When Alex met Sisqo in Big Brother the first question he asked him was “Are You Religious?” This was prompted by a design on the front door which resembled the devil and which Sisqo had commented on when he entered the house. Sisqo went on the defensive and answered Alex in this way: “No, I’m spiritual.” Without knowing anything about Sisqo’s beliefs I can understand why he did this. Religiousness is not something that can be easily admitted in secular society. But if we deny our religious convictions and try and make them something else for fear of being persecuted, we are behaving exactly as Peter behaved in the Bible when he denied Christ.
Of course our faith walk in Christ is spiritual, and I often use the word myself in these articles when referring to the mystical aspects of our rebirth, but it is also far more than that. Christ is divine spirit manifested as man. The whole Christ picture embraces the physical as well as the spiritual. Christianity is undeniably a religion in the fullest sense of the word because not only does it encompass an awareness of something outside our understanding, but also a series of rites of worship which take place in a physical church. In the context of Big Brother these rites are treated with suspicion, because they are out of fashion. Big Brother is a celebration (and sometimes a ridicule) of humanism, not religion.
This is an illustration of how society at large now fears, misunderstands and persecutes religiousness. I once brought a party to a standstill by announcing, when I was asked what I did on Sundays, that I went to church. Being accepted as a Christian might seem important to you, but it is not important to God that we are accepted. It is only important that we do His will, and sometimes this means going against the tide. I don´t blame Sisqo any more than I blame Peter for not assenting to the charge of being religious, but I do admire the awesome skill of Jesus, who not only understood the fear that many of his followers would feel, but managed to predict it precisely in the case of Peter, just as he predicted that Judas would betray him. Sometimes, foreknowledge is possible just by understanding the predictability of human character.
Denying our religious convictions to protect an image we want people to have about us is a sign of weakness, but one that our Saviour expects us to make time and time again. But to confess our faith openly is a triumph of will and says an awful lot about our Christian courage.
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