Outsiders View: Evan

Now that I’m not in “full-time” professional ministry I’ve had the great opportunity to work directly with many people who are not Christians, don’t like Christians and sometimes hate us.  I have asked some of them to share there story and there real view of Christians (please check out my previous post to understand my thinking.). Today’s post comes from a co-worker of mine named Evan.   Furthermore, I am asking you to suspend judgment on Evan’s (or any other contributors) opinions until the end of the document, listen closely to what they stay and the intent of their words as they have used their valuable time to write for you.  Thank you so much and I pray that you enjoy thins as much as I have so far.

_________________________________________________________________________________________

I was surprised and flattered when you wanted to hear my opinions. Thanks 🙂

My name is Evan Michael Nelson. I was born in Houston, Texas December 31, 1989. I have lived in or around Kansas City since I was three. I have two brothers and three sisters of which I am the second oldest. My parents raised us in a Traditional Catholic home until their divorce in 2004. Despite the conservative upbringing I like to think of myself as an open-minded individual, especially since I am openly gay which honestly takes a very open mind once you get down nitty gritty of what we do. In my spare time I like to draw cartoons in my sketchbook or watch Quentin Tarantino movies (DeathProof is my favorite). My career aspiration is to work in medicine and has been since I was young. Currently I attend Johnson County Community College because at KU I partied my freshman year away. I work at the New Theater Restaurant which is where I met Jon (and you are very funny and I quite enjoy you). I am in a relationship of a little over a year with Samuel (and despite my nagging him to shave his back) we are still very happy and drama free. Knock on wood.
To me, religion is very important and Christianity just so happens to be my religion. Even though I have all the mounting evidence, logic, and reasons to happily put faith behind me I have decided that I want to remain Catholic and even raise my children in the same manner. Christianity, despite all its apparent flaws, is essentially good and faith is part of the human condition, which is why you never meet an atheist at the hospital and I can vouch for that. I have found in my experiences that people who have some sort of faith at all tend to be happier with their lives. But on the flip side of the coin I have observed those who are “too” faithful to have a small locus of control which I can not respect in anyway. I see Christianity as a great “rough draft” of a moral person and in my opinion that’s all one should really need. I for one do not follow certain doctrines of my faith (obviously) but I still feel as though I have a place in Heaven. In my opinion God made us to live the life he made for us and being self sufficient and living to the fullest is a good use of your soul. Certain Christians allow their faith to cloud their judgment. They become so wrapped up in their scriptures that it hinders their potential. People too obsessed with God allow themselves to fail and attribute it to be a part of his “plan”. Perhaps it’s the archaic view of Catholicism grained into me but I feel like God is simply a judge who is going to evaluate my time on Earth, he isn’t my dad and he isn’t my guiding light. I do not mean to sound overly critical but these are my beliefs (different strokes for different strokes I reckon) and I am one who likes to put the majority of my faith in myself that way I can survive this real world with minimal time wasted. Christianity as a religion (and especially certain Protestant divisions) is much too cushy, it’s all love love love and pray pray pray. I’m not into “Buddy Jesus” and those sort of perceptions. I feel that they weaken a person’s attachment to real life where God isn’t going to part the Red Sea and hand you your next meal or rent check. God does not talk to anyone (expect for maybe the Pope) and he doesn’t have an advice column so people looking for answers to their life problems ought to put down the Bible and go out and fix them. For some people faith may be helpful and they feel that it gives them strength, but it’s only a crutch. True strength comes from inside oneself and making religion one’s central thesis is hollow. I respect those people who can find strength in religion, but I do not envy them. I would much rather depend on myself and that’s what I think God really wants. Also I take comfort in the idea of an afterlife. The thought that all I’ll do when I die is rot is much too nihilistic for me to embrace.

“You have never met a mere mortal: You have either known an immortal horror or an eternal splendor”

~ C.S. Lewis “The Weight of Glory”

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About Jon Nelson

I am just a nobody trying to tell everybody about Somebody [Christ Jesus]!

Posted on February 3, 2010, in Guest, Outsiders view. Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. I love hearing opinions like this. I think more people in our faith need to not just hear, but understand where these people are coming from (not that we need to agree, but Jesus understood where people were coming from before speaking to them and seeing as how we don’t have the ability to just “know” where people are coming from like Jesus, we need to ask and listen until we understand). Don’t judge until you understand. Thanks Evan!

  2. Totally awesome!!! You know what else is awesome?!?!? You reaching out to Christians, non christians, and diffrent types of people for opinion’s on Christianity (spelling)!!! An open mind is a wonderful mind!!!!

  3. Very interesting post. I’ll agree with not judging,(who am I to judge?) but we can’t define God in our terms or terms that make us feel good. We accept, love and serve a God who is holy and just. Taking Matt: 7:13 for example, Jesus is very clear “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” I think we do people a huge disservice when they are seeking God, to water down the truth so we don’t hurt their feelings.

    • Steve,
      Thank you for your comments. I think you may have misunderstood what I meant by using the word “judge”. My intent was not for you to not judge whatsoever but to suspend judgement until you have heard the arguments presented. I agree wholeheartedly that we can not water down the Gospel by any means, but I also recognize that we must listen to outsiders so that they are not only heard but we gain context with a the non-believer and know the story that shapes them. Unfortunately we are not All knowing (like our Saviour) thus we do not have the foreknowledge to guide someone through their personal narrative to the Fathers feet. Ultimately, I think we both agree deeply and I miss working alongside you but the Kingdom is glorified by both of our works regardless of our context. Please tell your beautiful wife and kids I said “HI”
      SDG,
      Jon

  4. Obviously you are discovering that you don’t have to be paid to be in ministry. I believe we are all called to be in ministry regardless of the name on the top left corner of our paycheck. Proud of you Jon.

  5. WOW! Very insightful! Thanks for sharing Evan and Jon.

  6. Hey Jon;
    I might be confused on the judge/wait to judge/don’t judge issue. I think we are on the same page. First off I’d like to be clear that I’m not in anyway judging your friend. If anybody knows me they would confirm that I have no animosity toward homosexuals. I do think we should hear people out and listen to their viewpoints. I am suggesting that if somebody is seeking God and wants to hear the Gods truth, we not soft peddle it to make them comfortable. God’s word should make us uncomfortable (when it comes to transgressions on our life). Many times in situations like you are in I won’t challenge people openly for the sake of challenging. I think you can be right and win an argument for the truth but lose the person. I believe people don’t care what you think (or believe) until they know how much you care.

    At any rate it sounds like you are having an impact on Evan which aligns how we should act as Christ followers.

    Last thought to dovetail in with Schaun C. I would go even further and submit that ministry should be part of our lifestyle.

    Miss seeing you around!
    Take care

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