March 4, 2017
The most radical Christian is the one that practices love. It may seem as though, I have limited my scope to inspirational messages about faith in the face of failure, triumphing through rigorous pre-professional paths, my love of skincare, Sephora, Soul-Cycle and penchant for designer. But I have a message and I understand it will come with some push back.
As a Nigerian, I grew up in a strict, conservative home. It served me well. My focus was narrowed and my goals extended beyond what I could see. I was introduced to Christ at an early age. At seven years old, I gave my life to Jesus Christ, after hearing a message about just how hot hell is. I decided then, I do not like being hot. I do not want to go to Hell. God is good and hell is hot, and so I will follow Jesus lest I be cast away. As I grew up, so did my knowledge of Christ. As I matured, so did my relationship with the Father. Once thought to be a God of judgment who was all-seeing and all-side-eyeing, God neared closer to me, and I to Him. I grew to understand him as a gentle Father, a most gracious Father, a God of love, peace, strength, and favor. When I fell, repented, fell again, He was there to catch me, pick me up and nudge me along.
I do not pretend to be a perfect Christian. On the contrary, I rejoice in knowing that I am not and will never be. Yet there is a God in Heaven who loves me anyway. While my community of loved ones and admirers tout my accomplishments, there is a Father who knows there are some moments I would rather not see come to light. With maturity, comes self-reflection, of this I am sure. I have always known it to be true that the most dangerous woman is the woman who knows herself.
We are in the end times.
Our president is an internet bully, the earth is experiencing record-breaking high temperatures, and Pharell is beginning to age. There are so many social, environmental, religious and political issues to take a stance on, or not.
Growing up a religious dualist, I was taught to use The Word as a guide. In The Bible, it is very clear what consequences there are for homosexuals. And divorcees. And people who wore earrings. And when you call someone a “fool”. I do not wish to enter an argument in Biblical theology, my training is in dentistry. But, this much I do know: The greatest commandment that God gave us, his children, is to love others. I have to imagine that as a young teenager, when Jesus kirked in the temple, it was because they were disrespecting his house, and acted without love. I have to believe that as an adult when Christ chose to eat with the poor and dine with prostitutes, he was not doing so with a judging side-eye.
While there are some that believe they are among the minority because of their staunch devotion to a romanticized religious code that paints a clear picture about how God views men who love men and women who love women, they are wrong. There will be no prize for the Christian that rebuked the most homosexuals or spoke out about same-sex marriage or abortion or divorce or earrings. The truth is that chastising those who do not think, dress, believe, love, as you do is not new. It is in the thread of our being as humans. It is not revolutionary, it is innate.
Radical Christians are not those that speak out against men loving men and women loving women. Radical Christians are those that believe what they choose and advocate for love and tolerance, despite; that speak to protect those that others want to see thrown away. To bring this to a close, my mother is divorced. There are clear implications in the Bible for that. However, I am not a better Christian for speaking out against it. I am a better Christian when I forgive my father. I am a better Christian for loving everyone around me. I am a better Christian for speaking up for those who have been historically marginalized. I am a radical Christian when I practice love. Tooth Fairy here, saying brush your teeth, floss, and love others. XO