“Let your religion be less of a theory and more of a love affair.”
- G.K Chesterton
“I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”
- Mohandas Gandhi
I want a lot of things, but these two thinks I don’t want: I don’t want to merely follow a religion, losing touch with the real, living God, just going through the motions; and I don’t want to ever give Jesus Christ a bad name. I hate that so many people misunderstand Christ and turn away at the first mention of His name simply because He has been so grossly misrepresented by those who call themselves, after His name, “Christians”.
I’ve just started reading a book called “The Barbarian Way” and already I’m lapping it up like a thirsty dog. The first chapter ends with these stirring words:
"Jesus is being lost in a religion bearing His name. People are being lost because they cannot reconcile Jesus’ association with Christianity. Christianity has become docile, domesticated, civilised. We have forgotten that there is a kingdom of darkness stealing the hopes and dreams and souls of a humanity without God…"
(Erwin Raphael McManus, “The Barbarian Way”)
I DON’T WANT TO BE CIVILISED! I DON’T WANT TO BE DOMESTICATED! I DON’T WANT TO BE AFRAID OF ANYTHING, EXCEPT FALLING OUT OF LOVE AND RELATIONSHIP WITH THE MAN WHO GAVE HIS ALL FOR ME!!!!!
I once used to jam with a friend of mine, Cathy. We were going to start a band but we never got that far. We did, however, have fun just spilling our guts through our music. We were both quite the passionate followers of Christ back then, and our song lyrics showed it. One song will always remain in my memory, and as long as I’m not living up to it’s passion, it will always taunt and challenge me, as if it were a child I gave life, and then grew up to be so much better than me…It was called “Rather”…
I’d rather be a voice than be an echo
Make a choice than sit here safe and comfy
I’d rather shout out loud and draw a crowd than
Bite my tongue to gain approval of the world
I’d rather die young for a worthy cause than
have no say and make no difference
I’d rather be a voice than be an echo
be a voice than be an echo…
Some of the words now aren’t quite what we had back then, I can’t remember exactly how it went. But the message, the sentiment, is clear. Neither Cathy nor I wanted to sit on our laurels and say nothing to draw attention to the Man who’d become our everything.
I don’t know what’s happened to me since those days. Maybe I just got older, and like Wendy in “Peter Pan” I just resigned myself to the adult role prescribed to me, expected of me. But something in my soul is beginning to stir, and I don’t think I’m going to be able to contain it much longer. In fact, I don’t think I want to.
Lately my life has been more of an echo than a voice, and I’m none too comfortable with that realisation. I believe I will stand before God one day when I leave this world and fly away somewhere to the next. More than anything, on that day, I want to be able to say to God that I never shut up about Him, that I was so in love with Him that I couldn’t help but tell anyone who would listen just how much He means to me.
To live a life following a religious regime would simply be to the world like a dull, fading echo. To live a life in a passionate romance with the Creator of all things, wild and free, would be like a voice shouting so loudly as to be impossible to ignore. I want my life to be like that.
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Amen! "More than anything, on that day, I want to be able to say to God that I never shut up about Him, that I was so in love with Him that I couldnâ€™t help but tell anyone who would listen just how much He means to me." Oh how I love Jesus. I want to tell the world what He has done for me and what He can do for them. I'm so encouraged by this piece to be bold in my witness. I don't want to be an echo of cold, dead, religion. I want to be a voice - His voice!
And if not that, then what are we here for? So be it!