Monday, June 18, 2007


I ran into someone I haven't seen for a very long time at church last night. He and I played basketball together years ago. Anyway, we got to talking, and at some point I said something like, "Wow. I had no idea you went to church." He had been doing it his whole life. He said, "Mate, do I go to church? ha." In like a "Yes I go to church" manner.

Anyway, several hours later as I sit here, a thought has just punched me in the face. He is, as I am, glad to be part of a church and faith community, and to be a Christian. When we were talking, after I knew that, he seemed very much involved in exploring his faith. So why was it I absolutely NEVER spotted it at basketball? Was it because I was younger? I could still see who was a Christian sometimes when I was young.

This led to me wondering this: "How obvious or transparent am I to people that I believe in God, and want to actively serve God and others?" Sometimes I get, "There is no way you're a Christian! Wow I had no idea you guys were like that." This not intended as an insult, it's just that I, as with so many other Christians, don't really fit the stereotype. That said, I think that might be also because I make mistakes, say silly things, do silly things, and these can also reflect onto the image I project.

On the other hand, I love talking to people, listening to them, doing things for them. Is that enough? I don't think that with everything I do, I have to go, "Oh by the way, I'm doing this because I believe in God." Sometimes, I do it because I want others to be happy, and God doesn't directly factor in, although I believe he/He gave me the ability to be able to do what I do.

I hope I 'wear my heart on my sleeve'. I hope people know why I am and who I am, if only partially, at least the major bits. And if not, then I hope I can continue to tell them, like I tell so many other people. Most are probably sick of me talking now.


  1. It's so hard to live a noticably christian life without bible bashing. I think that if you're being open and not hiding who you are and what you believe you're on the right track. That doesn't mean you have to tattoo "I am a christian" on your forehead, but just live with integrity and be the same in all areas of your life... You seem to me like the kind of person who does that.

    It's so great that people see you as a positive example of a christian, and not fitting the stereotype is probably a good thing because the classic christian stereotype is rather more like the Pharisees than like Jesus.

    I have always seen you as an honest and wise person and I thank you for that because so many people aren't.

    As to the last comment, never sick of you talking. Would like to hear more of this.

    Love Kyla xx

  2. Chong,
    Great questions! Kyla, great response/comment. I liked the way you, Ben that is, explored how people may not realise you are a person of faith. Sometimes it is difficult to express faith in such a way that is honest and open when many people have preconceived ideas about what it means to be "Christian". There is quite a lot of baggage associated with organised religion and it's sometimes something that one doesn't always want to be associated with, but I reckon that living a life of faith has a lot less to do with what you say and more with the person that you are. I mean, isn't God/believing in God bigger than our language and communication ability? I certainly hope so.

  3. Kyla: You're right, it is hard, but I enjoy the challenge. No longer do I really hide who I am, of course, there are some things people don't see, but I'm very much more open that I used to be. I'm also going out this week to get that tattoo...but not really.

    You are none too shabby yourself in honesty and wisdom department Fullerton. Thank you for your kind words.

    Sime: I've always wondered how transparent I am in front of non-Christians. It's so easy to not be like I am at church around say uni or school people. But I've tried to be conscious of it and stay real.

    You're right that organised religion comes with baggage, but I really enjoy smashing that stereotype image, and the surprise people have when they find out I'm a Christian.

    You are also right in that it is bigger than what we can say or communicate otherwise. The old saying, action speaks louder than words. You could be silent and yet still be a great person of God. Thanks for your comment.

  4. A way I go about doing this, Ben, is I make sure people now that I'm a Christian, and then I leave it at that, unless they ask me more about it, of coarse. This way, when I do something, I don't ever say I did it because I follow Jesus or anything, like you were thinking about. If they know I'm a Christian, and know my life, and what I am like, simply those two facts, I think, say enough. You don't need to label all your actions, and keep reminding people. But then raises the issue of how do you let people now oyu are a Christian without jsut saying it? Because just saying it seems... bad. I don't know.

  5. I understand that Jono, and I talk about my faith and church life to people I meet openly.

    I think you're also right that your life and how you are is a reflection of this. I was just wondering if it really is enough, if people really do identify it with Christianity, or if it does nothing to fully break that stereotype in their minds.

    In answer to your question, well, I think you answered it yourself. In a few cases, I have just done what I think is the right thing to do, and a person has asked me, "Why do you do that? Why even bother? It doesn't gain you anything." And then I tell them. People recognise good things being done.

  6. Similar to this topic, I struggled with the whole 'Disciple or Christian' thing at the Veta Retreat. I questioned whether I was just a Sunday Christian, someone who wasn't living a life of Christianity, but was rather just showing my faith on a Sunday. I know I should be living a life where no matter what situation I am in, I am living out my faith, yet that does not mean evangelising every opportunity you get. It isn't something that you should be conscious of, but if the opportunity comes up, try jumping at it.
    When speaking to a mentor, he said that just by listening to people, organising events and helping with social justice issues, it can be considered as showing and expressing your faith. Just because you aren't evangelising, doesn't mean you are not living out a Christian life.
    Don't know if this relates, but these are my thoughts.
    It is a topic that has so many answers and twist and turns. Enjoy exploring it further.
    Enjoy xox

  7. Loz: Sometimes I feel like I am a Sunday Christian. But I think the knowledge and realisation that you can easily fall into that trap, is what makes you... kind of not one. If you can follow that.

    Evangelising has developed a bad conception in my mind, because of how it has been presented to me through different people who's views, while I respected, I vastly disagreed with. However, doing stuff at the Heard where I just talked to non-Christians about what I think, and listened to what they think... that's real evangelism to me.

    Social justice is a great way to serve and represent God. I find, though, that sometimes it's an easier option that doing faith stuff, because it requires less of you. I'm not sure what I'm thinking about this, or if you understand it.

    Well that was a rambling comment. Thanks for yours.