A letter to my Christian Brethren: The irony of Faith, how to hold true to it, and how to preach without annoying your non-Christian Brethren
The clock strikes 2pm, and my pace was still slow as it normally is. I was late for sure, but who really bothers about that? Especially when it’s a required elective class that you had no interest in. ‘Encountering the Bible’, was the subject.
The class was already filled with people, and everyone was seated in a circle for a reason that I have not come to know. So I went towards the only open seat in that circle, seating next to a cute girl.
“What is the Bible to you?” the professor asked the whole class. He had a long beard, making him look like some sort of Santa Claus. Believe it or not, the only thought that came to my mind, was if he consumes alcohol and gets drunk on the weekend for a professor who teaches Biblical Literature. “Discuss with the people around you”
I turned towards my left, as I initiated the conversation, “What is the Bible to you?” Let’s call her Beanie, and she said “the Bible is the truth.”
The controversial me who likes to stir up arguments continued my prodding of her intellectual thoughts. “How do you know it is the truth?”
“Because I know it is”
Correction, the controversial me like to stir up arguments with people who actually puts up a fight with real arguments and thoughts. So I turned around and just looked at the professor, cause I wasn’t ready to shake someone’s seemingly solid beliefs that have empty substance.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not anti-Christ, nor do I actually believe in something so firm that I would put my life and all my gold in that one pot. I would call myself agnostic, but I would also like to believe that there is a supreme being. Emphasis on “like to”, I just don’t know, because faith, to me, is such a futile concept.
I’ll be honest. I love the concept of faith, and you can debate with me however you want, but to me, it’s just… beautiful. The trust that you need to have, to sustain that kind of faith, is astounding. It’s like giving yourself up, unconditionally as it seems, to something that you hold true to your heart. And again, an emphasis on “your”.
See, if I turn the picture around, and put people with schizophrenia in the picture instead. They might tell me, that there is someone standing right next to the window. The crazier thing is that, they actually hear it. You might call it hallucination, he might call it “Faith”. So… technically, he knows that he is experiencing what he heard, so are we suppose to deny his faith? or let it be?
The comparison of the schizophrenic patient and Christians is not a form of insult towards Christianity. It’s a reminder to my Christian friends of the importance to understand your own beliefs, not through blind faith, but through substantial knowledge. So when someone ask you why you believe in what you believe, you actually know why you believe in it and not because “I know it is”.
Over the years, I’ve done my fair share of questioning, studying and learning about the knowledge. The more I know, the more I don’t know. I know, pretty ironic, and a lot of ‘know’s in that sentence. I can firmly call myself a ‘kinda’ non-Christian, which, interestingly, lead to many other people with other beliefs approaching me and preaching about their beliefs. However, I’ve learned a few tips over the years during my search, to hold true to your beliefs and to not annoy your non-Christian Brethren if you’re interested in preaching. So let’s get into some lists, because people remember better when things are in lists!
1. Hold firmly on to your relationship with God.
Sometimes, I still wish I was born into a Christian household. It just makes it a lot easier to put faith in a religion that you grew up in. I understand all the debates about how your faith won’t be strong, and that Christian sometimes envy the other Christians who came from a non-Christian background and have stronger faith, yada yada yada.
Bruh, I am a simple man, and as much as I understand that it helps strengthen it, but me personally, I’d rather not struggle with this kind of stuff. Coming back to the point, most of my friends who have strong faith in their belief and still walk really close in the path of Christ, have some sort of relationship with God. No matter what happened to them, or what they heard from God, or what they seen from God. The fact that they decided to believe that God is the one who have helped them through thick and thin, and have established that relationship with him, is what makes it so strong, and so beautiful.
It’s like having a truly unconditional relationship with someone. Someone that you might not be able to see or touch in this life time, but still, very beautiful indeed. And that’s the thing, it is YOUR relationship with God. It’s not mine, it’s not my mum’s or my cat’s relationship with God. It’s yours. That’s all you need to know, cause people will never truly understand what you’ve been through, so don’t let anyone tell you what to belief. Unless you believe that disrespecting people is a good thing, or mass shooting, then you probably should go see a therapist.
2. Don’t Preach to me. Show me.
In all honesty, Jesus is still someone that I look up to a whole lot. I sometimes tell myself that I really should learn from him. Well, sometimes, some of the things. I’m still pretty young, gotta let my hormones and desire take control of my body some times. Maybe I’ll be good one day, maybe not. I’ll be sure to send an update when I’m 55 years old.
The few times that really got me thinking about being Christian, were not because someone pointed at my face and told me that “CHRIST IS GOD!” Trust me, I’ve been there. I’ve had my Engineering professor preaching to me about Christianity with scripture that held a decent amount of substance, and here I am, still not convinced. Honestly, the whole conversation ended with me saying “if I’ve to choose between searching for truth to get closer to God and end up in Heaven or never knowing God but spent my whole life helping people yet having to go to hell, I’d rather go to hell.” My professor did not say a word after that, I got an A for the paper I wrote and I still hold true to that ideology.
If you want to know something, my Christian Brethren.
“Why do you not believe in Christ?” is really not the best question, not to me at least.
The few times that really got me thinking about being Christian, were because of the unconditional kindness that I’ve experienced from Christians who closely follow the footsteps of Christ. Christians who have shown me love, through inviting me over to their place for dinner, and truly wanted a better life for me. Christians, that when you look into their eyes, all you see is how much they care for you. (Thanks Grandma, Grandad and Danielle)
I understand that you don’t want anyone to miss out on such a great opportunity to go to heaven and be loved by God, but humans are humans, and we are selfish, stupid and ignorant sometimes. The only thing that we truly respond to, at least most of us, is kindness. So show some love next time. Before you open your mouth and say “You should believe in Christ”. Stop. Draw out that inner kindness, and ask about the struggles that the other person is going through and ACTUALLY try to help them. (If you have the time and energy, that is)