Wednesday, September 15, 2010

What's your conviction? Show it off.

I had lunch with someone today who I hadn't seen in 4 years. It was a bit odd that he asked me out of the blue, but the purpose of the lunch revealed itself after 15 minutes of small talk - he was witnessing to me. This was the first time I felt alienated from Christianity as a spectator on the other end as a "lost soul."

It intrigued me how gutsy it was on his part to engage in conversation and nearly debate at some points on the philosophy of Christianity. I've already considered (in great detail), a lot of the doubts, fears, facts, philosophies etc of Christianity to land me in my current belief system, so it was a bit of a regurgitation exercise. However, passion can trump logic sometimes, and this guy was passionate about his beliefs without going overboard to warrant a lot of respect.

Sharing the gospel is a fundamental ideal of Christianity and this guy was certainly upholding that. So rather than engaging in a heated discussion, I heard him out, nodded my head and smiled, although I didn't appreciate the part where he presumed to know what my future held as if he knew me better than I knew myself. I live with my current belief system because the objective and critical thinking I've performed as opposed to the numerous Christians who are quick to judge non-believers but fail to scrutinize their inner convictions or uphold its ideals.

This conversation also made me question some of the Christians I know much better on a personal level. If a near stranger can come out of the blue and challenge my beliefs, I wonder why the clergy & church-goers I know better aren't doing the same (and not necessarily specific to myself). If Christianity is a part of one's belief system, isn't witnessing a core part of the philosophy to share your joy, especially with your friends or younger peers regardless of how uncomfortable or doubtful it makes you feel? The stoicism I see in some proclaimed Christians convinces me further that there is a greater distribution of belief in Christians ranging from lukewarm acceptance to passionate conviction vs. non-believers, who simply reject the ideas. If fear (of judgment, damnation, not fitting in) is the culprit for hanging on to Christianity, do more research because that's the ultimate cop out for having a belief system which should define your identity. That's glorifying yourself, not God.

Your strongest convictions show through your deliberate actions. I simply don't see this in a lot of the Christians I know. Today's lunch buddy was a resounding exception.