I can play the devil's advocate with most any topic. Capital punishment: What right do we have to take another's life? Well, you take a life, you forfeit your basic human rights, which includes breathing. Abortion: An unborn child has a right to life. Ok. But, no one has the right to my body. Christianity: Well, that's a horse of a different color.
In my experience, there are two types of people that call on God. People who were raised in the faith, and people who have been through a tragedy that nearly ended them. These people, or the tragedy people, need to believe in a higher power to make sence out of this terrible event that has taken place. Or the bad thing that they have overcome. At any rate, these groups of people are the ones trying to sell Jesus Christ. There are some that just aren't buying.
I can see why people have a hard time accepting Christianity at face value.
I had a discussion with an athiest friend of mine on the concept of God. His beliefs lie with science and anything that can be proven. He was surprised that I traveled down a more emotional path. (Being that I am not an emotional person) We did not debate scripture, but more the idea of Christ. The idea that I based my life on a supernatural story. And if you look at the Bible and all its tales, that is basically what it is. A supernatural story.
We go to church on Sundays to listen to a man tell us about another man that once walked on water. We are told that this man also raised the dead, turned water into wine, and actually rose from the dead himself. (Which technically makes him a zombie.) We are told that this man has a father that made us all. We can not see this father; but in the past, he has sent angels to destroy us...on more than one occasion. We're told that if we live by the rules this man and his father has set forth, we will one day live in paradise for all eternity. Then, we are asked to believe it all. We are not offered one shred of proof. Nothing tangible. Nothing, but a book that was written hundreds of thousands of years ago. And rewritten countless times since then.
I can see why others would doubt the stories told in the bible.
After my friend finished cross-examining me, I could only come back with one reply. "Because I know."
"How do you know?" He pressed.
"I felt Him," I said. "I have felt His presence when I felt no one else. I just know."
That answer did not satisfy my friend's thirst for knowledge. So, we agreed to disagree.
My "knowing" is what lead me back to church a couple of years ago. It is also why I ultimately decided to join. (That and a piece of chocolate cake) In order to join the church, I had to get baptized. (gotta have the holy water sprinkled on ya) I questioned the need for the baptizim almost as much as I questioned the need to join the church. Baptizim is a symbolic gesture of being washed of my sins. Christianity is full of symbolism. I don't see the point in it. God knows what's in my heart. I don't think having water poured over my head will change that.
I try to be as active as I possibly can in the church. This is one of the things that lead the preacher, on several occasions, to ask me to join. At one point, I declined because my life was too messed up. I felt like a hypocrit standing in front of the congregation. I have settled the turmoil that was going on. I have asked for forgiveness for my sins. All is well in my little corner of the universe.
I still didn't really want to join.
This past Wednesday during family night at church, I was eyeballing the last piece of chocolate cake on the serving table. With my mouth watering, I stalked the cake like a lion would stalk its prey. I could taste it before I even had it on my plate. Right as I was about to strike, the preacher stepped in front of me.
"We are having new member sunday coming up," he explained. "Any more thoughts on joining?" I looked to him, to my cake, and back to him again. In the distance, I could see an elderly lady rising from her seat; ready to snatch what was rightfully mine. I wasn't having it.
Without hesitation, I told him I would join, smiled, and beat the old bird to the mouth-watering-deliciousness that awaited me. (It was everything I had hoped for)
Later that night, I prayed to God about my hasty decision. Did I really just agree to join because I wanted the last piece of cake, or was something else egging me on?I asked Him if this was something that really needed to be done. What could joining a church possibly change? My answer came in the form of a dream about my granny. In the dream, she was telling me I needed to find a home. A home that was mine. I took it to mean that joining was like settling into my home.
And that is how I see it now. I love my church. I can walk in and feel the love pour over me. My children can run about and a capable hand is ready to sooth any boo-boo that might occur, or discipline them when needed. We are family there. And what's more important than anything else is when I listen to the man standing in front of the congregation telling me about a zombie that can walk on water, I believe him. I believe him, because I trust him. I trust that he is close to God and can help me grow and become closer to God.
They also have good cake....