This has weighed heavily on me for a long time. I think it’s time I actually wrote something.
I am a Christian. You deserve to know what that means to me. If you listen to what others tell you about Christians, and ignore what I have to say about what I believe for myself, then you are going to be misinformed.
The first truth I acknowledge as a Christian is that there is a God in heaven. He is the personification of perfection in every imaginable form. He is good. He is just. He is kind. He is wise. He personifies the strongest human emotion, love, and loves each of us with a love so deep we cannot begin to understand it. My God is not vengeful or rude. He is the ultimate scientist, the ultimate judge, the ultimate parent, the lover of us all. He spends all his time and effort trying to bring us back to him, and yet respects our right to choose in even the smallest matters of consequence.
The second truth I acknowledge is that we are not God. We are all far, far away from the perfection we wish we could be. This is manifested in a number of ways. First is sin, our disobedience to what we know to be right. Next is transgression, our incapability to find a way forward without breaking one moral law or another despite our good intentions. Next is imperfection, our weakness and limited capacity. We all wish we had infinite intelligence, infinite strength, but we don’t. All of these imperfections are summed up in the word “mortal” or rather, “beings that will die.” That is our defining trait: We are not perfect, and never can be, in any way.
Physics teaches us that we will all die. No matter what we do, all our efforts will come to naught. The entire universe is on a road to the heat death that will consume all. At best, we are a spark, but even then, we are a dim one. Sure, we compare ourselves to each other, and decide that so-and-so is better than such-and-such, but in the grand, universal perspective of things, that doesn’t matter. We are a tiny speck in a huge universe that doesn’t care about us. We are just in a transition from what the universe is to what it will eventually be — nothing.
This inescapable truth is what gives rise to nihilism. Yes, I am a nihilist, inasmuch as I believe that as mortals, we can do nothing. Our best efforts are laughable and incompetent.
The third truth I acknowledge is that God sent his Son to redeem us. He has overcome logic and reason and science and he stands above it all. He extends a hand to us, asking us to embrace him and rise above our mortal limitations. We will die, but he promises resurrection. We will sin, but he promises forgiveness. We will falter but he promises success.
This is, in short, the three great truths. God is great. We are not. But God provided us a way to overcome ourselves.
The core of it all is the principle of grace. Christ offers us salvation, without money or price. We literally have nothing we can pay him for what he already did for us. All we can do is accept his gift, which he eagerly hopes we will. How can we accept that gift? First, we must place all our faith and hope in Christ. There is nothing in mankind or ourselves worth leaning on. We can only lean on God. Second, we must repent, or rather, turn back to face God. When we find ourselves out of sync, we align ourselves with him again. He has already said he doesn’t care whether we falter (we always will), he simply wants us to strive to be like him.
This is the powerful center of true Christian worship. This is the power that allows us to have a mighty change of heart. When we embrace the truth that man is nothing yet God loves us anyway, we feel sincere love for God who loved us first. When we begin to see the people around us, mortal and flawed, yet loved by God, then we begin to love them too, even though they are mortal and flawed. Only when we are motivated out of pure, godly love can we hope to begin to keep the commandments, summarized by Christ himself as “Love God” and “Love others as yourself”.
To my brothers and sisters who already believe in Christ and are already trying to be like him (and failing miserably, as we all do), I embrace you, no matter what faith you come from. I believe Christ sees all his believers as belonging to his church. I believe he wants us all to work together and share what we believe with each other, and embrace greater and greater truth and light as he reveals it to us. You are my friend, as I hope I am yours. I will support you as you try to do what you believe is right.
To my brothers and sisters who do not yet believe in Christ, I promise that Christ still loves you with a love you cannot comprehend. He is holding out his hand to you, offering you the most magnificent gift there ever was to offer. I cannot make you accept that gift, and my pathetic words are not enough to convince anyone on their own. But perhaps you will feel the Spirit prick your heart and plant a desire to obtain these things for yourself. I promise that they are available. When the time is right, you will understand what I mean. Until then. patience.
Christ does not change the fact that there are laws, irrevocably decreed, that govern every aspect of the universe. We can never, ever say that breaking those laws will bring us happiness. We can say, however, that there is only hope in Christ. Hope that Christ can erase the consequences of our foolishness, hope that Christ can give us strength to live the way we know we should, hope that Christ can show us the universe as it really is.
I wish only the best for all mankind and even people who hate me and are actively trying to hurt me. I pray that Christ can give me a more perfect understanding, forgive me for all my faults, and cure me of my wicked heart, and the same for those around me. This is a prayer that I offer to God in the name of Christ. May it be so is my desire.