Thursday, October 29, 2009
What Is A Christian?
What is a Christian?
Carl was a quiet man. He worked hard all his life. He took good care of his family and kept to himself. Over the course of his life, he shied away from church. He said "it just wasn't for him". After drinking a beer one day in his basement, he bowed his head and acknowledged the Gift of God. Something supernatural happened and he started to slowly change, though he didn't mention it to anybody for quite some time.
Tina was a lonely wife. She felt isolated from her husband all too often. Though she knew God, she flirted with unhealthy relationships. Over time she began pursuing men in an unhealthy way and destroyed much of the peace in her family. After a while, she was too ashamed to go to church. She felt judged, but also used it as an excuse to fulfill her wrongful cravings. Her emotions often ruled her actions in an unhealthy manner. One day, she prayed, cried and asked God to forgive her. The next, she found herself with other men.
John received Jesus as a teenager. He was excited about church and evangelism for a time. As his high school years passed on, events caused him to begin hanging with the wrong crowd. A youthful spirit and the pride of life deceived him into pursuing that which looked appealing, but it's end, destruction. As more years passed he found himself addicted to alcohol and drugs. He still sensed God's presence, but he couldn't bring himself to shake his habits. They clung to him like a noose around his neck. Though he never quit believing, he felt too condemned to spend much time with people who he knew to be Believers.
Haily experienced an incredible experience. A leader in her ring of prostitutes, some one came and told her about Jesus. The encounter shook her very being and she prayed right there to receive Him. Excited, she told all her friends and associates. When she arrived at church that week, tears streaked down her face. She was so excited to be a part of something real. She found a seat right at the front of the church. She was ready to learn. That's when people around her began to whisper and stare. She swallowed with some apprehension, but having child like faith, she held her position, head up. Then an usher approached her piously. "You may not worship with us dressed in that attire. Please go home and change." Someone snickered. All eyes were on her. Suddenly the riveting love she had been high on seemed to dissipate. She felt the all familiar judgement and her old cynical nature told her she was a "sucker". "I'm never coming back here again" she whispered, almost blinded by the tears as she ran out the doors.
Gordon was a baby shaken at birth, though no one knew it. As he grew, it became apparent he would never function on his own. Despite his limited understanding, he could tie his shoes, count to five and preform very simple tasks. He lived in a group home until he suffered a stroke. After that, he lived in a nursing home. By then, he was even more a prisoner of his own body. He had to be fed, turned, changed and bathed. People had to dress him and lift him into a wheel chair where he stared blankly at the television much of the day. One day, as a nurse passed by, he felt the Presence of God. Though he couldn't express it, he felt something when she was around. She sometimes sang songs and when she did, he seemed to comprehend much more than he had before. With all that was within him, he reached for that supernatural force of love he sensed. One day she prayed for him and he felt something so wonderful happen. Despite the fact he was a prisoner in his own body, there was a friend there with him. He lived that last week much more peacefully.
Linda was a very religious woman. She was raised in church and attended the same congregation all her life. She always tithed and gave offerings. She had the pastor over monthly for Sunday dinner. Her husband was well known in the community and he served on the church board. Yes, Linda lived quite properly and looked down upon those outside her congregation. Linda was the first to spot Haily. She made it her business, to bring it to the attention of the usher that morning. She saw John one day in the grocery market buying beer. She recognized him. She approached him haughtily and with mock concern, pried for information which she later relayed to all her friends "to pray about". She also drove Tina away from the few women who tried to reach out to her. They were from another congregation she didn't approve of. Through manipulation and deceit she saw to it those women would not be recruiting Tina into their group. She also had a lot to say about John, though he was smart enough never to darken the doors of her church.
What Is A Christian?