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#46766 - 01/02/06 07:56 PM Chameleon Christian?
Dotsie Offline
Founder

Registered: 07/09/08
Posts: 23647
Loc: Maryland
This morning's prayer time allerted me to how difficult it is to be a Christian in today's world, especially as the mother of teens.

I pondered whether I change colors with my environment to fit in with the current discussion.

I decided I stick out like a sore thumb and it often hurts.

I sometimes feel like I am swimming upstream to maintain my spiritual beliefs and walk the walk.

How about you?

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#46767 - 01/03/06 08:08 AM Re: Chameleon Christian?
Bluebird Offline
Member

Registered: 09/20/05
Posts: 2560
Loc: Pagosa Springs, Colorado
I absolutely feel that way, almost all the time!
The world doesn't like to talk about "sin". No one seems to worry about offending God, only other people, which is why we have the term "politically correct".
Dotsie, I've been a lover of Christ for 20 years now and I know I'm doing His will when I DO stick out like a sore thumb! We have to rejoice in being persecuted for His Name, He was certainly persecuted for us.
There are times when I think it would be easier to just "join" the world in their beliefs, but those times are fleeting, the minute I stop and think about Him. Life is so hard WITH Him, I cannot imagine doing it without Him.
It does hurt the most in my own household, though. But the devil will attack what is most important to God's children, and of course for us mothers, it is our family. So I say, bring it on, satan. Take your best shot. In the end, I will be with Him in heaven and my family will too. A mother's prayers and tears are never in vain.

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#46768 - 01/03/06 08:34 AM Re: Chameleon Christian?
NHJackie Offline
Member

Registered: 09/22/05
Posts: 868
Loc: Merrimack, NH
Even though I don't necessarily share your religious beliefs, I don't think either of you should change one bit. You are secure and sincere in your spirituality, which is to be admired and respected. I believe that we shre many of the same moral values.

BTW, not to be a pain, but we Jews have known about persecution for a very long time. It doesn't appear to have stopped us from standing up for what we believe in.

Was it Shakespeare who said, "This above all, to thine own self be true?" If we are forced to change or not express our views because they are not currently "mainstream", the world will be a very sad place.

If I'm butting in on a discussion where I don't belong, I apologize. This was meant as a compliment and encouragement.

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#46769 - 01/02/06 09:44 PM Re: Chameleon Christian?
yepthatsme2 Offline
Member

Registered: 08/08/05
Posts: 816
Loc: Fredericksburg, Va.
Told my daughter last week that I believed she skipped the rebillion durning her teen years to take it up now since she's 21.

Being a Christian is never easy...and we are not given the promise of a easy path.

I also agree with BB...life is hard with HIM, I don't want to find out what it would be like without HIM.

With faith and the love of Jesus, I look forward to eternal life...

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#46770 - 01/02/06 09:52 PM Re: Chameleon Christian?
Bluebird Offline
Member

Registered: 09/20/05
Posts: 2560
Loc: Pagosa Springs, Colorado
Jackie, you are not being a pain! I have a special love for the Jewish people, exactly for the reasons you mentioned. They are a people of miracles and even though they had their share of straying (wandering in the desert) they have kept the precepts that God gave to them - His chosen people. This is why He had Jesus born as a Jew! They are the people of promise and I know you don't believe this way, but true Christians love and honor the Jews because Jesus, Mary, Joseph and all the apostles were Jewish. There would be no church without the Jewish faith.

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#46771 - 01/02/06 10:16 PM Re: Chameleon Christian?
yepthatsme2 Offline
Member

Registered: 08/08/05
Posts: 816
Loc: Fredericksburg, Va.
Jackie...you are not the pain.
I have love for all my brothers and sisters.

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#46772 - 01/03/06 12:30 AM Re: Chameleon Christian?
NHJackie Offline
Member

Registered: 09/22/05
Posts: 868
Loc: Merrimack, NH
Thanks. ladies. Sometimes I tend to shoot my mouth off and regret it later.

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#46773 - 01/03/06 12:51 AM Re: Chameleon Christian?
Bluebird Offline
Member

Registered: 09/20/05
Posts: 2560
Loc: Pagosa Springs, Colorado
I've never seen you shoot your mouth off on here, Jackie. You've always been as sweet as sweet can be!

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#46774 - 01/03/06 01:30 AM Re: Chameleon Christian?
Songbird Offline
Member

Registered: 06/03/04
Posts: 2830
Loc: Massachusetts, USA
Friends, being a Christian is a challenge, today more than ever. But we haven't seen the worst yet.

Still, we are called to stand firm in the midst of all. We are not called to please the crowd. Our focus should be to please God rather than men. If we are changing with our environment, perhaps we are not sure of whom we've believed in. God is the same today, tomorrow, always. That should give us stability and courage to walk the walk, as challenging as it is.

[Smile] He's promised to be with us all the way!

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#46775 - 01/03/06 01:44 AM Re: Chameleon Christian?
Eagle Heart Offline
Member

Registered: 03/22/05
Posts: 4876
Loc: Canada
Dotsie, I'm definitely a chameleon Christian...I'm a chameleon in almost every facet of my being. I think being a chameleon is a well-honed defence mechanism that began in early childhood out of a need to hide my real self in order to appear more acceptable to - and appease - significant others who had the power to hurt and ostracize me in ways that were intolerable at the time.

Chameleonizing (I made that word up and wanted to use it in my book but my book coach wouldn't let me) served me well over the years, not just as a way to hide my self, values and beliefs from attack and persecution, but also as a gift of attentive listening...it's allowed me to listen to the heart of the other person I'm with and hear what's really being said behind the actual words.

I don't like my wimpiness when my chameleonizing prevents me from being authentically all that I can be, but I DO like the way that chameleonizing allows me to have compassionate conversations with people who might otherwise feel too threatened by my Christian beliefs to speak. I'm almost always able to find a common ground from which to carry on a good, dynamic, non-theocratic-specific, non-denomination, spiritual conversation.

Ironically, my chameleonizing, when driven by compassion and sincere (unconditional?) interest in another person's being and becoming, is one of the few qualities I actually like about myself.

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#46776 - 01/03/06 02:40 AM Re: Chameleon Christian?
Bluebird Offline
Member

Registered: 09/20/05
Posts: 2560
Loc: Pagosa Springs, Colorado
Eagle, I don't think that makes you a chameleon Christian. I, too, am sensitive to others' beliefs and would never force mine on them. I think being a chameleon means you would actually do something that you know is against God's commands to go along with the crowd. I don't see you as doing that.

[ January 02, 2006, 06:41 PM: Message edited by: Bluebird ]

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#46777 - 01/03/06 07:38 AM Re: Chameleon Christian?
Songbird Offline
Member

Registered: 06/03/04
Posts: 2830
Loc: Massachusetts, USA
Eagle, I agree with Bluebird.

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#46778 - 01/03/06 08:44 AM Re: Chameleon Christian?
smilinize Offline
Member

Registered: 11/08/03
Posts: 3512
Loc: outer space
I believe becoming a chameleon out of fear and becoming a chameleon out of love are two different things. We have to stand up for what we believe by refusing to do things that we know are wrong, but if we approach people as "hyper Christians" and don't try to fit in, they may be so repulsed as not to hear the message of Christ's of which we are examples.

The "Good News" of Christ's resurrection would probably never reach many of those who need it most if only delivered by 'hyper Christians.'

In some ways Jesus was a chameleon in that He fit into a lot of different groups and because He fit in, he was able to deliver his message to those who needed it most. But he he refused to do something He knew was wrong to save himself from the agony of the Cross. That's love.

smile

[ January 03, 2006, 12:51 AM: Message edited by: smilinize ]

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#46779 - 01/03/06 07:59 PM Re: Chameleon Christian?
Songbird Offline
Member

Registered: 06/03/04
Posts: 2830
Loc: Massachusetts, USA
I understand being a Chameleon as someone that lowers his/her principles just to fit in, one that goes with the crowd just to avoid being singled out. It's not someone who goes down to the others' level to reach him/her. A chameleon is someone who is just trying to save his own skin.

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#46780 - 01/04/06 08:35 AM Re: Chameleon Christian?
smilinize Offline
Member

Registered: 11/08/03
Posts: 3512
Loc: outer space
I guess I'm not really sure what becoming a chameleon means. I see it as being accepting of the culture of others by trying to fit in, but I suppose it is much more complex.

I think the chameleon reptile doesn't change what he is, but changes his appearance to fit in to the environment. I don't really know how I feel about that as it applies to Christians. I guess there's a fine line between being true to what you are and being overbearingly Christian. There must be another line between selling out to society and accepting the culture of others.

It's something I struggle with.

smile

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#46781 - 01/04/06 08:51 AM Re: Chameleon Christian?
Dotsie Offline
Founder

Registered: 07/09/08
Posts: 23647
Loc: Maryland
smile, that's what I meant by the post. I think it somehow got a little confused along the way.

Eagle, your last paragraph doesn't mean you're a chameleon. It means you are Christ-like. Finding common ground with others to show compassion is exactly what Christ did when he walked the face of this earth. That is to be commended. Judge not, lest we be judged. Also, I believe you always let love guide your behavior. It doesn't get any better than that.

Smile, I like your word - hyper-Christian. I know exactly what you mean. And regrettably, I guess I have been that person on occasion. Always room for change, growth, and the Holy Spirit to whip me into shape.

[ January 03, 2006, 12:54 PM: Message edited by: Dotsie ]

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#46782 - 01/04/06 08:53 AM Re: Chameleon Christian?
Dotsie Offline
Founder

Registered: 07/09/08
Posts: 23647
Loc: Maryland
I wanted to mention (and perhaps I should make this another post) that I appreciate the comraderie of Christians in these forums. I'm certain we all come from different denominations, but have hcrist as our corner stone.

Human leaders and their wisdom should never divide Christians into camps. I'm afraid that happens in my town. We even have camps within our denomination. SAD!

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#46783 - 01/04/06 08:56 AM Re: Chameleon Christian?
Bluebird Offline
Member

Registered: 09/20/05
Posts: 2560
Loc: Pagosa Springs, Colorado
I'm happy to say that for the most part, the denominations in my town work together. We have a Methodist church across the street from our Catholic one and they run the free lunch but we have it at our parish hall, since they don't have anything big enough. Our priest lets pretty much anyone use it for whatever community service there is.
Division is of the devil...divide and conquer.
I guess he still doesn't know that the gates of hell will never prevail against the church. Maybe he should read a Bible once in a while.

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#46784 - 01/03/06 11:28 PM Re: Chameleon Christian?
ladybug Offline
Member

Registered: 09/22/05
Posts: 1402
Wasn't one of the children who was killed in the Columbine shooting asked first if she believed in God? She could've said no and maybe survived.

I firmly believe that if more people believed in God, no matter what denomination you are, this would be a far better world.

Dotsie and Bluebird you should never change to please others or to fit in. You only need to look around you at the trouble compromising your religious beliefs can bring you. Your gentle nature is a resulting gift from your religious beliefs. What could ever be wrong with that?

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#46785 - 01/04/06 04:01 AM Re: Chameleon Christian?
chatty lady Offline
Writer

Registered: 02/24/04
Posts: 20267
Loc: Nevada
To me either your a Christian or you're not. When a Christian you should always behave as one and never run or back away because someone challenges your faith in God. He is the final one, the one we stand before at the end of our days. I condem no one of another religion or faith but when asked what I believe, I must say "I believe in God. I am a Christian." I do not condem societys rituals or silliness but I do avoid them. Christianity to me is a choice as is cold or hot, fat or thin, meat or veges. You must decide for yourself. Just remember our heavenly Father is watching and he is not fooled by chameleon like changings. I believe one can fit in when necessary without compromising her own beliefs and not have to be overbearing and vocal about them....

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#46786 - 01/04/06 04:16 AM Re: Chameleon Christian?
smilinize Offline
Member

Registered: 11/08/03
Posts: 3512
Loc: outer space
Again, this is something I struggle with. I am not sure I should have to actually say I am a Christian very often.

I am certainly not ashamed of being a Christian, and if asked I certainly say so, but I feel that I should not have to announce it because I believe it should be evident in my life.

I think I should try to fit in by being accepting of others and allow my life to be my message. I'm certainly not great at that, but I intend to try harder to make my Christianity obvious in everything I do in 2006.

smile

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#46787 - 01/04/06 04:20 AM Re: Chameleon Christian?
Eagle Heart Offline
Member

Registered: 03/22/05
Posts: 4876
Loc: Canada
I don't recall ever backing away from declaring my belief in God, or watering down my own faith in response to someone else's condemnation or ridicule of my faith. I have always found it very interesting that everywhere I've ever worked, people have "just known" that I was a Christian, even though I rarely ever broadcast my beliefs or morality.

God knows my heart and its ways. He knows my profound love for Him and my life-long genuine desire to love Him with every breath, every choice and in every encounter. I'm not perfect and have strayed down many dusty roads in my life. I'll never be everything He and I have wanted me to be...but that's precisely why I need Him and why His mercy is such an amazing gift.

Yes, I'm a chameleon, sometimes for love, sometimes out of fear. But I know that He loves me, I know that He sees what nobody else sees. I know that He knows me better than any other human will ever come close to knowing me. And with trust in His continuously professed love for me, I too am able to stand before God, painfully aware of my sinfulness, but sure in my heart that we're okay with each other. He knows that despite the evidence of those dusty detours and unwise choices along the way, I've lived just about every possible moment trying to be a better daughter and disciple for Him.

I think it's precisely my experience of His steadfast mercy and unfathomable love that gives me the courage to be more compassionate and understanding of others who struggle along their own dusty detours and mucky patches of unwise choices.

[ January 03, 2006, 08:23 PM: Message edited by: Eagle Heart ]

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#46788 - 01/04/06 04:35 AM Re: Chameleon Christian?
Di Offline
Member

Registered: 11/15/05
Posts: 2798
Loc: NM, transplant from NJ
Just wondering what everyone else does in the presence of a certain female "couple" who has chosen an "alternative lifestyle". And, they have a baby!!

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#46789 - 01/04/06 05:04 AM Re: Chameleon Christian?
smilinize Offline
Member

Registered: 11/08/03
Posts: 3512
Loc: outer space
I have friends who are similar to what you describe. I am friendly to them and loving to the child. Though I disapprove of their lifestyle, I love the humans they are and they have never asked for my view of their lifestyle. I'm not qaulified to criticize because I'm not perfect either and I don't know their hearts.

What else can a Christian do?

smile

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#46790 - 01/04/06 05:26 AM Re: Chameleon Christian?
Eagle Heart Offline
Member

Registered: 03/22/05
Posts: 4876
Loc: Canada
I have several gay male friends, all of whom I knew before they "came out". I loved them before they told me they were gay - and loved them after they told me they were gay, and continue to love, respect and admire them as much (and more) as ever to this day.

When I went through my major breakdown, depression and suicide attempt in the mid-80's, almost every one of my "Christian" friends deserted me, but ALL of my gay friends (all profoundly spiritual Christians as well) stood by me, and they continue to stand by me to this day. I cannot imagine my life without them...my life is infinitely richer for having been graced and blessed by their wisdom, courage, unconditional love and faithful friendships over the past 25-30 years.

I just have to add that since these same friends have shown more concrete examples of God's unconditional love to me personally than most of the other Christian friends in my entire life ever did, I am compelled to believe that God loves me so much that He Himself put these wonderful people into my life to help companion me along my lonely road...which would appear to me to make them acceptable in His eyes, and therefore in mine too.

[ January 03, 2006, 09:36 PM: Message edited by: Eagle Heart ]

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#46791 - 01/04/06 05:37 AM Re: Chameleon Christian?
ladybug Offline
Member

Registered: 09/22/05
Posts: 1402
Eagleheart, I have two dear friends who are a gay male couple. I donot judge their decision because only God has that right. They too gave me more compassion when my husband had his stroke than a few of my Christian friends. I'm thinking of one couple in particular. They are very religious and good Christians but their silence these many months after my husband's stroke is baffling and hurtful as well.

My former hairdresser says her grandfather hates all Catholics. She told me, "he would hate you even if he doesn't know you simply because you are a Catholic. Now, how ignorant is that?

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#46792 - 01/04/06 05:42 AM Re: Chameleon Christian?
Eagle Heart Offline
Member

Registered: 03/22/05
Posts: 4876
Loc: Canada
Ladybug, I'm sorry to hear how your friends seem to have abandoned you since your husband's stroke. That unfortunately has been my experience far too often in my depression-prone life. That kind of silence IS very baffling and hurtful.

Thankfully, I do have a handful of friends who have stood by me through everything. They make it easier to withstand the very real pain of abandonment and incomprehensible intolerance from others who refuse to see the inner giftedness of the person who lives and breathes behind the sometimes faulty-looking outward packaging.

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#46793 - 01/04/06 08:45 AM Re: Chameleon Christian?
ladybug Offline
Member

Registered: 09/22/05
Posts: 1402
Eagleheart, my best friend struggles with depression. I love her and she knows she can call me anytime to cry on my shoulder. I would never turn her away because of her depression. I feel good when I can talk to her and especially if I know I've helped her just by listening. She also was my pillar of strength. She's an RN and gave me comforting and valuable information after my husband's stroke. She is very committed to her Christian faith. She left the Catholic church which told her that because she is a divorced woman she is not permitted to take communion. This angers me because I've seen known cheating spouses go up and take communion and my friend, who simply by virtue of her divorce is not permitted to.

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#46794 - 01/04/06 11:14 AM Re: Chameleon Christian?
norma Offline
Member

Registered: 10/29/05
Posts: 286
Loc: western canada
Eagleheart and Ladybug, your words here are so encouraging to me, not because of those who did the abandoning, but because of those who extended the friendship and kindness....

May i share the following story....
when my youngest daughter was in grade 2, she came home from school one day crying. It was just before easter, and apparently there had been alot of discussion between some of the kids at lunch time and after school (this was a public school) about Jesus, and how important Jesus was and how everyone was suppose to 'accept Jesus'. When asked by some of her friends if she had 'accepted Jesus,' apparently my daughter had said, no, that she was not christian ...

"And mommy, they said, if i wasn't a christian, and didn't want to accept Jesus, they think they cant play with me anymore". Well, my heart broke for her.

But another little girl a year younger, who hadn't been over to play before, had come home with her. Now that little girl came from a very difficult homelife .... but she had come to support my daughter.. and she said ....

"But Mrs. G. i will still play with her, i am not christian either, i'm Catholic"........

Oh, if the world could only be as christian as that little sweetheart.... too young to understand, and yet understanding everything...

Presently, because of a couple of things, i've been discouraged , thanks for reminding me of this bittersweet, but precious moment Eagleheart and Ladybug..

[ January 04, 2006, 03:16 AM: Message edited by: norma ]

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#46795 - 01/04/06 07:25 PM Re: Chameleon Christian?
yepthatsme2 Offline
Member

Registered: 08/08/05
Posts: 816
Loc: Fredericksburg, Va.
Out of the mouth of babes....how precious.

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#46796 - 01/04/06 07:44 PM Re: Chameleon Christian?
ladybug Offline
Member

Registered: 09/22/05
Posts: 1402
Norma, what a sweet little girl that befriended your daughter.

It's heartbreaking to hear such notions coming out of kids mouths and hurting other children.

My own experience at my children's Catholic grade school taught them many such similar notions which I quickly dispelled.

Don't be discouraged by ignorant people Norma. I'm afraid they are everywhere and we cannot escape them. We must listen to their drivel as they exercise their freedom of speech. We don't have to agree with them.

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#46797 - 01/06/06 08:59 AM Re: Chameleon Christian?
Dotsie Offline
Founder

Registered: 07/09/08
Posts: 23647
Loc: Maryland
Even people of the cloth have turned people away form God.

What we have to remember is that nothing can separate us from the love of God.

His message is much more important than the human messanger. I just read this in the interpretation in my Bible this morning and it stuck with me. Tought I'd share since it seems the appropriate spot.

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#46798 - 01/06/06 07:27 AM Re: Chameleon Christian?
Sandpiper Offline
Member

Registered: 06/19/05
Posts: 1158
Loc: Kissimmee, Florida
I think being a chameleon means that you are able to adapt to the various situations we have in our Christian or spiritual lives. Many times we are called upon to be in situations where we would not of our own volution be, but because we feel drawn to help those that need us.
I don't think changing to fit a group or such means selling out our Christianinty or spirituality but working within that group to better let them know about God and His plan.
Just my opinion.

Sandpiper

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