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Opinion: The identity dilemma

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Identity is an interesting thing. Everyone, independent of their ability to see it, sets identity not only by what they are for, but also what they are against.

Humans need identity, and identity needs to compare, and history unequivocally demonstrates that humanity cannot compare without prejudice. Go ahead, try to think about your faith system (or lack of it) without feeling superior.

Here is the big question. Is there a unifying movement that could bring all of humanity together? Institutionalized religion, secular humanism, Marxism? No. Each produces  dangerous prejudices clearly seen through history. There is one interesting example that stands above all. Real Christianity. Christianity, though poorly understood in pop American culture, actually says this: We are all sinners in need of a guide, so dump the arrogance. “For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Independent of our race, wealth, intelligence or social status, we all have the same opportunity to join the movement. Think equal opportunity. Real Christianity stands apart from other religions because it isn’t based on what a person can do or achieve. “Faith is not based on works so that no man can boast” (Ephesians 2:9). If you become a Christian you will be challenged to become something transcendently new, but all equally have the opportunity to become something new. That’s the beauty of real Christian identity. Humility and gratitude from the work of Christ fervently work to remove self-righteousness. Salvation is not earned, but accepted like a gift. None deserve salvation. However, if the gift is accepted the cost will be a humble and grateful heart willing to follow Christ (Luke 18:10-13).

Real Christian identity when rightly embraced (think Mother Teresa) produces humility and gratitude, places everyone at the same starting block and offers the same opportunity to all. Any variant of Christianity that requires some sort of intellectual, racial or economic privilege is not truly Christian, but a foggy variant of the real thing.


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