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The Convicted Samaritan

December 21, 2012

I have lived within the Christian community my whole life, and I have very rarely, in spite of many posts on this blog, seen the rampant selfishness, the self-righteousness, and the superficiality that so many naysayers of the Christian faith have put forward, and is seen evident in America today with rampant Christian conservatism, fast-food churches, and so on. I know this because of the Christian college I went to.

At this college, people are, by and large, genuine. I can leave my stuff at the cafeteria or library without any fear of it being stolen. Yes, there are many homophobes, self-righteous people, and maybe even a few hypocrites, but it’s not much, and so miniscule that I wonder why so many people (including myself) come down on the Christian faith as it so happens. This college is not in the Bible-belt south, mind you, it’s in New England, and I believe I am far within the mark when I say that it is the best Christian colleges in that region, if not one of the best in the nation. Hardly anyone there is fake; in all my time spent on campus. I would even go to say that there are very few churches in that area that represent the fears and concerns of people who talk down the Christian faith. For the people I met there, and all the relationships I made there, I can say I am proud to be a Christian, notwithstanding many of the hypocritical, fake congregations that exist in the world.

My brother asked me if I was a Christian a little while ago (he is not, and I think it is because of the Bible-belt south and its propensities and mindset), and I said no. But that was because I did not know what he meant by Christian. Surely not the kind of genuine Christians I met at my college, right? And there are many forms of Christian people, especially among the young, and many of them are laughed at by the rest of the world, but the general population of my college does not fit any stereotype (except for maybe the hipster Christian).

Some sociologists might point to the idea that I can trust my community because of a certain conviction of my peers, that they do not steal simply because they are afraid. Maybe so. But here I will put forth a different version of that argument. Scripture says, “the fear of the LORD is the beginning of understanding.” Now, many people will say that this fear is merely reverence, but I prefer the original definition. This is a kind of fear that leads to reverence, for without the fear, there can be no reverence. And by reverence, respect, by respect, prudence, and by prudence, love. The people at my college were convicted. And I think conviction is important in our culture, especially among my peers and the young population, for it will prevent a certain complacency that dominates the young, as I have unfortunately observed.

Young people in the world today, in spite of the complacency and boredom that seems to veil us like a cloud, want action, and change. The idea of a zombie apocalypse or something similar is something treated as a joke, but we all know deep down that we want it. Some kind of move toward desperation or adventure, I suppose. Whether there will be one in the near future is not the point here. The point is, the Christian young people I met at the college I went to were really nice, and they cared, and they fought against the complacency that seems to undergird young culture as a whole. The point is, young people would know what to do if things become dangerous in the future, and Christian young people might know even better, if not for their hope, then for their discipline.

That said, I don’t think there really is any harm in being Christian. Yes, I have difficulty with the doctrine of hell on multiple levels. But all my Christian friends tell me they do as well. It’s just something that we don’t put at the center of our faith, as some boisterous Christians do. Why not put heaven at the center? That is much more conducive to growth and reconciliation.


From → Religion

One Comment
  1. Man, I wish I could live in your area. I can’t find a good church to save my life.

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