WARNING: This is a rather long read.
Would You Be A Christian If Your Parents Weren’t?
Someone asked me this question via chat on Thursday (10th March), but I was too busy/about-to-be-sleepy to give any answer beyond the ‘Yes’ that I sent. As I was about to switch off my data, someone else asked to add me to a group to join an ongoing discussion. Let me be honest with you, I’m tired of chat groups; but the person happily ignored my low-key pleas – promising I could leave whenever (after seeing what the discussion was about) – and added me anyway. The next day, I got to see numerous messages from the group on the very same topic (refer to blog post title). I stopped myself from rolling my eyes and thought; “I just knew it. Another religious argument thread? No thanks.” I toyed with the idea of just exiting the group but then I decided to be silent until I’d spoken with the person who added me. I was just going to state that I had no plans of trying to convince anybody about anything really, and request that I be removed. Call me lazy or whatever, but I am steadily striving to not be one to squander precious time bickering with persons who, under the guise of seeking understanding, only ever try to advertise their supposed sophisticated ‘advanced’ mode of reasoning in futile attempts to accurately dissect reality. It just drains me. And that’s exactly how I saw some in that conversation thread (it’s possible that I may have seen in error though); a group of highly gifted intellectuals who were so busy trying to unravel the layers of self-deception fed them by their arrogance, only a few bothered to leave any room for the possibility that they could actually be clueless. However, my data subscription had run out the night before (if I’d known, I wouldn’t have bothered switching it off) and there was no network in sight for my second line so all my thoughts and requests stayed in my head for a while. Then I began typing a response to the person on my phone – pending the return of the missing network signal – but as usual, it became too lengthy for mere DM text so the write-up got a promotion and moved to my laptop. By the time I was done, it was a five-page Word document (I know, I know…I’m working on it. #handsovermyeyes), so I decided I might as well share it here.
Here’s the not-so-very-detailed summary of a bit of what I understand (in case it begins to seem like I’m rambling, please note that most of this was written in response to both the question and comments I’d read in the chat thread):
The mistake many keep making is assuming this is a purely intellectual battle – it’s not (Ephesians 6:12). People keep assuming they can figure God out by drawing up these smart sounding arguments with a lot of fancy albeit vain words. He can’t be ‘figured out’ (Job 37:5/ 2 Peter 2:12). He gives revelation, understanding and insight into various matters that surpass our surface knowledge. That’s why those who’ve had personal contact with/experienced Him on a level far beyond the theoretical (1 Corinthians 12:3/ Acts 28:27), can be so immovably convinced of His indisputable authority over all. God would be a joke if the puny limited reasoning of humanity could wholly contain Him. I’m not sure I’d even want to worship a God I can map out so easily – when even the humans He created are yet to be completely understood.
It just wouldn’t add up.
Now someone reading might already be turned off and tempted to close this entire page for the following reasons (and maybe more):
- She’s assuming God exists.
- She’s assuming the bible is more than a mythical storybook.
- She’s not applying fancy philosophical premises to any of her introductory statements.
- She’s not sounding like she knows everything – she’s sounding like her God knows everything. Uncool.
- She’s acting like her God is superior to the gods of other religions; as if we aren’t ALL worshipping the same god.
And for the record, we don’t ALL worship the same God. Some people worship their boyfriend or customized Bugatti or lusts and make those their ‘god’. I promise you my God is not a possession, neither is He some fleeting attraction, nor sin…nor dead. Plus, He’s introduced Himself severally in ways that leave little room for confusion about His supremacy and sovereignty sooo…
Would I be a Christian if my parents weren’t? Yes. Would I be Christian just because I was born into a Christian family? Nope, never, not even close. See, God didn’t go to all the lengths He went to in order to rescue us from the consequences of our sin, only to sit and hoard the news and revelation of His Son’s gift. He provides an opportunity for EVERY single person to know of Him and learn the truth. Even if my parents were staunch worshippers of rice and beans, steeped in cluelessness and whatever, they would come in contact with the gospel of Jesus Christ or an opportunity to hear it, at least once in their lifetimes, as will I. It will then be left for each of us to make Him our choice — or not. Jesus never stops calling and reaching out to the lost masses – the masses just keep inventing new ways to enhance their deafness, or fold their arms stubbornly when He offers them His hand. Jesus is not tradition, or habit, or a generational heirloom. Jesus is a person who asks each and every human – before they leave the earth one main question (I paraphrase); “What will you choose? Life or Death?” The folk who keep trying to portray Him as some abstract atmospheric force and such, are just really lame ‘wanna-be’ comedians. It truly astounds me how often people try to lay claims to deep insights into the person of Christ when they obviously never even met Him. In WAEC’s biology practical examination are you solely questioned about creatures you’ve never seen, heard of or studied? If that happened, wouldn’t it be ridiculous and annoying? Yet that’s what many try to do with God – no idea who He truly is or what He’s about but they feel they’re in a position to deny His reality.
Wow. Real smooth.
So the main issue here is a lack of understanding (Proverbs 4:7//1 John 5:20) because as soon as one understands, they realize that a relationship with Christ is not something that’s inherited. It’s not genetic. Being a follower of Christ isn’t something you can pass on – like a contagious disease, mom’s wedding dress or Dad’s special wristwatch. It is a decision and it is done by faith (Ephesians 3:17). One needs to junk all the things the world, the mind, ‘feelings’, pain, etc. have taught them is the real thing and let truth Himself reveal what lies have made blind to.
You know why it seems that most people just opt to sit in the comfort of the religion they first encounter upon exiting the womb? Laziness is one, to me. We humans tend to love our comfort zones in many regards – I came, I saw, I left it like that. Society contributes to our being shaped and moulded; a society so saturated in deceit, lies practically lace the air we breathe. When we get comfortable in the flow we’ve been going with since we cried our first “Hello”, it may seem much too inconvenient and tedious to go out of one’s way to seek God; which is why He could be right before us and still not be found. Have you questioned yourself about how rumors are spread? Someone starts a wrong information thread, folks are too nonchalant, or lazy, or simple minded to verify and it blows up. If one day someone stepped up to refute the lie that became so widespread, few would be willing to pay such a one any mind. How do certain stereotypes become so concrete? What’s up with the phenomenon of self-fulfilling prophecies? It’s all linked! And yet none of these things occur without choice. People choose to believe the things that inspire their deeds – or lack of doing and, of course, the ‘Deceit Factor’ plays a major role in altering both perceptions and – ultimately – belief choices. Sometimes I find folks asking questions under the guise of seeking knowledge and yet from the tone and approach, the plausible assumption can be made that the questions are being applied more like booby traps they imagine can trap and cage the insight that their long ingested delusions have made them hostile to, rather than as tools to garner understanding. Everything seems viewed through the filter of a foundational disdain for the spiritual and divine.
One cannot approach God with a heart full of skepticism and disdain and claim to truly want to know Him.
No, such a one is just searching for a few extra scraps of info to fuel more arguments and fatten blasphemous habits more likely. How do you explain those who in spite of their backgrounds and what not, turn to Jesus? I know of a friend – Dad was a known and respected leader in an Islamic community. He led and served in that position for decades there-about (my facts aren’t flawless – the story is really old). Anyway, at some point he met Jesus and surrendered His life to Him. Obviously, that was large-scale betrayal to the community and their faith so he and his family got hunted for years, moving from state to state, near death experiences every other day… it was freaky. His children were really little then but he wasn’t about to back down for anything. What do you think gives people like him such resolution and courage? A few fancy words from a pulpit? Some psychologically satisfying conjuring to make up for boredom or random mood swings? Is Jesus just some entertaining monotonous routine with which we pad mainstream morality? Have you gone through historical accounts of the persecution followers of Christ have endured through the ages (not for any other reason beyond the fact that they who hate truth and have allowed themselves to be yielded to the wiles and controls of the father of darkness are just too uncomfortable around light and therefore automatically resent every carrier)? Those people saw things – believers are still seeing things. Trials and persecution are almost like our birthright even (Hebrews 12:5-7). Being the constant object of attack and spite and hate and wickedness—is that pleasant and emotionally appealing? (For people who claim that Christianity is only useful for a sense of belongingness and meeting psychological needs). Nobody in their ‘human’ sense and reasoning would ever opt for tediousness and torture just for those – they’d find an easier route. So there has to be more…
To be continued…