When the world looks at me, it sees a peculiar fellow dressed equally peculiarly (at least for those who wear a clerical). I am an anachronism -- I believe things science must have disproved by now and do not believe things everyone else around me does. I hold a morality hopelessly out of step with the modern world and I expect the supernatural of word and mercy over the practical of getting what I want. I am the man in black (sorry Johnny Cash) who preaches a Gospel that has not changed in two thousand years and who still expects the people to be accountable to their higher power. People in the world are sometimes threatened by me, sometimes attracted to me, and always disappointed in some way or another. On top of that, society is sure I am a pedophile waiting for the opportunity to abuse the innocent.
To the liberal Christian, I cannot possibly be so naive as to believe the what the Bible says and must be a thoughtful, erudite, skeptic in order to be authentic. I am kind of a Santa dressed in black who fulfills everyone's imagination, dreams, and identities -- in the nicest way possible, to be sure.I must never say an unkind word. I am a boy scout in pursuit of that which is tolerant, indulgent, generous, and kind (which really means I defer everything to everyone else).
On the other hand, however, the conservative sees me as must be a paragon of
virtue, right doctrine (as they define it), and total moral purity in word and deed. I must
never have a lustful or dirty though (unless it is a really funny joke) I must be constantly in prayer
and also be a spiritual warrior–always on the lookout for the devil and
always ready to fight the good with every denier, blasphemer, and lover of evil. If I screw up, I exasperate God and must live with the constant fear of disappointing Him and them.