A week ago, I was meeting with a couple of good people for a business initiative. Lasted quite longer than we expected.
As we were wrapping things up, someone asked me some questions about Christianity. I’ll have to admit that I struggled in answering his questions. It’s been a very long time since someone talked to me about faith.
There came a time when I was the go-to guy when it comes to those stuff. He probably thought that I held the same beliefs. I don’t.
You see, I’m someone who’s experienced a terrible shakening in my faith, and that resulted to my disillusionment with the Church. For a couple of years now, I’ve been wandering from church to church, all in an attempt to gain back the confidence I had back then. Please don’t get me wrong; I love Christians. I’m just finding it hard to believe that they would love me the same, with all my doubts and all my questions and all my imperfections, especially my harsh sentiments regarding how they should behave when it really matters (I believe I’m too arrogant to think that I know better than them, and for this I hate myself too).
Also a week ago, President Duterte made blasphemous remarks about God. Funny thing is, I’m not even angry at what he said; neither do I disagree with him entirely. I totally understand his remarks, especially the questions he must have asked before he arrived at his conclusion. I knew he’s not a full-fledged Christian, and I’ll have to admit that I admired him for his honesty in saying those outlandish remarks. At least, he took time to confront his doubts and make sense of it. I can’t hope to expect more from him.
What still doesn’t make sense to me, is the fact that many Christians still believe God willed for Duterte to be president. He most certainly did not. But he permitted, yes, and he could bring out some good out of the bad decision our country made.
Also, I find it ridiculous that many Christians haven’t even gotten far in the Bible as to contemplate on many things that Duterte said. Aren’t they puzzled at the Creation story at all? It’s still on the list of things I’ll ask God when I meet him one day. That is why sometimes, I indentify myself more with freethinkers than with my brothers in Christ (I stubbornly force myself into the Christian sphere even though I know I don’t belong).
I have many reasons to turn away. But just like Peter, I believe I can’t find a narrative that’s closer to the truth than Christianity. There are many reasons to believe that there’s no heaven or hell. But I believe in Christianity only because of one thing: despite of anything or everything, Jesus indeed existed, died, and rose from the dead. That is the only undebunkable fact, and that is where the entire Christian narrative builds itself from.
All the more reason for me to stop looking at the examples of many Christians I know, and look only to Jesus.
How I wish I was able to say all these to my friend in the most eloquent way.
Mad against Rainbows
The conversation went deeper, and I found myself talking about the LGBT community.
Yesterday was the culmination of their Pride Month. Many people I love went there, and even though I should have confronted them as many well-meaning Christians do, but I couldn’t.
They hold a special place in my heart. And my love for them sprang from one confession I heard from my friend when she told me her struggles both in coming out of the closet and in believing that God would love her despite her homosexuality.
My heart continues to be pierced by it; it’s something that always brings me to tears whenever I talk about it. If I, a heterosexual who has done many terrible things in my life, could still find it not impossible to believe that God would love me just the way I am, how could I condemn them, who are just equally flawed as I am?
Why do people consider homosexuals, by their way of treatment, to be the worst kind of sinners, and that they’re not included into the kinds of people that Jesus died for? How could Christians, who still struggle in sin, loathe those people in rainbow who are just as flawed and sinful?
Why do Christians expect too much from the LGBT community when it’s only expected for them to act lost?
Can’t we all look to the example set by Jesus, and love and accept people as our first priority, and tell them to leave a life of sin second?
I know that the second act is an act of love as well. But the LGBT community will always see it as an act of hatred if we don’t follow from Jesus’ example.
Remember, the only reason the wayward son chose to come back home was not because he realized he was sinful; he remembered that being in his father’s house was far happier than being far. For it is God’s kindness that leads men to repentance, Paul added.
In a roundabout way, I summed up my personal mission as a Christian in two: To love people regardless of anything, and to announce the coming of a better world, in which God will finally settle to be the King, just as he should be. When that day comes, I’ll have an eternity to ask my questions. When that day comes, all my tears will be wiped away. When that day comes, I will never feel rejected or disillusioned. When that day comes, I will always stay at his feet, marveling at his beauty and love and greatness and perfection. I won’t have to worry about traffic, about my health, about getting married and building my own family.
When that day comes, my joy will be complete.
For now, I’ll stubbornly hold on to Christianity. Because if Jesus indeed rose from the dead, then everything he said can be trusted, and that his life is the only example worth following.
Thank God he did.