Being a Christian: It’s Not All Flowers and Rainbows

By Alyssa Guzman

Sophomore Alyssa Guzman on Christianity.

Earlier this year, my English teacher, Ms. Michele Hettinger, had us emulate one of Walt Whitman’s poems. She told us that emulation is the sincerest form of flattery, so I’ve decided to emulate Isabelle Davis‘ column on being an atheist which both enlightened and amused me.

If there’s one thing that I hate, it’s when people judge something before they’ve even given it a chance, but in her column, Izzy gives valid and well thought reasons as to why she chose to be an atheist.

Well, Niles West, I’m here to tell you why I chose to be part of the 78% of the population that is Christian.

Before you click the X in the upper right hand corner of your screen, let me get one thing straight from the get go: I am not here to preach to you. I’m not going to tell you that you will all go to hell and live a horrible life of sin if you do not follow my beliefs. In fact, those are the exact stereotypes that I’m trying to prove wrong.

When some people hear the term “Christian,” they think of some sort of prude do-gooder who winces at every swear word they hear. Admittedly, there are still some old-fashioned Christians who unfortunately are very closed minded–I have some cousins who belong in that category. Last time they came over, we got into a heated debate about public schools and birth control–the new generations of Christians are, for the most part, not.

I’ll be the first to admit that I used to rebel against the religion that I was raised into. I hated church; I would lock my door the night before so that my mom wouldn’t wake me up to go. I had so many questions that were left unanswered; I wanted to know why were such firm believers in this so-called God. So one day, my mom told me that we were going to a new church. I decided to go, and I was very surprised by what I saw.

The man preaching to us had bright orange spikey hair. He was decked out in jeans, a t-shirt, and both of his arms were covered in tattoos. For anyone who knows me, I love tattoos; I plan on getting a sleeve and several more when I’m finally 18. The preacher then continued to tell us how he had been endlessly judged by his past churches. Religion was just a bad experience for him, until he finally found a church that welcomed him rather than shunned him for his questionable past.

Soon after that, I started going to a youth group called Impact that my best friend and sophomore Connie Dang invited me to. At first, I was unsure, but as soon as the night got started, I found myself in a room full of laughing teenagers eating pizza, talking, playing ping pong, and just having fun. We were soon called into a big room to sing, one of the many ways that we Christians like to show our appreciation to the big man upstairs, and I was delighted to find out that instead of singing along to boring hymns, there was a live band on stage playing some hard core Christian rock. The effect was aided by strobe lights and great energy. Definitely my kind of scene.

The past two years that I’ve been going to Impact have showed me that people of the Christian community aren’t all “Jesus freaks” as some people so affectionately refer to Christians as, but they’re real people who make mistakes just like we do. At Impact, we tackle subjects such as sex, relationships, problems at home, and battles involving drugs and alcohol. I always tell Connie that to me, those two hours every Sunday night are like a mini vacation. For those two hours, I have nothing to worry about. I can open up to people who I know will not judge me, and I feel at home.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that just because I’m a Christian, doesn’t mean that I don’t screw up. I won’t fall to my knees in prayer when I hear some foul language, I won’t judge you for going a little crazy at a party, if you’re gay, bisexual, or even trisexual, then more power to you. You’re pro choice? Cool, me too.

What some so-called “Christians” seem to forget is that Jesus loves everyone. He’s not going to deny someone a golden ticket to heaven just because they decided to get an abortion or love someone of the same sex. He accepts us for who we are, but He wants the best for us.

Don’t get me wrong, being a Christian isn’t always flowers and rainbows. It’s a constant battle against yourself to be the best person you can be not only for God, but for yourself, too. In the words of Connie, “life doesn’t get easier when you’re a Christian, it gets harder.” To me, though, it’s so worth it.