In no way am I suggesting via this writeup that I am a perfect follower of Christ or that I am without flaws. On the contrary, I am a hypocrite of hypocrites, unworthy of calling myself anything that even remotely resembles the word which means, "follower of Jesus."
Look around you. What do you see? Christians all over the place. I personally have met people who would call themselves a "Christian," but yet had no knowledge relevant to this faith
. Correct me if I am wrong, but if I go to a shop, looking for a mechanic's job, wouldn't it be wise for me to have that knowledge which would enable me to perform
at that job?
Please do not misunderstand me. I am not advocating that we Christians learn how to merely act Christian, no. What I am advocating is that we know what it is that we call ourselves. What is this calling we call "Christianity?"
"I therefore, the prisoner in the Lord, beg you to walk worthily of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and humility, with patience, bearing with one another in love." (Ephesians 4:1-2 Greek and Hebrew Bible)
A soldier answers the call of duty by taking the sword into his hand, and stepping out into the battlefield. If I profess to be a believer, I too have to answer the call of my faith by taking into account and bringing into action crucial aspects of that calling. If I simply walk around calling myself a "soldier," whilst never taking up arms, what sort of soldier am I? Just like there are people who sit in front of a screen and press the fire trigger on their console remote, there are "Christians" who wear certain clothing and only say certain things and only listen to certain types music which are appropriate for "Christians," but on the inside they are not Christians.
I wish only to point out one thing in regards to the façade of Christianity which America has very much embraced in this time in history---it is this:
"Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God, and knows God. He who doesn't love doesn't know God, for God is love." (1 John 4:7-8 Greek and Hebrew Bible)
No matter how elegantly you clothe yourself in religious wallpaper, you cannot hide who you are for long. If you have God in you, you will love. This does not mean that you will magically and instantly become the most loving and lovable person in the whole world, but it does mean that you will put your sincere effort into working on yourself, and not pointing the blame in all directions except for your own. The love which John is writing of is agape love. This Greek word for love is used 106 times, and is centered on affection and benevolence. Agape love is about sacrifice, and doing what is best for the other, regardless of the work it takes on your part. In reality, agape love is what makes the real and true Christian clock tick. Without it, we are not Christians---we are only liars!
And so, I look around myself and wonder, where is the love?
If I cannot sacrifice
some of what is myself, then I have not answered that call of God. We can put on all the holy clothes we want, carry around all the useless pieces of cross-jewelry, listen to all the "good" music, and say no profane thing---but if I find that I cannot love (in the agape sense), then I am simply participating in a masquerade (1 Corinthians 13
To be Christian is to live it. If I am not living it, I need to ask myself why. Is it because I never really accepted it? I believe that because there are so many that would hypocritically call themselves "Christians," (such as I have done before), the unbelieving man which does not know God has all but doubted and profaned His name. I do not give excuse to the unbeliever, but I do give fault to myself for settling on the superficial. If we were to be all that a Christian should be, then we would be hated even more, but His work would excel beyond what you dare even think. On behalf of us hypocritical believers, I would ask forgiveness for the hypocrisy that has wormed its way into this and many cultures, but I would not apologize for my beliefs.
To all you who call yourselves "Christians," know that without agape love, your religion
is as useless as a car without wheels. You will get nowhere. With true faith comes true love, which is agape love---what Christ showed on the cross