I’ve intentionally prepared this blog for Easter Sunday!
When everyone else thinks of Easter egg hunts and parties or just simply going to church and complete an obligation, I on the other hand – have been contemplating another “faith-based” post that I haven’t done for a while.
A week ago I had a chance to deliver a talk (for the 2nd time with this topic) – CLS Talk #2 – What it means to be a Christian.
I want to focus more on the facts of misconceptions for all Christians/Catholics that many of us fall into the trap of understanding barely the actions, without contemplating what it really meant. So, the talk enumerates four (4) of them as follows:
[MISCONCEPTIONS] – Christianity is a:
- A mere Religious system
- A mere Moral system
- A Social/Humanitarian system
- An Escape
Above misconceptions have been misunderstood, misjudged or shall we say a wrong thought that needs to be corrected.
Let me start by explaining why these are incomplete notions of our faith:
First, Religious System.
Majority of Christians nowadays think that our faith is a set of doctrines to believe in, some thing that requires memorization such as the Apostles Creed, Our Father, Hail Mary, etc. Sets of religious practices like going to mass, doing novenas, rosaries. Others do readings about God. Gaining knowledge about the religion or some do a lot for God. But the real question is, while all of these are correct and there is no wrong about them, do we actually understand why we are doing them? When we memorize a prayer yet not applying them in real life, knowledge becomes only up to our intellectual level. When we go to mass, yet an hour later we find ourselves angy, disappointed and wants to start a fight because of taxi or bus problems.
How do we align ourselves into this trap? These are incomplete labels for us – followers of Christ, that what we believe/do should be translated into our lives. These religious practices are ought to be “expressions of our faith” and not just a mere religious system. We do them, because in every relationship we have ways express that love. In our relationship with God, we pray, go to mass, do something for God because that is our expression of faith.
Second, Moral System.
People think of what is right or wrong. Don’t do this or that; do this, do that! Thou shall not kill, thou shall not steal, thou shall not lie – – – and the list goes on and on. When we look at our religion into this image – we see it as a legalistic faith. But it should not be! We do what is right and wrong because we are “expressing our love for God and His people”. Our religion should be life giving. That we do what pleases God and/or what makes our family, friends and brethren happy.
Third, Social/Humanitarian System.
Christianity most of the time is equated to being Humanitarian [Humanitarian – people/system that works to make other people’s lives better]. Also equals to people are good, kind, never get angry, all smiles and pleases everyone. While it is true, that Christians posess those qualities, we are also just human. Yes, we envisions our people to be better in all aspects of our lives and be able to claim that we are happy, good, kind people – we also have our own limitations that sometimes we fall into sin and not being able to cope up with this misconception and thus needs the Holy Spirit to guide us. We are not only the faithful in this earth, other religions or shall we say non-Christians are also good. Infact for us OFWs who have faced many different nationalities/religious people – they too are good.
Finally, an Escape.
Christianity is an escape in the realities in life, that this kind of faith is only for the poor, the weak and those who couldn’t cope up with life. But the truth is, we Christians are the strongest among many faithful, because our identity comes from someone who is indeed tough and faithful. That is none other than our Saviour Jesus Christ who has won our salvation right before we asked for it!
“This Easter, let us recall why we become Christians. Let us go deeper on meanings of these rituals/religious practices and understand that there is mission at hand. This reminder applies not only in this season but at all times, especially when we claim to be a follower of Christ. We are His warriors – His missionaries in helping our fellow Christians.”
Get a copy of my talk’s slide on this link: CLS Talk # 2.