On my recent post “Good conquers evil, but are we willing to examine HOW?,” a very insightful reader and incredibly deep thinking fellow blogger SprinklinThoughts shared his reaction to my article. It touched a deep nerve in my spirit in a wonderful way. So I’m sharing my response to his comment, bracing myself fully for the various emotions it will likely ignite within my beautiful readers. 🙂
Religion — Christianity specifically — has evolved into some sort of fraternity… Everyone ‘pledges’ their loyalty to joining the organization, ‘rushes’ to prove their commitment to the title that comes with it, goes through some various ritualistic initiation process whereby they are inducted into the badge-wearing membership, then joins the ranks of like-minded puppets perpetuating the meaninglessness of gathering together for the appearance of standing for something — for a few hours each week, tops —and then swiftly returns to their real world where they comfortably let it all hang out.
That’s hurtful to the very belief Christianity claims to stand for. It’s a mime dancing in a see-through box; a speech given to the masses with no platform or microphone; a sacrifice and an honor without the sacrifice, or the honor.
The true warriors for Christ are rarely seen in those crowds of bumper-sticker proclamations of faith and name brand clothing-adorned popular people who say all the right things at all the right times and stand behind white picket fences.
The real warriors for Christ are the unseen men and women walking through the inner city streets, witnessing to the homeless and the broken, holding the drug-addicted and criminally-driven souls all the shiny people forgot about.
They are the ones with reckless boldness, fearless honesty, selfless love, walking unacknowledged roads in unfamiliar places to find the lost and hurting world and heal it through actions of compassion instead of words of empty status acquisitions.
They are the ones you never hear about, the ones gathering in increasing numbers on a constant basis; Sunday mornings they have church in the day shelters and their church is nothing more than assembly of love and heart-filled worship sung by the sacrifices they make for the lost.
Friday nights and Tuesday afternoons. They don’t have the latest t-shirts worn as a statement of their beliefs. Their beliefs are written all over their faces, revealing themselves through every action they take in every moment of their day.
That’s what “Jesus would do.” That’s what a real Christian is, and does. They may attend a traditional church — I’m not church-bashing here — but the church is not their IDENTITY. Their identity is the undeniable presence of the Holy Spirit, stirring within you every time you are near these people, brimming up and spilling out and making you wonder exactly what it is about them that’s so… DIFFERENT.
Christianity is not a fraternity, and you don’t have to rush or pledge or be hazed to know the One and Only Everlasting God. The King of Kings is in your living room, in your memories, in your current circumstance and always with you, now and forever, like it or not. You cannot earn His approval because we are all unworthy. We are all broken and messed up and flawed in our own unique ways. His love can’t be earned because He gives it out of His own deepest, purest, UNCONDITIONAL love for us. Not because we pledged. You can experience His presence anywhere, anytime. Because even when you feel like God is a joke and life is stupid, He is still right beside you, right within you, loving you all the same.