I’m not big on forcing my viewpoint of eternity and God on other people, instead hoping that people will come to him through observation of the love and joy of other believers. But what I am big on is the contemplation of those beliefs. Too many times we believe something but are too scared to explore it for fear of eternal repercussions. This leaves us with only a surface level understanding of our beliefs, along with a fiery ego. I believe this is contributing to why Christians are being viewed more and more as frustrating antagonists rather than the light of the world.
All that remains are just arguments, and these arguments are incompatible with the current structure where scientific observation is prized above all other forms of argument.
We’re learning more and more about the intricacies of creation by the hour. Some of the liturgical arguments of the Bible are beginning to break down in the eyes of the world. The idea of a 6,000 year old Earth is increasingly difficult to argue, and the idea of seven-day creation flies about as well as a paper airplane with a whole in its wing.
We must learn to argue on a different level. One that exists separate of a set of trite non-answers that were supplied by your pastor. We must argue the way God intended us to, using actions and testimony.
We achieve incredible things when we show, not tell, other people our beliefs. When the lies and yelling and fighting for the truth are let being in favor of helping people through sacrifice. It takes one look at the newspaper to realize that a strong need still exists in the world, and these needs take a multitude of forms. I believe that each need is an opportunity, perhaps a missed one, for a Christian to help another soul.
This is no missionary call, either, if my experience is any indication. People all around you need hope of the simplest kind. I run into so many people on a daily basis, and most of the time all it takes is a simple conversation to make them feel better. I admire people who start churches at the ends of the earth so much, but that’s not the only way to be the salt of the earth.
It seems we’ve forgotten how to do even the most basic things in the name of God. You can still pay for that person having a stressful day behind you at Starbucks. You can still donate to your local food bank. You can still offer to cut the grass of the person who’s getting a little older. You can still take the time to listen to the story of your friend in class who went through some health issues. You can still help teach your fellow employee a skill they may not be proficient at quite yet.
It’s time to stop arguing with a classmate on Facebook. It’s time to start helping him with his homework. It’s time to stop cramming a sermon into five minutes. It’s time to start listening to someone’s story for five minutes. It’s time to stop ranting, and it’s time to start praying. You can still pray to God.
In my experience, prayer unlocks everything. He healed my back because I prayed to him. He guides me through my decisions because I pray to him. And he shows me how to love others because I pray to him. And you can do all of this without ever once threatening anyone about an eternity in Hell.
[Thanks Daily Post for coming up with a super cool daily prompt!]