It’s tough to be a good Christian. I’m not talking about going to church, reading the Bible, praying every day, or donating to charity. I’m talking about the real stuff, hard core Christ action.
For me, the toughest demands are Luke 10.27*, Math 5.39**, and Romans 12.19***.
Answer with a value of 1 to 10, add the numbers, and divide the result by 5:
Do you love God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength?
Do you love your neighbor as yourself?
Do you refrain from resisting criminals, rapists, and thieves?
Do you refrain from taking revenge?
Do you turn the other cheek?
In a nutshell: we shall love all people on Earth even those we don’t like, practice passive resistance at all times, and never seek revenge. Hmm … that’s not what we learn at home, is it? It’s not what our governments practice either!
Despite the appearance of the contrary, the first demand may be the hardest. A ‘yes’ spills out readily. What’s not to love about God? But think about it. He’s a Great Blur. How can you love someone who is utterly aloof? Maybe that love has to wait till we meet God face to face.
What’s your number? My number is 3. So, it’s official, I’m not a good Christian. Do I feel bad about it? Not really, because I don’t think there are many people who are better than that. I’m not challenged. And that was the inspiration for this post: one challenge that Christianity today is facing is the lack of role models. Actually, this issue is as old as Christianity and spreads deep into its foundations. Christianity is the only religion where the founder isn’t the faithful’s role model. Why? We can’t struggles to be like Jesus Christ, since people would call us crazy.
Nietzsche said that there was only one Christian and he died on the cross. He has a point, a big point, an undeniable point. Christianity is a great religion, but it seems that Christians are condemned to hypocrisy since nobody can live up to Christ’s ideals. Was it a wrong move to declare Jesus Christ God and turn the great example into a great exception?
But then, we don’t really need to strive for betterment, since Jesus Christ already redeemed all our sins. Well, as long as we go to church and ask for forgiveness. Wow! I buy that, it’s a steal!
More about the curse of hypocrisy in the next post.
*He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'”
**But I tell you, do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.
***Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, ” ‘Vengeance is mind, I will repay’ says the Lord.”