Very recently I found myself stumped when a close friend of mine came to me with questions about God. I have always claimed to know God, love God, and follow God and it is because of that that I refer to myself as a christian.
One of the questions my friend asked me was if I thought that her grandparents went to heaven. WOW. That is a deep question, and I immediately thought to myself “I didn’t even know them, how do I answer that?” Then it dawned on me, I didn’t need to have known them in order to answer for John 3:16 says “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” With that I told her that I believed that if her grandparent’s knew God then she could rest assured that they were up there partying with the “Big Man.”
Another topic we discussed was whether or not we thought that different religions all ended up in the same place, heaven. I had never really given it much thought, and I find it sad to realize that I have never taken the time to research other religions. I feel as though that makes me ignorant in various ways and I have definitely made a mental note to do some research. Not that I want to change my religion or my beliefs, but that so I can claim to be a well – rounded individual and have “intelligent” conversations with people from other religions and backgrounds because I truly believe that we can learn a lot from others.
My friend that I was having a discussion with is a Hindu, and yes I just had to google how to spell that. I have no background knowledge to her religion, but if you have ever met this friend of mine you know she lights up the whole room when she smiles or laughs, and is ALWAYS the first person to offer a hand when someone is in need. Just recently people from our dorm has started to bully her about her religion. (I could write an entire separate blog just on the irony of this situation, so bare with me as I try to keep it short and to the point) Anyways, people from my dorm have begun to attack her with their religion and it disgusts me.
Ever heard any negatives terms associated with Christians? Sadly, I can think of at least five off the top of my head. These so claimed “christians” from my dorm have used the excuse of “bringing my friend to Christ” to beat her down from the inside out. They claim that herself and her family are going to hell because her views and beliefs differ from theirs. I’m sorry, but I do not believe that bringing my friend to tears with harsh words and the promise that her grandfather, who just passed away before Christmas, is rotting in hell is the way to bring her to Christ. In fact, it is doing the exact opposite by pushing her away.
When things like this happen It infuriates me.. Why do we question why people think that Christians are psycho and mean, narrow-minded people when the answers are right in front of our faces. It is the small, yet extremely voiced people who use God’s word to put others down that make people associate Christians with a negative “shoving religion down your throat” reputation. That, ladies and gentlemen, is NOT what God’s word is for.
God does call us to spread his word and save “the lost,” however, he also calls us to love our neighbors and to let his light shine through us. Roman 13: 8 -10 says “Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.”
God calls us to love all our neighbors, I believe that it is through sharing God’s love and allowing Him to burst out of our every action that we share God’s word and love best. For I believe that that is a big part of what God is all about. From now on, I will strive to be a better example to those who do not know Christ. I want people to question me, not because they have been hurt by another person claiming to be a follower of God, but because they want to know my secret and who my God is, and next time I want to have the answers.
In the meantime, I ask those who are reading this to pray for my friend, the “confused” Christians, and myself as we all try to learn from one another.