Yes, most of the time what we 'come up with' astonishes me.
What we come up with? Yes, I mean, what we Christians come up with, the stuff that we show the world to let them know about us… oops! I mean, about Christ!
Oversimplified, it can be called ‘churchianity.’ Gosh! I wonder sometimes if all words ending in ‘anity’ have a touch of unreality in them. Nothing unique to our day and age. It's a wonder that Christians a thousand years ago didn't trip over the Goddy—read ‘gawdy’—stuff they had hanging from their necks.
What does one convert to, now or in any age of the world? Is it Christ, or Christianity? These seem to be two doors to Somewhere, marked Entrance and Exit Only, like the doors at my local WinCo or Home Depot.
Standing in the doorway is a white-robed cartoon Jesus with His arms outspread in welcome. Beside the door is another sign, Admission Free!!! Meet Receptionist with an arrow pointing back to Jesus.
Click on the image to enlarge it.
(1) Know Jesus first, and then join the Church.
(2) Join the Church first, and then meet Jesus.
As a Catholic Christian, I was processed using the second method. I didn't meet Jesus in the Church, however. I had to go back out and let Jesus find me ‘out there.’ Then, thanks to method 2, I came to know Jesus, and He sent me back to the Church.
It is because of my personal life experience that I prefer method 1. But that method almost always owes its victory to method 2.
My saying (forgive me, I am not the first, I'm sure) is ‘I witness for Christ, and He witnesses for the Church.’ And believe me, when I say ‘witness,’ I don't mean ‘big business’ or anything systematic. I don't have a missionary society or call myself ‘we’ when I outline my beliefs and programme. Why? because my beliefs are unimportant, and I have no programme. And I am not a ‘society.’ It's just me—right now, ‘just another blogger.’
It seems when we witness for the Church, people sometimes respond for the wrong reasons. When we witness for the Church, things can go wrong on both sides, the convert's and the Church's.
When we witness for Christ, if someone responds with a desire for conversion, we can rely on the living God who really is there to deliver that person into the Church. How can He not? for Christ Himself says, ‘No one can come to Me unless the Father draws him.’
No fear for mistaken appearances.
God alone is faithful,
and by His mercy alone,
so are we.