How long does it take to be a Christian?
Once you accept Jesus into your heart as your Lord and Savior… it doesn’t take many days, months, or years… Because Jesus died on the cross for our sins, it’s like a present, you don’t need to exert effort or work hard for it, all you have to do is accept it…
– Mary Pacis
The problem with the (Catholic) Church today: Traditions and symbolism.
I was born Christian. Unfortunately, I am still mere a christian. Since I get asked very often if I am a Roman Catholic or a protestant so let me make it clear that I am a roman catholic. Do I believe in the mother Mary? Do I believe in the authority of the Pope? Well, let’s keep that controversial issue for some other day. Today, I want to talk about the Catholic Church and why do I think that the traditions and symbolisms that exists in the church today are real problems and hindrance which stops Christians from attaining Christhood.
Also, let me make it clear first, that the thoughts that I share in this article is purely based on my experience and my take on the issue. Readers might have a different opinion and they are entitled to their opinions as much as I am to mine. So let’s move on.
The biggest problem with the catholic church today is the church itself. Attending daily Mass or the Sunday mass has become equivalent to being a Christian in today’s world, sadly! I often get asked by my relatives whether or not I attend Sunday Mass or not. The moment I say No, I get told off and been regarded as an atheist! Really? Is attending Mass every Sunday is all that is takes to be a Christian? And why should I attend daily Mass? It is a monotonous ritual from start to finish. Each and every prayer during a mass is so deeply recited over the years again and again and again that you would have no idea what prayer you are saying and what does it actually mean. Same applies on the part of the priest, too. The prayer that doesn’t come out from your heart wouldn’t change your heart.
The most important part of the Mass is the Readings and the sermon that the priest delivers. After the mass is over, there would be hardly anyone who remembers even a line out of it, let aside following on the preaching! I don’t want to be that kind of a Christian. That is not being a Christian actually.
Catholic church proud itself in the traditions that it follows. Whether it is Christmas, Good Friday or the Easter, each festival/event has its own importance and these events are marked with many rigid rituals; dare you break or change any of those and be ready for stern reply. Personally, I do not have any problems with those rituals or symbols individually, be it kissing the cross, “washing the legs of disciples” or bowing your head down to the Holy Communion and many more. No, these rituals aren’t bad only if you are following them out of respect. The real problem is that, following these rituals are considered as the only means of being a Christian. Dare you refuse to kiss the cross, dare you refuse to bow down to the cross, dare you refuse to worship idols (cross) and dare you follow the first commandment, you will be considered as “self proclaimed God”.
Today, you attend the church on the holy Thursday or on the Good Friday, take part in the proceedings and go home satisfied that you have performed your duty as being a christian, that you are religious, that you follow Jesus. WRONG!!!!
The traditions, rituals and symbolisms in the Catholic Church seem to me like a commercial movie, unfortunately. We start to take those rituals too seriously, and start to believe that this is the real Christianity, that attending the Church on Good Friday or on Easter will automatically heal all my sins and that this is the only way to salvation. WRONG again!
Name of the Jesus Christ, will not heal you, speaking out name of the Jesus loudly in the public will not pardon even a single of your sin, No, it will not. Pray “Our father in heaven” or “Hail Mary” a million times and Jesus will not look at you even once, No, definitely not! Not if you keep worshiping those wooden/plastic/stone/metal idols in front of you and consider that as your God the saviour, not if you cheat on your wife/husband, definitely not if you are planning to invite everyone but your brother/sister to the feast because of some past issues. How can Christ be present there in your feast if beggars outside your house go home empty stomach? How would kissing the cross on Good Friday will give you blessings if on the way to church you had ignored the plea of help from a “dirty” “stinky” poor man?
Going to church, saying all the prayers in the book (without self realising what you are speaking), performing all the rites and knowing each and every verse of the bible will surely make you Christian, but that is not why Jesus Christ came! He didn’t come so that we become Christians. He didn’t come so that we consider the Church as the way to salvation. Study the life of the Jesus. He roamed around with common people, preaching and teaching, with the example of his own life he showed us the way to God. Jesus never said that I will love you if you take my name a hundred times a day. Rather, he said love your brother and love your neighbour and forgive them; your God will love you and reward you.
We don’t need to be Christians anymore. We are Christians, but it has nothing to do with the Christ. Being Christian means being religious and following church. That is what the Christianity has become in today’s world. Our aim should be to become like the Christ, follow on his footsteps, follow his commandments and attain the Christhood. That is the only way to salvation!