“I like your Christ; I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” –Mahatma Gandhi
I do not believe that atheist do exist. I rather believe that people who abhor God and people who become bitter and rebellious towards God are everywhere. I do believe that majority of the population is somehow living a meaningless life merely aiming for fulfillment of personal dreams and going after shallow happiness that only comes from narcissistic inclinations. Sometimes I am one of them. The other day I am not. The next day, I don’t know. I don’t exactly know what other individuals feel but for me temporary mirth brought by latest gadgets, expensive luxuries and superficial beauty that fade away by time doesn’t fill the empty holes of our being. The genuine zest can only be felt when we believe that we are created out of God’s love and we are bound for something more grand and majestic and eternal because we are not sheer coincidence and accident of Milky Way’s natural phenomena. So we choose to pray and trust in God’s promises written in the holy book but along the way, we painfully fail several times in our lives and have our hearts broken and of all the sinful persons in this universe, why is it us who get crippled with disabling illnesses we can hardly endure while unfaithful ones are well and sound? Life in this world is indeed unfair. Two different Christians vary in attitude thereafter. The other looks upon God in hatred and displeasure and bitterness and ends up miserable and the other strengthens his relationship with the Lord more because he knows God more and he understands that life is a test of faith.
I Like Your Christ.
In my teenage years I often became doubtful and skeptic about religion and Christ itself. I was sent to school to study science that describes nature of things, how things form, how living things influence living things and how living things adapt to its habitat. Theories and experiments were good. There was no magic. Only science. Science wasn’t magic. Bible had magic. Were we fooled? Confused and my little brain knew nothing but cynicism and skepticism and unhappiness. Until I grew a little old, I wasn’t getting to anywhere. My doubts were paralyzing but the comfort and solace of God’s words being fed to me during spiritual encounter at schools and occasional during church service were remarkably soothing. On a religious seminar at university I remembered I wept while someone, a pastor, had put his hand over my head as he vented out prayers I couldn’t barely hear because I was struggling to suppress my sob. But the amazing thing was it turned out that every one of us that day cried unexplainably. The spirit of God fell in that place and His overwhelming presence was unbearable we couldn’t help shedding tears of glee. We were elated. (As I write this I can’t help humming the song Consuming Fire by Hillsong United) You wouldn’t understand me if you weren’t a Christian by heart and soul. Jeremiah 29:13 “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” As I get maturer by experience, shattered pieces and fragments deliberately fall in its right place to complete its picture in my mind to wash off all my doubts I always conceived within. James 1:5 “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.” I remember on my college days in my Sociology and Anthropology class, our teacher assigned us to write explanation how Bible contradicts science. Instead I explained how Bible was the evidence of science. My write-up was long and certain. And the next day, our professor changed the topic of discussion. She discussed why the Bible didn’t contradict science. That was amusing. Ignorance can confuse you.
People spend the rest of their lives finding perfect joy and meaning of their lives through exploring the universe, achieving and winning and pursuing great things this world has to offer but we always missing the real treat. Robert Fulghum says in his book All I Really Need To Know I Learned in Kindergarten, “But me, I think old God is Sardine player. And will be found the same way everybody gets found in Sardines-by the sound of laughter of those heaped together at the end.” I like the Sardine game and I understand why he says that. I understand why a lot of reverend I know have wonderful testimonies that inspire and their hope is unceasing and their eyes are always as if twinkling in delight. They are happy people. Psalms 37:4 “Delight yourself in the Lord and he shall give you the desires of your heart.”
I do not like your Christians. They are so unlike your Christ.
Long time ago I stopped attending church. You couldn’t tell the difference between people praying at churches and people drinking and smoking and swearing at bars in terms of traits. They were all the same. But I rather relish those people enjoying their wasted life with hard liquor and warm cigars, at least they are being true to themselves. They say and do what they want, not dare mentioning bible verses to sound holy. Speak up your mind, say bullshit if you feel like it and you’ll feel better. Those people could also be good pals either greatest foes. They would say lies and goofy rumors behind your back and laugh with you at your stupid jokes. People at churches are similar to them in different way. People at churches clothe in wholesome attire, would shake your hands and smile warmly at your presence but belittle you and look down on you like your some kind of a turd. They spread gossips of you, detest you and preach to you holy stuff they don’t actually practice. That’s what I hate. Plenty of church people stay in church for 2 hours and go home committing sins for the remaining 77777 hours.
Having faith with the Lord doesn’t stop by just having faith. James 2:14, 24 “Can faith save without obedience? No, that is a dead faith.” God commands us to be like Him. Leviticus 11:44 “I am the LORD your God; consecrate yourselves and be holy, because I am holy. Do not make yourselves unclean by any creature that moves about on the ground.” But humans are sinful by nature and strictly following the scriptures is tough. I ponder on that but how could you exert effort doing good deeds when people preaching before you resemble Lucifer? How could you obey their sermons when they do not do it themselves. Talk about hypocrisy.
Yeah, now I still go to church and listen to anyone who speaks whether I feel discouraged by worldliness and temptations. I am not holy but I always make sure that my faith in God is alive and burning. That faith refuels me; I’m a rusty machine slowly deteriorating every second by every day hardships. If you hold back your foot on the sabbath from following your own pursuits on my holy day; If you call the sabbath a delight, and the Lord’s day honorable; If you honor it by not following your ways, seeking your own interests, or speaking with malice–Then you shall delight in the Lord, and I will make you ride on the heights of the earth; I will nourish you with the heritage of Jacob, your father, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.“ Isaiah 58:13-14. We go to church not for people but for Christ.
There is no perfect church, no perfect people, no perfect world but let Christ’s perfection cast all those flaws that hinder us to be what and who He wants us to be. We do not want to be like those hypocrites. We don’t like to occur nice and good when our minds are scheming wickedness. We do not want to be like those defiant Christians who know nothing of real significance. We aim to be like God because we are His children.