One of the biggest blessings for me in the past month and a half has been a small group I am a part of.
It’s not a Bible study group although we do look stuff up in the Bible.
It’s not a group with the only goal to make our friends Christians although we do invite our non-Christian friends to that group meetings (and they come and stay).
It’s not a group of people who simply want to talk what is accepted and what is wrong or right. It’s a group for people who are open-minded and who really want to find out what to believe. It’s a group of people mostly over 21 years old who want to know the Truth.
We discussed a lot of topics and today one of the things we shared about was a question posed by one of the guys.
“Why are you with God / without God?”
As we answered, taking turns, it was a great time to share my own story and also listen to the stories of other people. Like I said, we value the fact that we are able to look at things with open eyes and examine them. So when my turn came, I thought for a moment…
“My life was like a nicely built brick house. However, something was missing. I lived in that house, yet I knew that it wasn’t a home yet.
“In the year 2,000, I made the conscious decision that the foundation of my lifehouse should be made on Christ. I knew that story before, yet I haven’t commited before.
“A couple of years later, my house, my carefully-laid-out house was destroyed. The foundation remained, yet there was nothing more than a foundation. The first three years of my so-called Christian university devastated my “religion.” Faced with so many questions and statements (that smelled of eastern ideology), I had to rebuild the entire house from the foundation up – this time using concrete to hold the bricks together. I listened; I observed; I learned; I implored; I thought.
“Today my house resembles more of a home than simply a building – because I took time to build it properly.”
As we were talking about all these analogies, I thought of another thing, yet didn’t mention it at the group because by the time the idea came, we were already discussing another matter.
Sometimes we build with bricks that we don’t need.
Think of all the Christian denominations. Some are similar, some are so drastically different that you have to wonder what do they have in common besides God. And often we fight because of those differences in beliefs. Protestants fight Catholics, Orthodox attack Protestants, Pentecostals judge Baptists…
All of those wars and battles are because of some differences in beliefs or traditions.
“You don’t pray in tongues? Oh, you’re a heathen then.”
“You don’t kiss the icons? You should be excommunicated.”
“You don’t take Nazarene naps after Church on Sundays? You’re a loser.”
Those, in my mind, are some of the separate bricks that we use.
The question is… if someone would take that brick out of your house – will your construction collapse or will you be able to continue living in peace?
And an even more important question: when you build your house… maybe we don’t need those bricks at all. Maybe when we build our homes, we should follow the example of C.S. Lewis in Mere Christianity – where he talks about what Christianity is – without any frills of religion.
What do you think? I welcome your thoughts on this matter.