Like most people who grew up in a Christian family, I was born into the Born-Again religion. Until I came to a screeching halt and decided to unlearn everything I thought I knew about Christianity.
––w3bservant, Losing my Religion
Like most people who grew up in a Christian family, I was born into the Born-Again religion. As I grow older and started in the Christian community, I learned that being a Christian is not a religion, rather a personal relationship with the Lord. Subconsciously as I grew older, my Church became the source of my moral principles, with different Church leaders as my role models. (I grew up without a father, and the Church has been instrumental in forming the personal values which defines who I am now.)
While there is nothing wrong with this mindset (in fact I would highly recommend Christian parents to introduce their kids to it), the way a person captures and crystallizes a general belief system and “personalizes” it can be different from another person using the same mindset — and Christianity is not an exemption.
This is where things can become ugly. As my own experience demonstrated.
At age 12, I started to get involved in the Christian ministry, beginning with teaching kids in Sunday school. This is also the time I took Jesus as my personal Lord and Savior. As I grow older, my passion and potential was noticed in the Church, and I started “climbing up” the
corporate Christian ladder: I found myself leading the praise and worship, then the youth in our local church, then the youth in Taguig-Pateros.
In the end, I was juggling big and multiple ministries all in the leadership capacity. This include ministerial work at a national level. Like most youth my age, I mistook promotions in the Church ministry as a barometer of my Christian growth. My Church community became my world, my position became my worth. And since I hold various leadership position in various Church ministries, I fooled myself that my contributions to the works of the “Body of Christ” determines my net-worth. Like what a friend told me once, my Church community became the world to me — especially since I belong to a large Christian organization. But then again, I’m not the first to believe this self-made lie. In fact this is not uncommon, even among adult Christian leaders– leaders who bound themselves to the blameless observance of the Christian faith, and expect others to do the same.
But it all ended when God orchestrated an event in my life that led me to losing everything I considered “Christ-worthy”. In obedience to what I call a “divine impression”, I found myself on the receiving end of a Disciplinary Action. Soon enough, all my “Christian credentials” crumbled into pieces around me. I lost all position I held dear. In 4 months, for the first time since I became a Christian, I became an “ordinary” Church member — no ministry to call my own, no leadership position.
That was the end of my “career”. I hit rock bottom; but that event broke the chain and demolished the wall, it led me to true freedom — I discovered the true meaning of GRACE: that I don’t need to do anything “worth of being called a Christian” to prove myself. God loves me for who I am. In order to know Jesus for real, I have to unlearn everything I know.
Losing My Religion
Surprisingly, what happened to Paul in Philippians 3:7-21 perfectly describes what happened to me next:
7-9The very credentials these people are waving around as something special, I’m tearing up and throwing out with the trash—along with everything else I used to take credit for. And why? Because of Christ. Yes, all the things I once thought were so important are gone from my life. Compared to the high privilege of knowing Christ Jesus as my Master, firsthand, everything I once thought I had going for me is insignificant—dog dung. I’ve dumped it all in the trash so that I could embrace Christ and be embraced by him. I didn’t want some petty, inferior brand of righteousness that comes from keeping a list of rules when I could get the robust kind that comes from trusting Christ—God’s righteousness.
10-11I gave up all that inferior stuff so I could know Christ personally, experience his resurrection power, be a partner in his suffering, and go all the way with him to death itself. If there was any way to get in on the resurrection from the dead, I wanted to do it.
12-14I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.
Philippians 3: 7-21 | The Message Bible
I don’t expect everyone to understand me. I am convinced that this post may not be beneficial to everyone. But if while reading this you realized you want to know Christ more, beyond the Born-Again religion, then I pray that you too discover God’s grace: that Jesus’ death fulfilled everything the law required so you can come to God the Father, without pretense from any religion — just as who you are.