So it’s easter once again, culminating a religious observation in a catholic community. In the Philippines, the “freedom of religion” is guaranteed, thus, the national observation of religious holidays.
This freedom also guaranteed Filipinos to believe any faith, compelling some sectors not to believe on anything. And in the middle of all of these, a new advocacy emerged, that is the “freedom from religion”.
There is a difference, though, between the two freedoms, the first freedom (of religion)– people have the liberty to believe and express a faith of their choice. In the process, they may be able to convince others to join their belief or “non belief”. On the other freedom (from religion), people are regulated if not prohibited to express their faith publicly.
Freedom from religion, is said to be akin to state religion– they said you are allowed to chose your faith privately, but you cannot do so in public, so as not to offend those with dissenting belief.
In my opinion, the basic premise of our democratic society is our ability to express and reason out our belief or non belief, likewise, giving opportunity for the listeners to exercise his freedom to choose (whether to believe or not believe)
Now allow me to discuss another freedom that is relevant to Christians. Today, believers all over the world celebrate the resurrection of the Christ. But aside from the commercialisation of the event, what’s in it to those who believe?
Before I throw my two cents, allow me to lay down the framework of my discussion.
- In the book of Acts, the believers were first called “Christians” (Acts 11:26) because the non christians saw the similarity of Jesus way of life to first generation Christians. Christian meant “Christ like”. Thus, not all who claim to be Christian in our modern society are indeed Christians in the biblical standards.
- To be born from a Christian parents will not make a child Christian, to study in a Christian school will not make a person Christian. To join one of the Christian sect will not make a person one.
- To be a Christian is a personal decision. A person must be old enough to know right from wrong and know how to exercise his freedom to choose.
- To be a Christian is to believe on what Jesus did on the cross is sufficient and to accept Him as his Lord and Savior.
- And the most important part, if Jesus just died, he is no different from national heroes or a prophet and no better than the rest of us. But He rose from the dead and this set him apart. Those who believed are in for a life changing process.
Christianity is not magic, but an empowerment to make day to day decisions that can lead to a transformed life. It starts with a decision and will end with a decision (good decision leads to good results, but a bad one can also lead to digression).
Christianity, is likewise not a license to pass judgement or assert oneself as better than others.
Now, let me go back to my original question, what’s in it to those who believe on Jesus death and resurrection? I will not discuss about theology, If I do, I will have to open a new blog dedicated for that. In a nutshell, though, l would like to share what’s in it for the bloggers, entrepreneurs and professionals.
- Freedom– as humans, we are prone to get entangled with “addicting” activities. Anything excessive is bad. Without God in our midst, walking away from this is not possible. Col 2:13-14
- Relationship– Christianity is about relationship with God, not a set of rules and regulations. Christ death and resurrection reconciled us to God. Col 1:20
- Empowerment– the love of God transforms a person. Self confidence and enabling of new skills follows. So a Christian can become an achiever, the head and not the tail (Deut. 28:13).
- Enlightenment– to recognize a supreme being is a pre requisite to wisdom (Ps. 111:10). Therefore, it will be much easier for a person to discover his life purpose, to discern work-life principles and gain wisdom.
- Deliverance– because of men’s failure to keep the law, mankind are under a curse (Deut 28:15-68 -sickness, pain, failure and family destruction). But because of Christ’s death and resurrection, we are bought back (Gal. 3:10-14)
- Opportunity — as mentioned earlier, Christianity is a process that begins and end with a decision. Everyday, a situation is presented to a believer for him to exercise his freedom to choose (Gal 5:24). Whatever path he takes can be an opportunity to grow, become stronger and succeed, or go back to his old self and backslide.
- Money– don’t get me wrong, money will not fall from heaven. But as the believer follow the principles of prosperity, giving and hard work, earning money is not hard.
While this is available for everyone, the “pacing” of the transformation is still dependent on the person. It’s like a gift that is already given but until the recipient claim and use the gift, it’s useless. This is the reason why some who profess to be Christians seem to be slow or not progressing at all
Happy Easter everyone, Jesus is Alive!