Clay Aiken came into my life when, quite honestly, I was in the process of losing my religion (with thanks to REM). What I saw and what I heard coming from religious leaders, mostly on television, was so contrary to my own beliefs and how I was raised, I felt that I no longer belonged with those who called themselves Christians.
I believe in God, and I believe in Jesus. MY God is kind, tolerant, forgiving and loving. He is not vindictive and cruel. I do not believe that God would damn someone who has led a loving, caring, giving life - a life filled with tolerance and service - simply because of who they love (key word here is love, not hate).
As I was reading Clay's book Learning to Sing, it was with great trepidation that I began reading Chapter 18 entitled "Make a Joyful Noise". Was this where Clay and I were going to have our first falling out?
Imagine my HUGE sigh of relief when I read the following:
"To me, God is about love, not condemnation.and with those simple words, Clay Aiken helped me see that there are Christians out there who feel as I do. I hope that we are the silent majority, but after some experiences the past several months, I am beginning to lose hope. I think I need Mr. Aiken to minister to me again, help me see that God is about love, not condemnation. When I am in doubt, I watch this. Welcome to our World, filmed in 2007, Merrillville, Indiana by Spotlight Lover and sung with such reverence and love by Clay Aiken:
It's healthy to go to church, but you can still be a Christian if you don't.
You can believe in God and not pray daily.
You can read the Bible on your own.
Faith is not about a building or a lifestyle. You can minister in many ways besides attending services or being a preacher. And I think that that's what I feel most thankful for- that I have the opportunity to minister now, in my own way." ~Clay Aiken, Learning to Sing - Random House 2004
and, if you are in need of more Good News, check out MJ's Big Idol Blog (click below):
Clay Aiken - Good News