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What It Means to Be a Christian

In: Religion Topics

Submitted By patrickmtrainor
Words 1246
Pages 5
Patrick Trainor
THEO – 104
What it means to be a Christian

What it means to be a Christian; hmm. Prior to this class I thought I knew all I needed to know about being Christian: read the bible, attend mass, work hard, and be good to my family, the usual. After going through this course and reading more about the bible itself and conversing with those in the class I definitely feel more enlightened to what it takes to be a Christian. The day to day lives that we all live nowadays tend to consume us so much that I think we forget why we are what we are. And I think this class has helped to reaffirm why I am a Christian.
Everyone knows that Jesus was born of the Virgin Mary, but no one actually talks about why this is important; to them or to Christianity. To me this is kind of like a director foreshadowing in a movie. GOD was able to see that having Jesus born of a virgin would only enhance the believability of his deity by having this occur. Human skepticism is way too advanced and this just seems to be the obvious reason for setting this up this way. Just think had Jesus been born of a normal woman, in a normal setting, normal family, everyone would just assume he was normal. There would be no added credence to his power, knowledge, and compassion. It has in many ways added incentive for people to believe in him. So GOD was able to see into the future that we as a race would question, protest, and even take contrarian points of view in a unified opposition had this not occurred. It was his way of foreshadowing the rest of the story by having Jesus born of a virgin to help enhance our belief in him. This was only step one in what I call a two step process focused on making believers of us all.
GOD decided to stick with the director theme here and create one more unexplainable moment that; what was that next true seminal moment that made mostly all the unbelievers believers; Jesus’ resurrection. Of course Jesus dying for our sins on the cross, and the horror that was witnessed as he toiled up the hill with the cross on his back was extremely important, but it didn’t truly increase people’s views or belief in him as much as the resurrection did. People witnessed him die on the cross. He was stabbed to ensure death. Of course even this tale to an unbeliever is a bit odd because the Roman soldiers broke the legs of the other two men who were crucified; but not Jesus (this should be a hint for most unbelievers). They pierced his side with a spear to ensure death, which of course he wasn’t fully dead because his blood and water ran separate from his side. To the people in the village this was sufficient enough to show that Jesus had died. It wasn’t until his resurrection that everyone truly believed in him. The fact that Jesus was indeed raised from the dead was the ultimate factor in converting the beliefs of the unbelievers. To physically see a man die and then be resurrected has to be the end all be all when it comes to a show of power and deity.
If you explore this happening even further it only enhances an important ideal of being a Christian; to live for one another. Jesus paid the ultimate sacrifice to die on the cross for our sins. He died for people that he’d physically never met, people that were not even born yet, people who some could argue didn’t deserve saving, but he did it for them anyway. The example was set long ago by Jesus himself and I think for me reconnecting with the Bible and it’s teachings in this class have illuminated to me the importance of my general kindness towards others, my acceptance of things that I do not understand, and the willingness to progress with or around them. To me these are some of the fundamental things that make up a Christian and I think they get lost in translation. To most the church is this large, quiet, place of judgment and damnation. I say that somewhat tongue in cheek, but also in a level of seriousness because I feel that too many people write off the church because of what a few have done, not based on the work as a whole.
Local churches and communities are usually disconnected from one another for many a reason. The image portrayed on television, in movies, and even in print make the church out to be this place of hypocritical loners that behave to a guide book of their choosing. The problem simply is that is not the case. Just like in any line of work, relationships, or even faith; there are posers. People who do not belong in those situations but choose to be for some sort of self gratification or even confusion. Most are involved in these dealings because they are confused about what they should be doing. Religion is probably the best example of this because it’s under a very high powered microscope. The old phrase I do 100 things right nobody remembers, but I do 1 thing wrong and nobody forgets is very applicable here. One priest is accused of molestation, bribery, rape, adultery, stealing, even plagiarism and it gets broadcast to the masses as the “church is at it again.” Of course the obvious thing to do is to generalize the entire institution as bad and hypocritical and cast it aside as another messed up organization. But the correct thing to do would be for those involved with the church to distance themselves from the infraction and denounce the person(s) that created the issue and push upon the community what it truly stands for and why they need to be trusted.
Too often the church doesn’t appear to see the need to involve themselves in the community after their name is slandered or mis-portrayed. They usually have a small follow up to denounce what occurred and mention that they are not affiliated with such acts; and then that’s it. Problem is that if they don’t push in front of people’s faces why they are different, how they are different, and when the people can see the differences then they become labeled and their image remains stagnant. Churches as a whole need to be more involved in their community if no other reason than to market themselves to the masses. People buy things, read things, watch things, and just generally consume things based solely of the marketing that is done to thrust these items into their minds. I understand that churches are not marketing firms, but in this day in age they need to find better ways to get their “good” name out there, or else they’ll be sitting on the sidelines like newspaper and magazine companies of yesteryear that failed to market themselves with the changing of the times. I don’t know about you, but to me that would be a grave tragedy if for no other reason than allowing new generations to experience to goodness the church has to offer, and be able to share that with others.…...

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