I hesitated to write this. But I just could not help myself after I read this yesterday in the Catholic Catechism:
“Believers can have more than a little to do with the rise of atheism. To the extent that they are careless about their instruction in the faith,
or present its teaching falsely, or even fail in their religious, moral, or social life, they must be said to conceal rather than to reveal the true
nature of God and of religion.” (Catholic Catechism, 2125)
There is a story told about Gandhi. After reading the gospels, He was so impressed by the teachings of Jesus he wanted to know more. So, he decided to visit one of the Christian Churches in Calcutta. As he began to enter the church, an usher stopped him and he was told he was not welcome. Only high-caste Indians and whites were allowed. He walked away and never looked at Christianity again.
In his autobiography, Gandhi writes about a Christian who was trying to convert him by saying we are all sinners and only Jesus can redeem us from sin so we can get to Heaven. Gandhi’s response? “I do not seek redemption from the consequences of my sin. I seek to be redeemed from sin itself, or rather from the very thought of sin. Until I have attained that end, I shall be content to be restless.”
Why does it seem like Christians are satisfied with sin because it is forgiven? Sometimes, it feels as though Christianity does only focus on the redemption of sin and (even if for selfish reasons) being saved and going to Heaven. Heaven is the goal. Heaven is the ultimate. Once you got that in your bag, forget everything else. The greatest thing about Jesus (and I am being facetious) is that He is so merciful you don’t even have to do anything He said. Just claim Him and going on living whatever life you please. Confess with your mouth and you are saved. Scripture can be used, somehow, to justify anything you want to do.
Jesus said “You are the light of the world” (Matthew 5:14). Is it light, when the world looks at Christians and sees:
· Servants of God abusing children
· Hate for those who are “sinners” (LGBT, Abortionists, etc.)
· Judgement of others with proclamations of “You are going to Hell!”
· Professed Christians having marital affairs, substance abuse, blaspheming
· Church ministers stealing and scamming from other Christians to get rich
· One Christian denomination crying out that another Christian denomination is satanic
· Disagreement and disharmony on the teachings of Jesus
· Apathy about attending church and worshiping the One they profess to claim as their Savior
One more on Gandhi…When asked what he would say to a Christian who wanted to convert to Hinduism, Gandhi replied “No. What the Bhagwat offers the Bible also offers. You have not yet made the attempt to find it out. Make the attempt and be a good Christian.”
Certainly, sin is difficult to overcome; but many do not appear to even make an attempt. Confirmation, or for non-Catholics professing Christ as savior, is the end of learning and the end of any attempt to be transformed into the image of Christ. One can now proclaim to be a Christian to the world, be assured of Heaven and not be concerned with sin or how their life affects others or influences others away from Christ.
If Jesus is the light and Satan is the darkness…I cannot help but wonder if proclaiming Christ to the world and living in darkness is the “Black Hole”, that sucks the light out of the world and into darkness; contributing to atheism. Jesus is merciful and certainly forgives us of these transgressions as well. But still, it would better for "the world" to be saved, not just individuals.
If I could have only one prayer granted, it would not be for world peace or the end to hunger. Those things are all fleeting conditions of earthly life. No, my prayer would be for all who profess Christ to be transformed into His image, be a light to the world and lead others to salvation. Satan gives the world enough problems. Christians should not contribute to Satan's kingdom by being a stumbling block as well.
I weep for my Savior and the new wounds he is being inflicted with by His own followers. Jesus, I am sorry for offending you. May I never offend you again. Amen.