Even if you only see Christian TV when you're channel surfing, you know that it's wild sometimes. You flip the channels and there is a woman with BIG pink hair and long black Tammy Fay eyelashes.....or a man wearing huge gold pinkie rings and chunky gold chains around his neck. People are crying or yelling or getting a crowd to dance around with them. I have a hard time watching them and I wonder how people who aren't Christians view that? Well, no, I don't wonder....not really; they look at the crazy hair and makeup and jewelry and really big gold thrones people are sitting on and think "Well, I was flirting with Christianity, but I don't want to be like THAT!"
Shortly after our return from our years in Paris, Mr Z and I had dinner with a good friend. We 'came out' and told her our Christian faith had grown and how much it meant to us and had changed our lives. Jackie is wary of any faith because her mother had dragged her through a very strange cult as a child. She looked at us as if we were never going to drink martinis or tell great jokes again!. I knew how she felt; I was born into a Christian family and went to church until college but, before my stronger faith kicked in, those "kooks" who really walked the walk were nobody I wanted to be like. And "Born Agains?" The media's misrepresented that phrase so badly I still find myself cringing when I hear it though I know the true meaning of it now.
That night after we talked to our friend, Mr Z and I were watching TV and I was channel surfing and came upon one of the more riotous Christian programs with screaming and yelling and hands waving and music pumping and people crying! I said to my husband "OH, man....Jackie thinks we're like THAT now." He grimaced. We were stronger Christians now....how could she think we weren't like that?
But, we were not. Actually, nobody I know personally is. If people feel their faith like that, more power to them, but it's a deal breaker for those without faith, in my humble opinion. TV like that makes Christianity look like it's all about big money for big jewelry, emotionality that feels too big for most of us, a kind of exaggeration that wears one out! Where in the Bible does anybody say anything about that stuff!?
Sometimes, I get comments like "He died...so, faith didn't help HIM, did it!" or "how can bad things happen if there's a God?" When I hear questions like that, I wonder if the person asking has actually considered that I had never thought that very thing. I absolutely understand those questions...I had them myself, BIG TIME. Sometimes, I still do. Do people think Christians haven't given things like that any thought at all, that we just BELIEVE for some ...reason? We're just dopey followers, people looking for a crutch?
No, we are called to something and we don't know quite what or how it happens...... "was it something I heard?" "was it that thing I read?" but we soon learn why. Then we start reading Scripture and some of those questions start smoothing out in our mind, it sets us straight and then we read C.S. Lewis or other great Christian minds, and we work things out and all of that "how could GOD do that?" stuff begins to actually make sense. Then, something starts to happen that you don't understand. Suddenly, Christian writings you read a year ago that you couldn't grasp become graspable. It's the oddest thing as everything starts to make sense and you realize you don't have to have pink hair or wear gold chains or try to convert people or not have a martini to be a Christian! (whew) I like reading the C.S. Lewis types because my personality demands I come to Christ through a more academic viewpoint than a 'feeling' viewpoint, though feeling does feel good! (not quite as good as those people on TV seem to be feeling, but very good!).
My point is that Christian faith is a quiet thing and doesn't have to be what some of us see on television. It can be about worshiping at a church and enjoying the other people there and I strongly encourage making friends with people who share your faith; actresses, doctors, realtors, housewives, teachers, retirees, people who are kind, don't gossip, want the best for you, pray for you, have fun with you, people you can trust, my favorite attribute in anyone because I'm not fond of gossip....It's being with great people in your local Community Bible Study or Bible Study Fellowship program, or it's just you and your Bible alone, picking a Psalm to read or some shorter verse that you find is just the message you needed to hear that morning (happens ALL the time).... . Or it's you and your sweet prayers at night, or in the morning. Or at your desk at work asking God to help you and suddenly realizing it feels like he reminded you that report could use one more page and then it'll be just right ("how'd He know that?") it, or while driving to the store or to the beach.. It's mostly just you and Him. Talking to Him! It's having hope in an eternal afterlife that's beautiful and beats the other direction (also an eternity) 'all to hell'!
Even if you're not a pray-er try it today..."Thanks God.....great parking spot" "Thanks, God, my sister's baby's better!" "Thanks, God, your weather is perfect!" "Thanks God I have this amazing family." "Thank GOD I have GeeeZ to read every day!" (okay, I had to throw that in)!
Act with love,.... I'm trying every day...slowly... every day....fail, then try again, it isn't easy!
Have a really happy Sunday...........pray with joy you're up and healthy, pray for a parking space, pray that you're in such a beautiful place to live.........pray all day; you won't know what hit you but I guarantee it will be a better day than yesterday!
BIG hugs and blessings to you all...