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I was an atheist before, a person who didn’t believe in deity and thinks that people who believe in higher power are mentally inept or just hypnotized by a mad religious leader. I’m so arrogant and have this personal distaste of Christians. My paradigm of them was potently distrustful, and I can’t stop myself in discriminating their preaching because all I’m seeing is how unconnectedly they behave with what they say they believe.

In my eyes, Christians are just showy people who only mastered the holy dialect, attendees of boring religious gatherings, and arrogant bible-freaks who think they are better over everyone else.

Maybe, I was more an agnostic than an atheist because of my consuming hatred. I’m not really smart and only understand the basics of science, let alone its complexities. There’s a part of me that wants to believe in Something or Someone greater than me, but every time I look to people who claim to believe in God, I felt betrayed and disheartened because of the hypocrisies I’m seeing.

But it all changed when I met people who are really practicing their faith in God while I’m on college. Though I’m still against what they believe, I can’t oppose what I’m feeling about them. They are different from other Christians I’ve met. There are something pure in them, their lives exude peace. And when they said that it’s all because of Jesus, I can’t stop myself to believe.

I became a Christian. I’ve met the Redeemer because I met redeemed people in all of their senses. I never regretted the decision. I know now why I’m living and what I’m here for. And I believe the forgiveness offered by God and knowing the profound meaning of our existence is a gift nobody must reject.

But many do reject

Christianity has a bad image. The faith seems like a big bureaucratic business composed of half-serious and half-hearted people. We say that we promote Jesus, and yes, much of the society have tremendous respect for Him, but as they enter our congregation, they are seeing Jesus-mentioning people who are not really Jesus-living people. A disturbing disconnect makes them step away. And all what they are doing is being honest with themselves, “Why would I believe these fake people?”

They hate Christianity for its claim to be the only way to God. Agnostics think that we’re too boring or overly shackled by dogma that we don’t really understand or commandments that we don’t really obey. “Why they are insisting us to obey their rules while they themselves are losers on it?”

We are known more for what we’re against than what we’re for. We’re against homosexuality, abortion, cigarettes, and everything and everyone that doesn’t fit our description of biblical morality. Just do a Google search about a controversial artist and you would see millions of links of complaints and Bible-infused correction posted by Christians. I believe we have the right to raise our voices for the sake of truth and do that kind of stuff, but the core of what we really believe was diluting because our voices of complaints are louder than our voices for the gospel.

Inside, we know that what we believe and who we’re living for. But on the outside, we’re just another religion searching and manically doing everything to get converts. The most important message for humanity was viewed as cheap marketing gimmick.

To the outsiders, we don’t have anything that can really give meaning and transform their lives. It’s surprising to see that in our generation that is waking up from the nightmare of materialism and searching for a deeper spiritual foundation. They are bypassing Christianity because they believe that our faith has lose its core.

Christianity appears to be just another bland religion that don’t appeal to the minds of contemporary generation. Young adults are bombarded by thunderous river of information and philosophies. They are not inclined to simply believe and accept any system of belief without viable philosophical foundation or a genuine proof of transformation.

Sadly, most Christian can’t even defend their faith and always default to “because the Bible says” approach, which is so distasteful in the ears of unbelievers, “That reasoning again? You yourself is confused about the Bible and busier polishing your ego in social media and posting cute Christian stickers than studying what you believe!”

Unbelievers are listening, but the truth is, they are also watching. And I believe that we must be concern about what they seeing as much as what they are hearing. Or maybe more.

In today’s connected world, the failures of Christians are instantly tweeted, posted and uploaded for all the world to see. Like it or not, our notifications have more dislikes than likes. If we’re brave enough to hear what unbelievers want to say, would we like what we would hear?

Hope

But we’re not hopeless. More than anyone in the world, we Christians have the most enduring hope that humanity can have because it doesn’t came inside us but from above. I believe that Christianity offers the most compelling vision of reality. It is the only faith that makes sense of our longing for eternal justice and unconditional love.

Christianity is not a decoration or a layer to make us look good, it’s meant to be our core, the foundation of our every moment. We have the glorious burden of prioritizing God over anything else, to live for the sake of the eternal kingdom ruled by the greatest King. It’s the brave acknowledgment that in the end, nothing is more important than your relationship with your Savior.

Jesus told his original disciples that they would be known as followers of Him through their love for each other. No matter what, let us not forget the core of our faith – love. Loving in spite of. Loving until it hurts. Loving because God loves us first even we’re unlovable.

Our role is not to fix people, our role is to love people. And maybe, just maybe, the word would be drawn because of our unconditional love and say, “Look how they love, I wonder why they are doing that?”

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