(By CP Cartoonist Rod Anderson)
When it comes to Christianity, many people never get out of the starting gate. They get stuck at a place where they perceive Christianity and/or Christians as being "too weird" for their liking. It is such a common error that it isn't even surprising to see it when it happens. There has got to be a way around this roadblock, isn't there?
Yes indeed. Try starting with this thought. Jesus has never ever had a weird feeling about His message. Now hit the pause button. And just meditate on that thought for at least 20 seconds.
OK. So if Jesus has never had a weird feeling about His message, perhaps the problem lies on our end. Perhaps our "wiring" is somewhat discombobulated. And perhaps those Christians who seem weird to me are not really my main issue with Christianity. Maybe it is just as easy out for me, and a way to avoid coming face to face with the founder of this faith. Maybe I feel better about saying "no" to the "weirdos" than to the One who claims to be God, and the Savior of the world.
Maybe, just maybe, I have fallen into a pit which I allowed myself to fall into. After all, there are millions upon millions of Christians that I have never met. And I bet some of them may not seem very weird to me. I guess that makes sense.
What if I seem more "weird" to Jesus than those "weird Christians" seem to me? Ouch. Then what? Is it me? Am I the one? Am I the problem? Am I the one who has at least as many issues as the weirdos? No. It couldn't be. I am normal, and not like those religious extremists. I will never be one of those "fundamentalists."
Or has this obsession with those "crazy Christians" been nothing but an excuse for me? A way to avoid confronting my own sinfulness, and my own fear of death. I know that when they look crazy to me, I feel better about myself, and better about my lack of interest in Jesus Himself.
So yeah. I guess I need those weirdos to do their thing. It actually helps me to feel better about what I do. And most of all, it gives me something to focus on rather than the thought that God might just be commanding me to repent of my sin. If I consider that possibility, I might even end up contemplating the thought that Jesus truly does love me, and that He offers the free gift of eternal life to every sinner who comes to Him in repentance and faith. That gets very close to home. Uff da.
Wow. That is deep man. I think I prefer to keep it on the surface level. I'm not so sure I want to reverse my weird feelings about Christians and Christianity. I kind of hope they continue to seem as weird to me as they usually do. I guess I better keep looking for those examples to help me prop up my personal agenda. Heaven forbid that I ever meet a "normal" Christian. Then what would I do?
Come to think of it, I wonder what kind of Christian I would be? Wait a minute. Is it possible that if I was in that situation, I would start to seem weird to some people who don't believe? Now that's a trip. Me being a Christian. What would that look like? How would that be perceived by others?
Hmm. Why am I so worried about what others would think? It's interesting that my mind goes to them rather than to the founder of this faith and to what He would think about me. Maybe that's the point. Maybe I really am scared to death to come face to face with Him. You know I bet that's it. I am pretty sure that is my hang-up. It's not the weirdos. It's my weird feelings about how I would respond to Him should He cross my path. That would be pretty freaky I guess.
Or would it? What would make it freaky? Him, or my feelings of awkwardness? Perhaps my feelings of guilt or shame? Or maybe my feelings of anger and doubt? I don't like this. It goes to the core of my being in a way that no other religion or religious prophet seems to do. Maybe that is why those "crazy Christians" are a much bigger target in my mind that those "crazy" whatever from any other religion. Now that's an interesting thought. I think I will ponder that one awhile.
So you're saying there really is a way to reverse my weird feelings about Christianity and Christians? I am interested in learning more. Let me see if I can find some time in my day planner for a little visit with that "founder" guy. I think I need to see what He is about before I waste anymore time focusing on my perceptions of people I know very little about.