I grew up in a time when professing Christianity, meant you stopped smoking, drinking, fornicating and clubbing. So quite a few church testimonies began with, “I used to drink but…”
I drink and occasionally go clubbing with friends. I know several other Christians who do. So, I wonder what the standard of our transformation is.
When many people go to church, they expect to interact with an intelligent & authentic divine being and loving & approachable people. Instead, they often meet a cold book and list of rules. They meet plastic people who seem to have their shit together. People who do not know where new church members live or what they are going through. This is because they rarely probe, beyond the formulaic, “How are you?”
New members are often ushered into a system where they only matter and are only noticed, if they attend a cell fellowship, join a church department or give significant offerings. The message communicated is, “Conform or go home. You don’t act like us.” or “We don’t treat sick people here. And when we do, we have limited beds. If you do not get well soon, you will need to leave.”
In the midst of all these conflicting signals, are genuine fathers and mothers. Shepherds and caregivers. The quiet ones, the encouraging ones. Those who wear the badge of servanthood with pride.
I think instead of asking people if they’ve fasted, we should ask them the last time they gisted with God. Instead of asking if they’ve prayed for hours, we should ask about the last time they put a smile on a destitute’s face.
I know we live in perilous times and there’s a need for spiritual warfare (and the disciplines that accompany same). But two essential pieces of armour are faith and love. You cannot love a God you do not know. And, you cannot have faith in a God you do not trust.
Relationship, not fasting, breeds divine intimacy and trust. It creates a connection to the Holy Spirit, where he gives specific instructions that are relevant to you, not the whole church.
Perhaps the goal of the Christian church, should be to develop God and people lovers, not good Christians.
It would be wonderful for strangers to point to Christians and exclaim, “Those guys are Christians!” They would know this, because we demonstrated love to them.You cannot love a God you do not know. And, you cannot have faith in a God you do not trust. Click To Tweet