It’s not a surprise that I’m a Christian; I make no secret of it.
I love my faith and I embrace it. It makes me who I am. I have a passionate belief in the existence of God and that he sent His son to die on the cross for my failings.
This blog is not a place that I would usually say that. Not because I’m scared to, not because I worry it would lose me followers, but simply because it is not appropriate. I know my audience, and the majority of you do not share my beliefs.
And that’s ok.
I still love you anyway
I do not want to push them on you. I don’t want to Bible Bash or preach or anything else from this purple patch of interwebz. I don’t think I need to. The times when I do speak, it is not from a place of proselytizing; it is simply because it is who I am, and I endeavour to always be authentic.
And for this place, I think that’s enough.
But it’s Good Friday, so I’m breaking the rules today. If you don’t want to read, that is fine; I completely understand. But this day is pivotal to what I believe, and I can’t not write about it.
That would be inauthentic.
I don’t describe myself as religious.
I wouldn’t even say I subscribe to ‘organised religion.’ To be honest I hate those terms. They scream of rules and regulations and a huge list of do’s and don’ts, and that doesn’t gel with what I know of God.
That doesn’t sit with who Jesus is.
Religion has done a lot of bad over the years; we don’t even have time to go into it. Human agenda has mixed it self with so called biblical principles and twisted and turned God’s word until it no longer resembles anything it was supposed to.
And it’s not just Christianity that’s at fault.
Every religion has done it’s bit. You don’t have to look past September 11 to see that.
It’s no wonder people don’t want anything to do with it.
But there is one thing that separates Christianity from every other religion in the world, and that is the reason for Good Friday.
Look deep enough into any major belief system, and you will soon find an outrageous list of rules and condition on obtaining heavenly status.
Door knockers who hope for your conversion to boost their standing with God.
Items of clothing that are necessary for forgiveness and redemption.
Specific phrases that are the only way to invoke grace.
Bombs strapped to the chest in the hope for a higher heavenly status.
The list goes on.
People need to face certain directions to pray, or watch the clock for what time it is. They need to sacrifice particular foods or objects or burn specific scents. You must read your holy book umpteen times a day, or fast through specific periods, or observe religious holidays…..
And if you don’t?
Where is the Grace?
There isn’t any.
Christianity is different.
Because in that story, the Maker saw that nothing we could ever do would ever be enough. He understood that the list of rules was impossible; that the sacrifices the Jews had been dependent on for years were unsustainable. That it didn’t matter how much good we did, it would never be enough to balance how much bad we did.
Or dreamt of.
And so the Story Teller enters the story. He sends His Son into take the punishment and bear the weight. All of our blame, all of our failures, all of our shortcomings loaded onto One Man for three hours, so we could be forgiven should we just ask.
When Jesus entered the world, He understood the history of the thousands of Jews that had come before and the commandments they had guided their life by. The idea was never to replace that rich history; it was to complete it.
So the list of rules was replaced with a simple ‘Love the Lord Your God with all Your Heart, and love your neighbor as you love yourself.’
The countless sacrifices were fulfilled in one; a sinless, perfect man who chose to die so I wouldn’t have to.
There is nothing religious about that.
It is not rules and regulations and list of what you can and cannot do.
It’s straight out grace for the every man who has no hope otherwise.
It doesn’t impose.
It doesn’t demand.
It simply stands on its own and says ‘take it or leave it.’
So you see, I’m not a religious person.
And yet, I believe, Justified in my imperfection.
Because I believe.
Because of Grace.