I’ve been in Australia for almost 7 months now. My family and I have been here for more than half a year. And in our 7 month stay here, I’ve realize something, a lot of people here know nothing about Christ. Yes, Australia is where Hillsong, one of the biggest mega-churches, resides but this country, nonetheless, knows nothing about Jesus. I’ve always thought that almost 100% of people here are Christians but the opposite is actually true for more than 50% of the population knows nothing about Christ. Now is the problem the lack of Christians here in Australia? I think not, for I’ve seen also a lot of Christian churches and Christians here. But the problem, I think, is that a lot of people who claim to be “Christians” would rather “preach” about Jesus than actually be more like Jesus. Now, let me clarify this, I’m not judging these people but what I’m saying is, if I were an atheist, I would rather experience who Jesus is rather than hear about Him.
Allow me to tell you this story:
One of my managers asked me one day, “Are you a Christian?”
I told him, “Yes I am. Why? Are you a Christian too?”
“Oh no. I would like to believe that there is a God, it’s just no one has proved it to me. Can you convince me? I’m sure you’re gonna try.”
I said, “No. I’m not gonna try and convince you. I’m not gonna debate about it. I’m not gonna try to prove you wrong. I’m not gonna preach about ‘eternal damnation’. I’m the type of person who would rather be your friend and be there when you need me than prove myself right in a debate. I would much rather show you that Jesus is real by loving you and being your friend, by being there for you in your time of need and not judging you than preach about Jesus and lose you. It’s ok if you don’t believe in Him. It’s ok, I won’t get offended. I won’t judge you. I won’t stop being your friend.”
“You’re different from other Christians I’ve met,” he said.
That made me think. Jesus never tried to convince anyone that God is real by debating. He didn’t grow in followers because He won debates about the existence of God. No, He discipled people by loving them. He never judged the so-called “sinners” and the infamous “lepers”. He even ate, sat, drank, and befriended them. He never stoned anyone because of their sins. He never said “Oh woe to you unclean harlot! You will go to hell!” No. He never said those! In fact, when the Pharisees presented a prostitute caught in the act to Jesus, Jesus did the opposite. He said, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” (John 8:7) And no one, not one of those Pharisees stayed, each one of them walked away. Then Jesus asked the woman, “Has no one condemned you? Neither do I. Now go and sin no more.” (John 8:10-11)
If Jesus was here today in our generation, where self-righteousness has, more often than not, been given so much importance, would the “Church” even let Him in? (echoed from the video below) See, we have been so caught up in preaching about Jesus that we have forgotten that the best way to show them Jesus is real is by living our lives the way Jesus lived His. By loving these people the way Jesus loves them.
One thing I’ve discovered, this thing I know, it’s that these people need not Pharisees who would call them unclean but these people need Jesus to call them to Him. These people need not another preaching, another debate, another argument about the reality of Jesus. These people need to experience that Jesus is real first hand. These people need to experience Jesus through us! They need to know Jesus is real by how we talk to them, how we become their friends, BY HOW WE LOVE THEM. Because ultimately it’s not how we preached and talked about Jesus that would stick to them, it’s how we acted like Jesus and loved them without judgement, unconditionally that would touch their hearts. Because, as the video says below, if grace is like water, then the Church should be an ocean.