I am not one to “push religion down someone’s throat”, as a matter of fact, a lot of “organized religion” makes me cringe. However, I am a man of faith in what I believe is the One true God, and His Son, Jesus Christ. To me, it is about a relationship and not religion.
You will not typically see me preaching on a street corner. However, you may see me listening attentively and replying with empathy to someone on a street corner or park bench.
You may not see me screaming from a podium, pulpit or stage “turn or burn!” if you do not wear your Sunday best, have tattoos, are divorced, an addict, or alcoholic, or if you drink alcohol for that matter. Those words of “turn or burn” would probably never come from my lips. However, I will speak with passion, conviction, empathy, truth with love, and love does need to be tough sometimes.
You will not hear me condemn you for your past mistakes, what you did yesterday. However, I will tell you that God loves you, will forgive you if you ask, and that there is a way you can live life well, and be better than you were yesterday.
You will not hear me say that being a Christian that every day will be wonderful, full of sunshine, and rainbows. That you will not incur valleys, setbacks, and trauma. However, I will say that there is joy, a way of escape to temptations, and that God has a plan for you, a hope and a future. That the adversities you may overcome, may be the hope for someone else to the point of not only saving their life, but their soul.
You will not hear me say that you must go to church, tithe, be baptized, and serve in your local church to be saved and go to heaven. However, I will share that if you believe in God, love God, His Son, you will want to go to church to learn, serve, worship, contribute, fellowship with believers, get equipped, and go out to build His Kingdom and make disciples who make disciples.
I do not know it all. I do not claim to know it all. I surely have not “arrived” and have a long way to go. Even with reading and studying the bible for well over a generation. However, I do know there is a God Whom loves me, loves you, and wants a relationship with you, not your religion. He wants to hear from you, talk to you, and help you become the best person He seeks for you to be. All freely, with your own free will. Not because of a church denomination. Not because a man or woman says you “have to”. But because He loves you, knew you before you were even formed, and desires for you to freely love Him back.
A church was not meant to be a museum for saints or artifacts, fancy light shows, or theatrics; it was meant to be a hospital for sinners, (and we are all sinners), an education for the humble, a place all should be able to gather freely to grow in a closer relationship with God in community with others.
However, there is a deadline to that decision that will make a difference for eternity, if you are going to enjoy it with Father God, or eternal separation from Him. That deadline is unknown. We could pass in years, or tomorrow, even the next moment. We will all physically die one day, you must freely decide where you want to invest eternity afterwards, and of those you love. It would be an honor and blessing for me to hear your story, talk about faith, or lack thereof, and share mine with you, why I believe, and how I know, what little I do know.