Days like these. I have so much to say. So much to comment about. Maybe this is why I like ignoring everyone. So that I can retreat back into my own little cocoon and think about things.
Whatever I am going to say next is higher personal. So if I offend anyone. I am sorry. This is just how I view things. And everyone is entitled to his or her own view. Disclaimer. What I say is not one hundred percent factual. Considering how little I know about this field. Highly opinionated. But I guess there are some truths in it. So it is entirely your choice to believe me or not.
I do not really like to talk about religion since it is such a touchy issue. But after what happened earlier. I guess I needed to say something about it? This will be a rather long post so please bare with me. And my thoughts are running all over the place so I apologise if I am incoherent. Or if the post does not really flow well.
So I was waiting for the bus home when some lady approached me to do a survey. One of those Christianity surveys again. Since the bus had not arrived, I went ahead and did the survey. After which, she went on talking about the Passover and stuffs. How predictable.
What really turned me off was how she tried to impose her views on me. No doubt there are many variations and interpretations of what the Bible says. But I believe everyone has the right to choose what they want to believe in. Personally. I do not think there is a distinct right or wrong. It is just a matter of how you view things. What really annoyed me was how that lady made it seem as though if I do not follow the “right” way of doing things, which is her way of doing things, God will not be happy.
Granted. There are rules to follow in the bible. Things that God specifically tell us to do and not to do. But really. Christianity is not about following rules and only doing the right and acceptable things. Rather. It is about a relationship. A relationship God. To me. That is the fundamental building block of Christianity. I guess that is what sets Christianity apart from the other religions. I would not even call Christianity a religion because its main emphasis is on getting to know God the Father. It is about your own personal experience and relationship with God and not a set of hard and fast rules you have to follow.
Just so you can understand where I am coming from. Here is some background about how I was being brought up and my personality. I am born into a Christian family. Which essentially makes me a second generation christian. Parents brought me to church since I was a baby. Not even kidding. So I never got exposed to other religions.
Perhaps you might think I am biased towards Christianity. Maybe I am. But. Do not get me wrong. I have nothing against other religions. I think it is perfectly fine to choose what you want to believe in. After all religion is a highly personal decision and choice. And ultimately. Most religions teach us to be good people and live a humble and righteous life. And I do not see anything wrong with that.
Anyway. Back to my story. At this point. Most of you will probably think that my views on Christianity is highly bent on the way I was being brought up and that I blindly followed my parents beliefs. I beg to differ. If you know me personally. You would most definitely say I am one who does not blindly follow others. I have my own personal stand to things. And I do as I deem fit. That alone is enough to prove that I did not choose Christianity just because my parents are Christians. Perhaps when I was a kid. Which is not that long ago. I “blindly” followed my parents. I mean. How was I suppose to know anything then.
As I grew older. I began to question things and start wondering if God is really worth believing in. Well. I still chose to be a Christian. Because I had my own personal experiences with God. And he has always been faithful to me. That will be a story for another day. If Christianity was about rules and practices. Trust me. I will not be a Christian today. The reason why I chose Christianity is because it is really about having a relationship with God. I do not really know how to put this. You got to experience it for yourself to understand. I guess. If I really had to summarize it. I will say it is having someone whom you can trust and rely on. Knowing that He will never fail you.
On this note. I will like to touch on the word – choice. I chose to become a Christian. God always gives us the freedom of choice. He sets down the rules and instructions. But never once did he force us to do anything we did not wish to do.
Even in the bible. There have been many people who chose to disobey God. Or decide not to follow his orders. God did judge them for their actions and decisions. But never once did he say. No. You have to follow my instructions. He gave all of them the freedom to choose. There is a difference between judging and forcing. And I hope no one mixes that up. God has to judge because he is fair and just. Those who disobey will be disciplined. But. Let me get this straight. He does not deny you from making your own choices.
Cut the long story short. God states his instructions. You make a choice and bear the consequences. Good or bad. Simple. Oh and before you start thinking that God is all that demanding and scary. I should probably tell you that God does reward those who listen to him. I mean. Does that not only make sense? And He is a merciful God so He always gives chances. But do not ever push your luck.
Side note. I hate how messy this post is turning out. Getting really annoyed. Writing based on where my thoughts lead me to. I detest being so disorganised. Have to do things extremely systematically. At least when it involves penning my thoughts down. There has to be some flow. Then again it is very hard to organise your thoughts especially when there is so much to talk about. And when one thought leads to another. This is making me sad.
Back to what I was initially talking about. This is why I got really annoyed at the lady who approached me to do the survey. She went on and on and on about how there is only one right way to do things. When I told her what I believed in. She immediately rebutted me and said that the bible states otherwise. Oh please. I could have referred to other verses in the bible to support my stand. But I could tell that she was not going to buy it and the conversation was going no where so I chose not to. I am open to other views or interpretations. There just might be some truths in it. But I hate people imposing their views on me. You have your own set of beliefs and values. So do I.
I guess now I know why so many non-believers feel so pressured to make a change. Even I as a believer felt so suffocated and forced. What more non-believers. I think this is sad. No one should ever be forced to convert or change their beliefs and follow someone else’s because they claim theirs is the “right” and “only” way.
Worst part is. Like I mentioned earlier. Christianity is about a relationship with God. To me. Unless you have had your own experience with God. You will never truly understand Christianity. In other words. You cannot force anyone to convert into a Christian. Only they themselves have the ability to choose to follow God after experiencing him. If not. It will just be blind faith. And they will soon feel that there is nothing much to Christianity and God is not real. I really do not know how else I can bring my point across. Really regretting not studying harder and building up my vocabulary. Nonetheless. I hope you get my drift.
This is why I am so against the usage of force. And if anyone pressures another to convert into a Christian. That in itself is already going against what God desires. He always wanted us to have the will to choose. At this point. You may argue that God already knows what is going to happen in the future. Therefore. In some sense. Everything is already planned out for and you have no choice. Not true. At different junctures of our lives we still have the liberty to choose. We can choose to go against God’s will or follow it. Take the left path instead of right. He will not stop us. Just that perhaps. Our lives will not be as fulfilling or as smooth sailing. Because the path He chooses for us is always the best. Since He knows everything. That is why we are always encouraged to follow God’s instructions even though it may not be what we want to do. Because He knows what the future holds.
For myself. I chose to disobey. And obey. At different points in my life. To summarise. When I chose to disobey. Things seem fine at first. All under control. Going the way I imagined it to be. But slowly. After a while. Problems start to arise. Conflicts happened. I got upset. But thank God. Because of His love and mercy. He helped me out of those sticky situations I put myself in. He always directs you to the right path. The path in which you will feel happy and live a fulfilling life. But. Again. Whether you want to listen or not. Is entirely your choice.
As for obeying. That is really a pain. Most. If not all the time. What God asks out of me opposes what I want to do. So choosing to obey was never easy. And disobeying always seemed like a more attractive choice. Lucky for me. There were times that I chose to obey. Have to admit. At the start. Things did not go well. I begin to question why God put me through all these. I could never really see how all those tough times would be good for me. But over time. He slowly reveals how various incidences have made me into a better person. Person with more compassion. Love. Understanding. Patience. Strength. It is all part of His moulding process. I am glad that I make the right choices every now and then. Because all those struggles have made me into who I am today. Will not say I am perfect. But I am definitely better than who I was yesterday.
And I really have to disagree. With one thing the lady said. She said. The way to eternal life is by following God’s commands and doing the Passover correctly. And a whole lot of other rules to follow. I think this concept is so screwed up that I do not even know where to start criticizing it.
The way to eternal life is by believing in God. Because Jesus is the way. The truth. And the life. And the blood of The Lamb is the rubber stamp. (Will elaborate on that a bother time.) Clearly stated in John 3:16. “For whoever BELIEVES in me shall not perish but have eternal life.” It is as simple as that. Why complicate Christianity? All God wants you to do is believe in Him and follow His word. Believing in Him will already give you a ticket to heaven. Well unless you do something immoral. Or something to angry Him. Or not follow his will. (And a whole lot more things that I cannot be bothered to explain now.) Then He might change His mind. Truthfully. We will never really know who can or cannot enter the gates of heaven. God makes the final decision.
Back to the main point. If all that one needs to do to get to heaven is to believe. Why is it that so many Christians are so caught up with the nitty gritty. Whether you do the “right” things the “right” way at the “right” time. And in the process criticizing each other’s varied opinions and views. Should we not, instead, be focusing on helping others to gain their own experience with God. So that they will believe. And choose to follow God.
True. You cannot really do much to enable one to experience God. Because it is not under your control and God has His own timing for things. But you can always share your experiences and invite them to events in which they might have an opportunity to experience God. As believers. Our job. I feel. Is not to force. Nor to convince. Others into believing. But instead. Creating opportunities for them to experience God. See the difference?
Perhaps this is why I am so bad at evangelising. Because I never wanted. And try not to seem like I am imposing my views on others. So it could possibly come across as unconvincing. I guess to me. Timing is everything. God will open doors. You just have to be aware. And use every opportunity to share. Not impose. Whatever happens next. Leave that to God. Only He can move and touch someone’s life. We have no rights and power to do so.
Just another gentle reminder. When someone receives Christ through us. Or with our help. Do not get arrogant and think it is all your doing. Look above and thank Him. He was the one who created these opportunities. And moved the person. You are just His assistant. Have to say this because I find that many a times. As humans. We tend to claim credit to ourselves. Get arrogant. And forget that the one behind it all is God. That is when the problem starts.
I guess what happened today was just a good intention put across in a not so good way. Appreciate her effort in evangelism. Though I disagree with some things she said. I am in no position to decide what is right or what is wrong. After all who am I to judge.
There. I finally covered everything I wanted to say. I think. Hope I did not leave anything out. And I hope no one got offend. Sorry if you are. And I hope that you do not see me as a know it all. Truth is I know nothing at all. I mean there is so much to God. And so much to learn. This is just my two cents worth. A bit of what I have accumulated and understood over the years.
Actually. I do have a lot more to say. I would like to share more about the whole idea of having a relationship with God and doing His will. In depth. But sadly. I do not have the time to do so now. So I guess I will have to leave that for another day.