4/3/15 Luis about 45
I’m so glad Christianity isn’t about religion. It’s about Jesus! In what turned out to be a half-hour outreach conversation in a shopping aisle at a Menards, a man named Luis told me he had rejected the Catholic faith he had grown up in, rejected the beliefs of his Jehovah Witness brother who keeps trying to persuade him, and considers himself a skeptic who believes in God but rejects organized religion. I’m so glad I had an answer for every one of his major issues against Christianity, and it always came back to the same thing – Jesus! Luis said his initial rejection of Catholicism came as a result of finding out about abusive priests –especially where he is from in Mexico. “But Jesus didn’t teach that sort of behavior” I said. “It is so bad because it is so contrary to the Jesus they claim to represent”. Luis complained about all the religious rules people have to follow and how so many people are just going through the motions. “But Christianity isn’t about religion, it’s about a relationship. Jesus rose from the dead. He is alive today. He wants us to be in a relationship with Himself and God the Father.” We went on to talk about what true relational prayer could be like. “But so many bad things are done in the name of religion” he said. “Jesus predicted that many would claim to come in His name, but the way we know if they are true followers or not is if they follow his teachings.” At first Luis had said “It doesn’t matter what you believe in. You could worship this box of nails here, it doesn’t matter to me”, but we talked about how it’s not just faith that is important, but who or what you have that faith in. And I’m so glad the center of our faith is Jesus. “I have to admit”, Luis said, “I can’t think of anyone who has had such an impact on history as Jesus” I think Luis is on the right track. I’m glad he is a skeptic, because if he wasn’t his Jehovah Witness brother would have persuaded him by now and he would be out on the corner giving out Watchtower magazines. I’m also glad I have Someone real, Someone profound, Someone who practices what He preaches, Someone who is beyond reproach, beyond comparison, beyond being another religious teacher and far more than a prophet, someone who carried our cross, who died in our place and conquered death, Someone who is alive today and far greater than religion. It’s all about Jesus!