My Respect For The Searching Pagan

My Respect For The Searching Pagan

A tribute to belief.

467
views

One of my professors enjoys saying, with emphasis and a smirk: "People make their gods."

"You make your gods up in your heads. You fashion them yourselves."

Would it help anything for me to disagree? I could never fashion God. He fashions me.

It's an African-American literature class, so the poetry and prose often touch on African heritage and tribal gods and so forth.

And so tribal masks and stick idols are talked about with reverence and a scholarly tone but with an air of above-ness. I don't quite know how to describe it. It's like someone talking above a guinea pig cage, praising the guinea pig habits and culture and their "guinea pig-ness," but obviously speaking as their superior. They are a study subject, a specimen, not an equal. She belittles their belief, in everything she doesn't say and in her frequent line.

And I find myself taking the side — the side of the tribes!

Her arrogant unbelief, her belief in herself, is staggering, and she pats herself on the back by, in no uncertain words, equating the son of God, Jesus Christ, with some crude sculptures.

(I am sorry if this turns into too much of a rant. I am called to love this professor and pray for her good, not to be sinfully angry with her!)

I respect the pagans for their belief, their wild longing. They knew that there is something more than the materials they saw, or they longed deeply for the "something else." They worshipped something outside of or beyond themselves.

Atheists, they worship at the altar of self.

I pity the pagans, for they worshipped what they did not know and yet what they created with their own hands. They bowed to dirt and dust, to nothing. But I hold a respect for them, for their wild longing and leap, for their acknowledgment that we are made to worship, for their dancing expression of longing and hope, for their search.

They are a million miles closer to the truth, to beauty, in their native ignorance of Christ, than this professor who looks upon the crucifixion with amusement.

If only she could let the possibility of truth pierce her hide, if only she could walk down from her intellectual pedestal, to worship at the baby's manger, at the humble, horrifying cross. I want more than anything, that her eyes may see and eyes may hear.

If only she could look on Jesus, not as a specimen, but as her Savior.

I pray for the day! In the meantime, she teaches me ever more about the startling beauty of humility and about the incredible limits of the intellect. Rationalization and education are a load of crap if they lead us up into the dungeons of pride.

The soul of the unbeliever, of the atheist, is more chained and poisoned and broken than that of any human slave who ever lived in the freedom of Christ.

We come upon a lot of hard questions in literature, some hard morsels that will knot your stomach. Like there's this slicing fact that the salvation of many people into God's kingdom (and out of paganism) came by the way of kidnapping and brutal slavery.

Many of the African-American poems talk about the cost, the high cost of knowing Jesus. Many Africans paid the great cost of slavery in finding Jesus. Was it worth it?

Not if you think Christianity is merely soul comfort. Not if you think it just provides structure and purpose. Not if you think it's just a constraining religion or just one of many ways to God.

Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. And to those who believe, yes, He is worth everything, though His ways are beyond our understanding.

Christ is not a God for white people alone! What a joke. He came 'first for the Jew, and then for the Gentile.'

Jesus reaches out to every nation, to every pagan, every atheist. He reaches out a loving hand to all men, none excluded, asking them to feast around the fire, to know Him and forsake their sin.

A relationship with Jesus makes joy central, and suffering, no matter how great, peripheral, in this life. For we know the end of our stories (and their real beginnings) will be glorious and good: redeemed. This harsh world of our sight is not all there is.

Christ is the hope of all nations, a healing balm for the bitter cynic, and the fulfillment of longing for the pagan.

Through the tribal fire, through the haze of death and the burning horror, through the pains of great wickedness, our perfect God reaches out a hand to those who run from Him. He offers love, He offers His one and only Son, bearing our sin on a cross. No one could have made this up, this radical, forgiving love.

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." — John 3:16

Popular Right Now

Christian Boys Vs. Godly Men

It is time to stop settling for the lesser of the two.
70994
views

Ladies, there is a huge difference between a Christian boy and a Godly man; therefore, it is time to stop settling for the lesser of the two.

So many times I hear girls saying:

“Well, he’s a Christian.”

“He goes to church with me.”

“He listens to Christian music.”

“He went to church camp.”

“He has a favorite bible verse.”

SEE ALSO: What An Attractive Man Looks Like

Well, all of those things are just peachy and there is nothing wrong with doing those things. I mean, they’re all good things to do. But how is his personal relationship with God? How is his prayer life? Does he talk about his relationship with God, with you? Is he truly a follower of the one true God in all aspects of his life? These are some of the characteristics you should be looking for that makes a Godly man.

Ladies, a man will love you great when he loves God greater.

A Godly man will pursue an honest relationship with you. He will be clear of his intentions. A Godly man will worship, pray and passionately praise God with you. Whereas, a Christian boy might open the door for you, a Godly man will open his bible and explore God’s word with you so that you both may grow spiritually, together. While a Christian boy may put on an outward show, a Godly man will live out the love of Jesus daily.

So ladies, are you catching on to this ongoing trend? A Godly man does more because you deserve more.

A Godly man will be a leader. Trust me, I know that in today’s society Godly men are few and far between while Christian boys come in plenty. But you deserve a man who is after God’s heart not just a boy who goes to church. And I know that this Christian boy may seem great and have some really stellar qualities at the time but money and looks fade, whereas, an ongoing love for our savior will not.

The greatest thing a man can do for a woman is to lead her closer to God than himself. (Yes, yes, yes).

SEE ALSO: As Christians, Life Isn't Supposed To Be Hard

So I beg of you, do not settle. Do not settle just because you’re tired of being single, it’s convenient or because you want the relationship your friend has. Single does not equal available and a relationship status does not define you. God uses your season of singleness to prepare you for what is to come. And if you’re dating a Christian boy, he needs to step it up or you need to move on. Wait for a Godly man who is ready to lead you. God’s timing is always better, always. No matter the circumstance. So, do not rush God. (I mean, He is, after all, pretty good at His job). Therefore, turn your full focus to Him and He will direct your path.

“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Matthew 6:33

Cover Image Credit: Christina Sharp

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

My View On Religion Changed When I Got Closer To God

Understanding that God loves me and protects me has encouraged me to be honest with myself and the choices I make.

152
views

I was not raised Christian or any religion of any sort, but since I was in elementary school I always wondered what religion meant and why people practiced it. The problem is people are so verbal about stereotypes that all Christians are homophobic or believe that women should not have the right to abortions. These are both common beliefs practiced in Christianity, but it does not mean that all Christians think this way. Hearing those things that went against my beliefs scared me away from practicing any type of religion.

When I entered my junior year one of my friends said that the church she goes to, "Journey Of Faith" is welcoming of all people no matter what their race, gender, and sexuality was. I decided to try it out and I felt so welcomed and taken care of. I started to realize that the whole point of going to church is to worship God and nurture your relationship with him.

The pastor explained how God created everyone and that God loves all of his sons and daughters no matter what. That comment meant a lot to me and it still sticks with me today. Being a good Christian is loving and forgiving people no matter what because that is what God does. When people are hateful towards people who are part of the LGTBQ+ that just means that they are ignorant and intolerant, they are not preaching God's words because God is loving.

I loved the bible verses I would hear in church. I felt so uplifted after each service and applied the sermons I learned to my daily life. I learned the importance of loving others and yourself. I was taught to always go with my gut and to challenge myself. It just felt so relieving to know that God will always be here for me and have my back no matter what I was going through.

I always believed that things happen for a reason and I realized that is God. I feel like ever since I have gone to church I have a better understanding of life and what things mean. Since I am such a curious person always looking for answers, I felt that I was able to find some of those answers in the Holy Bible.

My journey of faith was confusing and a lot of people would make fun of me for going to church and still do, but I don't let it get to me. I have been a much happier person and have been able to set and accomplish more goals for myself it doesn't matter what people say about my faith. Church and just reading bible quotes is my therapy.

Related Content

Facebook Comments