I just concluded a conversation with a good friend of mine who brought to my attention that a mutual friend has “converted to Islam”. After some discussion of the differences between the Nation of Islam and Christianity, I had an “AHA” moment.
What struck me was this. People are searching for spiritual reality and many times, we mistakenly think the matter is an issue of doctrine. I know within my own life it is important that my belief system has consistency and historical support. I enjoy church history, systematic theology and comparative religion as much as the next person, but in the final analysis, orthodoxy or nonorthodox is not the deciding factor among seekers.
Most people are simply looking for the inner peace that comes from discovering their true self. That is, the I God intended for them to be. Unfortunately much of Christianity today, focuses upon hiding and denying your authentic self. The results are self-hatred and in some cases, cause Christians to be seen as angry/judgmental people.
In their defense, some people who leave the stream of Christianity do not have an issue with Jesus or scripture, but the church’s projection of what “God” is like. Christianity has for years projected an image of God as angry, temperamental, judgmental and insecure. This God seems to have an anger-management problem which resulted in mass murder in every age of human history.
This is inconsistent with the biblical revelation of God manifested in flesh (Jesus) and in my opinion, is more of a projection of humanities concept of God. Christians today have the task and the opportunity to right this improper concept but it requires introspection, reflection and transformation. It is time for the God that was in Christ, to become the Christ in the church both corporately and individually.
Paul speaks about this when he says “to whom God was pleased to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:” (Col 1:27). This is part of the ultimate intention of God (to reveal God’s self) through the creation, and is the high calling to which we have been called. The hunger and desire in the human heart is a response to this call.
We are living in a day and age where people are disillusioned with packaged faith of all kings. Whether Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist or other, none of these “systems” have the answer which people are seeking. People will only be fulfilled when they reconnect at the core of their being with the source of Being. It is not following rules, rituals and ceremonies where God will be found. All of these may be external tools to assist but God, which is Spirit, must be discovered within.
My prayer for 2013 is that we followers of Jesus accept the call to be witnesses and allow the life of God to manifest through us to a seeking world.