The real purpose of Christianity
THE Christian religions are in crisis not only because there is a marked decline in the number of churchgoers and believers worldwide but mainly due to the corrupting power of man’s seeming insatiable desire for worldly comfort.
Man’s individualism and his desire for mammon have fundamentally changed the way Christianity is practiced nowadays and its communal nature almost totally forgotten. For the changed ones (whether Roman Catholic or Protestant), it has become an institution for a “one on one or private relationship” with God as if Christianity can exist in a vacuum.
Christianity for them is “desirable” only because it is has become a source of comfort from the evils of the world hence it is really fulfilling for them to extend charity to the poor. Unfortunately it all ends there after all they have done their Christian part. Most are just afraid to do more for it could actually result in an uncomfortable confrontation with the establishment as it is the logical end for those who went beyond giving alms. By starting to address the root cause of poverty and inequality in society, those who “crossed the line” so to speak are branded as undesirables.
Jackson Browne hit the nail on its head when he wrote “if anyone of us should interfere in the business of why there are poor they get the same (treatment) as the rebel Jesus” in his anti-establishment song “The Rebel Jesus.”
Yes, where did we ever get the idea that Christianity should just be comforting and a path for a personal relationship with God? Where did we learn that Christianity is simply mystical and transcendent?
A lot of us have forgotten that Christianity’s real purpose is not to protect or comfort us from the evils of this world but to give us hope and the strength to change it. Jesus did not shrink from that duty of transforming the world to make it a better place for the downtrodden and he was crucified for it.
Christianity cannot be experienced in a vacuum for its essence is the welfare of the community. It cannot be practiced privately nor can it only be about worship in stone temples. It is a living praxis on how to empathize and serve the poor, deprived and the oppressed. Our role as true Christians is to transform the world.
Let us allow his will to be done on Earth as it is in heaven. The Lenten season is the right time to begin.
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