became a Christ-follwer) when I began to appreciate Christ's death on the cross, turn from my sin, and started living life the way that God intended. That is not to say that I do not still make mistakes in my life. Following Christ does not make you perfect, but it is a process, and I continue to walk away from sin an towards the light of the Lord.
Hope this makes some sense to you.
The best way to really understand and appreciate this is to start reading the Bible (I suggest John to start). There are also great programs for seekers who want to understand what it means to follow Christ. I myself have done Alpha. Go to www.alphausa.org to find a church near you that offers a non threatening way to get to know what Christianity is.

Ash Greyson said...

Thanks for the rational response. As for #1, a label is often something that others put on you, while an identifier is something you put on yourself. If I was asked if I was a Christian, I would answer "yes" and not "correct" them. If someone asked me my religious background I would likely identify myself as a "Christ-follower" or "follower of the example and teachings of Christ" I find it a great thing because it often, as it has done here, engenders some good conversation.

#2 Good position you have. You cannot PREACH politics, you can discuss them and you must be willing to be wrong or at worst, accept the opposite position as one you acknowledge but may not agree with

#3 I think this can be very dangerous. There are people like Joel Osteen, who are motivators, empowering, etc. and while we need those guys, we also need to be reminded that we are imperfect. It is our nature to sin. We do it daily and we need to be reminded that we can conquer it but it wont ever go away. I would like to see less condemnation of SPECIFIC sin and more teaching on things we can do to help purge sin from our life in general.

I know it is Chris's question but on the subject of "saved" I dont think there is something you can put a finger on. On paper I was "saved" at the age of 7 but, at the age of 34, I dont feel like I got to know God in a REAL way until the last 10 years. There was no moment of salvation but rather a relationship that has developed. I suppose it is a lot like love in general. There are those who fall in love at first site and those who grow together over the course of years. In my case, my initial relationship with God seemed more like an arranged marriage...if that makes any sense.



ash =o)

gdahimself said...

To Ash Greyson &
Shelley The X-Ray Chick
From GDA

Aah, Dear Answerers,
I thank you for the responses, I was getting to think that the last posting was going to wait in limbo for a while.

My dear lady, you’re a new voice to this discourse. Welcome.

There is information from both of you to reread and ponder with a pointer to start search/research.

I think my questions with “saved” are going to persist awhile longer. The X-Ray chick makes it sound like the moment that she decided and enacted multi-behavior modification to become more Christ like. Ash makes it sound like acquaintanceship he has been tending and nurturing for long period of time to become a loving friendship.

Other:
While trying to work out the arrange marriage metaphor I thought of “Grow old along with me! The best is yet to be” with “saved” as being the turning point and wondering if the realization being as soft as whisper or the sudden brightness of a flashbulb?
I figured I better check the rest of the quote and found it doesn’t really have the romantic connotations I always assumed.
What I found was:
“Grow old along with me! The best is yet to be, the last of life, for which the first was made. Our times are in his hand who saith, 'A whole I planned, youth shows but half; Trust God: See all, nor be afraid!'” - Robert Browning (1812-1889), "Rabbi Ben Ezra".

I think for other reasons the full poem might worth a look.

Source for the full poem; http://whitewolf.newcastle.edu.au/words/authors/B/BrowningRobert/verse/dramatispersonae/rabbibenezra.html

Also: Man and Soul in Browning’s "Rabbi Ben Ezra"
http://www.victorianweb.org/authors/rb/friedman6.html

Adieu

x-ray chick said...

GDA-
It was like what Ash said for me too, an acquaintance became a dear friend. Only mine was over a shorter period of time than hers. I changed because of Christ's love for me. Believe me I could not have done it without Him.
When I did it on my own, I failed, and failed miserably. I was saved not because I decided to change, but because I decided to let Christ change me.
Hope that helps!
-Shelley

Ash Greyson said...

Shelley, that is another great way to put it. I dont think the experience will be exactly the same for any two people. Ultimately, like any relationship, it is a personal thing.


ash =o)

PS I am actually a guy, I thought shortening my name from Ashley to Ash might solve that issue =o)

gdahimself said...

To Ash Greyson &
Shelley The X-Ray Chick
From GDA

Excuse the late expression of appreciation, between waiting for Ash’s comment and our host shutting down the other location to comments while on vacation, I assumed posting wasn’t possible for the last ten days.

Independent of investigating Shelley’s suggested reading and visiting alpha I don’t think there is much presently left to say or ask. Since it has been opined that the experience is unique or at least differs in each instance that the missing information may be the personal experience.

Thank you for your efforts.

Chris,
I still be willing to read any contributions you may wish to make.

Peace, Health & Prosperity

Pat said...

Hi Chris. I have never been a fan of worship music (or gospel), though i am a follower of Christ. But also like you i love rock. My idea of a worship song is that of songs that you sing in church. And here in the Philippines you certainly cant sing a rock song even though the lyrics is worship themed. So i have never heard a worship song that i liked because of my preference for rock. But just this week my brother introduced me to a youtube video of a worship song that is the closest i have heard that is rock. Right now i cant get it out of my head. The song is "He Reigns" by the Newsboys. Have you heard about them?

Peace!

risalea said...

I haven't come to this blog in quite awhile, but I see some fairly recent comments, so I'll throw my two cents in.

GDA, you asked a question earlier about whether someone could be in hard pursuit of Christ, and yet still be a performer. If only all performers were in pursuit of the Lord, along with folks in all other professions. The difference that would make in the world would be mind boggling.

You also asked about salvation. I believe salvation is a process. You hear the Word, you believe that Jesus is the Son of God, you repent of your sins, you confess your belief to others, and then a 5th step is baptism. I believe that the relationship that one has with Christ grows over time as the Christian studies and matures in the faith. It's not something that is necessarily instantaneous. My relationship with Christ can grow and change, but I don't equate that as a change in my salvation status.

I hope that makes sense.

Risa R.

caffienhigh said...

I would like to think I am a lot smarter than that, but apparently the possible blank message you may have received from me proved otherwise.

Apologies... was trigger happy.

Anyway... I am still digesting the fact that I found your blog... I was actually googling for updates on you... signs of a stalker? hahaha

Anyway, I am encouraged about your declaration of being a Christian and that supersedes all else in your life. Many young ppl today find faith and religion not sexy and hence the temptation to fall off the straight and narrow is so obvious.

I read about your visit to Saddleback... reminded me of my visit to two churches in UK last year - Hillsongs, and a little church in a barge - St Peter. The impact both churches have on my faith... no words can describe it except that God speaks and works in mysterious ways.

I look forward to hear and read more about you and your journey with God.

Chillin' & Feelin'
Reggie

*Chillin' in His Presence, Feelin' His Spirit*