I urge you to take off the mask. Approach this in the most objective way you can. If you cannot do this, you will waste your time reading further. I urge you to read fully and to read thoroughly. I urge you to question, wrestle and try to understand what I have to say.
To say I am a Christian and that I am conservative are two statements people receive differently, but to recognize I am a millennial opens up a whole new conversation. I am a minority. I have been judged, stereotyped and many other things. I feel the weight of opposition. We all make assumptions based on our perspectives and worldviews – both good and bad. Take a moment to recognize when we pass judgments on others without ever understanding who they are and what they truly stand for, we assume.
Let me try and explain who I am. I uphold Christian values. I take God at His Word. I spend time looking at intent and context of His word. I believe He never changes (Hebrews 13:8). I therefore hold to what many call “conservative Christian values.” I am not ashamed of this, nor should I be. God has given us His Word, so that we may learn from it and wrestle with it. But God is clear (Hebrews 11:1), and we are without excuse (Romans 1:20).
Ask yourself this: when someone tells you to be tolerant and have an open-mind, what are they asking of you? Let me engage that question based on how I have personally interacted with it. To me, this tells me I must accept and tolerate that view, yet, it fails to extend the same attitude towards me. This imposes on me that I must give up my beliefs so that the opposite views are the only views that matter. This is exactly the problem many are fighting.
Whether you agree or not, stop trying to tell me I need to sacrifice my beliefs. Stop telling me to stop fighting for what I believe. I do not have to accept or condone your lifestyle choices to still love you. My love for humanity runs far deeper.
I am called to love. We love because He first loved us (1 John 4:19). I firmly believe this. I firmly believe God has called me to love all people. Let me say that again. God has called me to love all people. He even calls me to love my enemies (Matthew 5:44). I do not hate you because I do not agree with you. In fact, it is the complete opposite. I share my belief because I know that the truth sets us free (John 8:32). I am also called to speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15), but do not be fooled. The truth is not always easy. Sometimes, the truth actually hurts. Sometimes, the truth hurts, because it challenges us and it calls us out. The thief comes only to steal and to kill and to destroy (John 10:10). This scares us because it means we must constantly be on our guard (1 Peter 5:8).
I recognize that many claim the name of Christ, yet fail to spread His love. I recognize that many claim the name of Christ, but walk away from the truth of His Word. I recognize, however, that we are people deeply entangled in our sin and depravity (Hebrews 12:1). We all need the love of Christ. We all need to turn from sin. Unfortunately, there are many who continue to walk in their sin despite claiming to be a Christian. Unfortunately, in our brokenness, we all stumble to be Christ-like. I am sorry that is true. My heart breaks because of it.
However, God is much greater and far purer than us humans. He created all of mankind with intent and purpose. You are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14). You are made in the image of Christ (Genesis 1:27). You are God’s handiwork (Ephesians 2:10). Yes, we are all sinful people in need of a savior (Romans 3:23), but God has created us for His glory. Through Christ’s death and resurrection, we are saved (Romans 5:10). I believe that. Because I believe that, I love humanity. I love those deep in sin because I know my God loves me. My God loves me despite my own shortcomings. I love people because that is my call. No, I do not agree with everything you may do, but that doesn’t make me a hateful person or a —phobic. I am not those things. I do not stand on a platform of hate.
I stand on Christ’s solid rock (Psalm 18:2). I stand on His truth, His love, His grace, His mercy and His goodness. I will respect you. I will treat you like I would want to be treated (Luke 6:31). You may think you know me. You may think you understand Christians, conservatives or millennials, but I have been silent for too long. I have let the world threaten me. I have let the world tell me I am all these terrible things. I have let the world tell me my beliefs don’t matter. I am tired. I will not be silent because I cannot be silent. There is a time to be silent and a time to speak (Ecclesiastes 3:7). It is finally my time to speak.
December 8, 2016 @ 7:13 am Kate
Thank you for saying so eloquently what so many of us have been trying to say for so long
December 9, 2016 @ 2:52 am Isabel Bustamante
Thank you so much for reading and responding. I appreciate that greatly.
December 9, 2016 @ 8:37 pm Bonnie Miller
I couldn’t agree more! Bless you for expressing so well what many of us feel!
December 12, 2016 @ 11:22 pm Isabel Bustamante
Bonnie, thank you so much for reading – stand strong!
December 10, 2016 @ 3:04 am Chrissie Mack
Thanks for posting your thoughts Isabel. Well spoken. I’ve had similar thoughts lately and have taken action. I’m a baby boomer and resonate with your comments. It gets tiring to feel like the odd man out or presured to defend assumptions from the naive and closeminded. Its time to clarify and be bold with the holy boldness of God who defines love and life.
December 12, 2016 @ 11:24 pm Isabel Bustamante
Chrissie, I understand the exhaustion, and I encourage you to keep stepping out in faith. God is so good!
December 11, 2016 @ 7:59 am Judi
And that is the Truth and Grace of the Gospel wrapped in Love and available to all who choose! This is the Truth that provides the
Greatest joy, contentment and freedom in Christ! Thank you for sharing so beautifully!!
December 12, 2016 @ 11:25 pm Isabel Bustamante
Judi, thank you so much! What a gift we have in Christ – keep preaching His goodness.
December 12, 2016 @ 12:54 am Jamie
Thank you for sharing your heart, Isabel. You speak for me, too, except that I am from Generstion X (born in the late 1960s). I am encouraged to see that there are Millenials who hold to and will stand up for conservative, Biblically based, Christian values. The intolerance of the tolerance movement is a battle we must not lose and, by the grace of God, won’t. But Jesus warned us that we would suffer persecution for following Him and that many of our traveling companions would fall from the narrow road in our journey toward Home. Keep studying, seeking His wisdom (which is foolishness to those who are perishing), and extending love AND truth to a world in need.
December 12, 2016 @ 11:28 pm Isabel Bustamante
Jamie, I appreciate your response! As a Millennial, I had some initial worries, but I have seen so much encouragement through publishing this. I’m very grateful to see others feeling they can go out and be bold knowing others are wrestling too. Keep seeking after the King!
December 12, 2016 @ 7:36 pm Marcia Geurink
Isabel, thank you for expressing so clearly and lovingly what many people feel. May I share your post in a class on “Worldview, cultural awareness, and bridging gaps,” that we are developing for some local churches?
December 12, 2016 @ 11:32 pm Isabel Bustamante
Marcia, yes! Please share! I would absolutely love that. Feel free to respond with anymore questions you have. I hope the class finds good use with the article!