Unless you have been underground mining in Chile, unplugged from the world at large (in which case you aren’t reading this, either), or attempting to sail across the Atlantic, you have heard about the shooting/massacre that took place in San Bernardino, California or the bombings in Brussels. Was it Isis? Was it al Queda? Was it an Asian guy that lives an incredibly pressured home-life? What about one of those Arkansas boys that dresses in black and listens to heavy metal? (catch the reference, there? – this is me winking-) The media, and public-at-large, hears the pronunciation of that middle eastern name and starts assuming, terrorist. Guilty.
Let’s back up a moment…
The media and public are up in arms about possible ties to Isis. But does that really matter? Does it matter which group, club, or mosque they pay dues to? I realize that if there is some score tally sheet it would really help to decide which team to put the little mark under. That way we could see which team we want to play in the championship, and really give them hell! But other than that…they performed an act of terrorism, whether it’s considered domestic or international. And right now, sources are scouring in every nook and cranny looking for evidence of such. In essence, they are trying to “prove” belonging.
That brings me to my real point.
All of that got me thinking…what if I were in a country where my faith/beliefs were, um, disapproving(?), and they brought me in for persecution. Would they be able to “prove” that I was a Christian? Ouch. I’m not so sure they could. And if I really feel that way, shouldn’t exploring why be more important to me than “proving” someone else’s faith? I mean, aren’t we guilty of that all the time? Guilty of shaking our fingers at others with the, “and she says she’s a Christian,” look. Am I living a life that actually proves, to those looking at my life, that I am indeed a Christian?
Let’s honestly explore that. If I were taken into custody for “being a Christian,” what would they look for? Have I contacted a church through e-mail or phone calls/texts? No. Have I contributed financially to a church? Yes. Although, I’m guessing a lot of you could answer no. No? Humph. Am I listed on an official member list of a Christian church? Yes. Are you? Have I been witnessed as attending Christian “rituals” of church services, private meetings (small groups) with other Christians, etc? Yes. Have you?
But what about my personal life? My home life, away from “religious rituals.” Does my presence on social media reflect my faith? Or can I be seen posting videos/memes with profanity, vulgarity, or things contradictory to Christian faith? The point is…am I publicly leading my life as a Christian or am I following a set of Christian rituals out of habit? A set of rituals to check off of my Things to Be a Christian At list? What if you interviewed my closest friends and family? I’ll use their middle names, in case they disapprove of being mentioned- but what about Kristen? If you interviewed her could she answer to my Christian behavior, or my non-Christian behavior? Do I cuss around her? Do I drink alcohol around her? Do I gossip about others, act in vulgar ways, and become belligerent around her? Actually, yes.
Have I worshiped in her presence? Have I spoken to her about the Christian faith or encouraged her to follow the Christian response to things? Have I supported her in Christian spiritual growth and ask she do the same for me? Actually, yes. Could she speak as a witness and defend my belonging to the Christian faith? I believe so. But what about Nicole or Tareas? Could they be used as a credible witnesses to my defense? If I apply those same questions to my friendship with them they are not as strong. Let me be clear and say that I don’t doubt they would be there to help me. I just don’t know if they’ve witnessed enough to be as much help as Kristen. I can honestly say that I have physically worshiped with only two of my personal friends. After those three, the credibility of my witnesses really taper off. I would be in big trouble.
Don’t forget about the Prosecution.
Up until now we’ve seen what all I’ve done to defend my belonging to Christianity (truthfully, it’s a belonging to Christ). But what about the information the prosecution would present? What about the cross-examination of those three friends? All three of them, and the collective rest of my girl-group, have witnesses MUCH more about me that would “disprove” my Christianity. It would be a complete annihilation of any set of good practices that I had formed through Christian habit. It would be the ultimate victim turned faultor. The girl you see on television who was raped but is blamed for it because of the way she dressed and acted. You get the idea.
I have to admit they would have a good case. A really really good one. I have years and years and years of really bad decisions. Some are accompanied by really funny stories. Others are so embarrassing that I had to have a confession night with my husband where we opened up about everything in our past. Everything. Ugh, those are the worst. There were a lot of witnesses. Too many to count…er, remember. And I would be worried to hear some of their versions of what happened. It’s not like they would be interviewing my parents or folks that extended grace and forgiveness towards me. No, you’d have a whole slew of ex’s and frienemies, angry students I failed, and a few in-laws. Ha!
My point is there are way too many skeletons in my closet and not enough prayer beads on my necklace. I’m not even to bracelet status….I may have a key chain. I don’t even have a little rough spot on my knees from spending enough time on them praying. So……..what do you do once you realize you would be found not-guilty of belonging to your faith? How do you convince a jury (or Judge) that you, indeed, are guilty of being a Christian?
Luckily, the Christian faith…..following Jesus…..is all about mercy, grace and forgiveness. It doesn’t matter how many years of “bad” or how bad my “bad” was…all any of us have to do is ask Him for forgiveness and to come into our hearts to live. That’s it. How would you get a group of non-believers to believe that is all there is to it? You can share the gospel, but believing is a matter of the heart. And changing the hearts of non-believers into believers is the job of the Good Lord himself. How do you prove in court that a changing of the heart has occurred? By taking a look at the evidence AFTER you say the heart had changed. And that, my friends, still isn’t completely full of evidence that I am living a Christian life. I’m working on it. I really am. But I challenge you- take a look at your own life. Are you publicly leading it according to how you claim your belief system to be? Think about that the next time you want to point fingers at others.
Your Mediocre Mom