Wednesday, August 31, 2005

The Labeled

I don't have a lot of time right now, but I wanted to share this quick story. One of my classes is called Drama and Religion. As you would infer from the title, the class deals with religious themes found throughout plays, both new and old.

Student introductions followed a quick lecture from the professor. We were asked to give our religious background and our class history, if any, in the Theatre and Religious Studies departments. There were a few students who had no religious background and no previous classes in either department, but most had been raised in a Christian home. I was happy to hear this until I noticed a trend in the responses to the professors questions from some students. Many of them were responding in the following manner.

"I was raised in a very Christian home. I went to youth group, Sunday school, and Church every Sunday. So, I am a Christian, but I am not practicing."

I don't profess to know that much about the religion I follow, but I am pretty sure I know enough to say that you are not a Christian if you are not practicing, and it is the practice of your religion that gives you the title of one of its followers and nothing else. You are not a Christian because your parents are or were. You are not a Christian because it is a way of being brought up. You are a Christian because you practice what was taught to you through the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

There is no gray area. It doesn't work that way. You are, or you are not.