Thursday, May 3, 2018
Why does certain expressions of Christianity seem not deeply Christ-like?
Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you cross sea and land to make a single convert, and you make the new convert twice as much a child of hell as yourselves. – Matthew 23:15
Mighty hard words to the religious leaders of the times, the scribes who were the teachers of the Hebrew scriptures, the Pharisees, those who called a return to the righteousness of the past. These were the “holy” men, the devout and conservative holy men, the men who went in search of converts. And to these leaders of the faith, Christ said, “You make converts, but you do not transform them into authentic people of God!” Mighty hard words, indeed.
Converts in those days made a public declaration of their new-found faith and after a ritual of baptism became Jewish. But as is the case throughout history, the convert and the convert-maker ended up much the same. Even today … people try to make easy converts and then pressure them and model for them more the faith of the convert-maker than faith in Christ Himself.
My understanding of my work of evangelism is not to make converts but to tell the Great Story of how a soul named Jesus of Nazareth was sent into this world in which we live to begin the process of heaven coming upon the earth and the process of the human and the Divine coming together as blended One. It is the Story, it is the retelling of the words of Christ, it is the introduction to the One who changed and still is changing my life to others who have yet met Him that is my work as Evangelist. Not making converts to my way of thinking but to allow them to hear Christ’s way of thinking. I live as best I can and with the help of the Lord … the way Christ would live my life.
In His Service always,
Fr. Charitas de la Cruz