'Jesus is not a proposition to be believed, nor an outward figure to be seen and adored but simply a spirit to be loved, a spirit of obedience to God that must be incorporated into our spiritual being.'
Keshub Chunder Sen, nineteenth century leader of the Brahmo Samaj
I suppose I'm growing into a place where I can more comfortably identify as Christian. What I really want, what I've really been waiting for is to be 'convicted,' to have some kind of a definite moment of decision that sets a direction for my spritual path. I've been waiting for an 'ah ha!' moment when I'm sure that this is right for me.
But perhaps there is something important about making a commitment without this 'conversion' moment. Perhaps today in postmodern Britain covinction is frowned upon, and for good reasons. Perhaps I can be faithful while being unconvinced, perhaps I can be committed while being critical, perhaps I can believe while doubting. Perhaps I need to do that. Perhaps that's a spiritual lifestyle that needs modelling.
Perhaps God is calling me to a vocation of being an open, stumbling, ambivalent, critical Christian. Perhaps I can be 'in Christ' while still asking 'what the hell does being in Christ mean?'
Perhaps I won't become a Christian by reading a book, even the Bible. Perhaps I will only become a Christian by doing the Christian thing.
When I think of places where I've felt the spirit of God most I think of a few places: a community of prayer and reconciliation in France, a tiny queer Methodist church in Massachusetts, a group of young adults campaigning for internation trade justice in Manchester. Christian places, Christian communities. Maybe I should look at these places rather than in books to convince me of the rightness of the Christian path for myself.
So I stumble along the path towards being an unconvinced faithful Christian.