You are right. Being Christian is more than that little prayer. And inadvertently, the foot in the door technique has penetrated the means of evangelism. In some regard, the message of Romans 10:9 has been trifled. That’s why for me, besides everything – besides lying, and stealing, and fornication, and hate and laziness – the most important thing is to be laid bare in the presence of God. The first step is the decision that I want to live for God and have my life centered on him and his desires more than anything else. It is not that I am able to do this, no that’s not the first step. It is that I will to do this. In being Christian, I am not saying I want to stop lying, or stop stealing, or stop masturbating, or stop being jealous. No, I am saying I want God to own me – to own my soul, to own my life. I am telling him that my innermost desire and will is to give him my Free Will and be a slave to his desires. It doesn't matter if I carry on, that’s a later step – the first step is the desire and will. Any other message is a watered down version of Christianity; it’s a farce.
And I am happy to let God own me. I am willing to do so because I genuinely believe in his love for me. His love for me is not expressed in that I am alive. His love for me is not expressed in that I have a family, or that I am not a little girl raped in South Africa, or raised in Liberia’s war. His love for me is in his sacrifice on the cross. His love for me is in the meaning of those moments on the cross. The message that while I was a sinner, he died for me. His love starts at Romans 5:8. It doesn’t matter whose fault it is that I am a sinner, the point is that he offered to take me out of that sin. The point is that he had to make a sacrifice to take me out of that sin. The point is that there would be no one to judge him if I were banished to hell to suffer as a sentient, non-thinking being. But he made a decision to save me. A decision that came at a cost. A decision that came with Jesus having to live as a man. The sacrifice is expressed in a manner of ways i) Philippians 2:8 the fact that Christ had to be humble to death. In a way of speaking, it is Jesus, the Son of God; it is Jesus, who is God, paying obeisance to death, bowing down to death because of man. It is the jealous God, who is greater than every other thing deciding to bow and serve a punishment meant only for sinners ii) it is the moment on the cross when Jesus has the sins of the whole world poured on his head and the Father turned his back on him. The first time in all of eternity that we have the Father separated from the Son. These two who cannot live without each other, who are a mutual light to each other’s lives being broken and separated. It is a division in the God head – in a manner of speaking it is as if for that moment there was no concept of God. The three were split. It is all the sins in eternity being piled on the head of Jesus, to carry alone. That was hell for Jesus.
This is the light through which we understand God. That our universe is transient and our life span in it is infinitesimally even more insignificant in comparison to the dream God has for us. It is that if this action of God shows love expressed, then I want to put my trust in him. I want to cuddle up in his bosom and let him keep watch over me, and take care of me. It is that…
For me as a self-conscious individual, this is the most moving point of choosing to love someone. This is the platform on which I stand to show love. This is the single greatest influence. In that I want to alleviate the suffering of my friend with every power in me. In that I want to sacrifice my resources for someone I have never met before if it would put a smile on their face. In that I want to show maximum love to my enemies (I might fail, because of overwhelming human emotions, but the moment I am jolted back into my reality, I let go of it all.) This is the love that means I can forgive anyone without holding back, regardless of their actions or inactions. This is the love that means every step of the way I want to live a life that is dedicated to service and love of humans around the world. This is the love I want to teach friends and family and enemies, so we can be bonded by it and aspire for greatness as humans. It’s a love that ensures it hurts no one regardless of their abilities to fight for themselves. This is the love I want someone to feel, learn and experience when I ask them to give their lives to Christ.
That’s why I don’t understand salvation without an inner change in a being. I don’t understand salvation if it doesn't make you broken in God’s presence because of His ability to teach you love and help you practice and express it. And that’s what God wants to do with us, teach us love to the fullest – as individuals, over the years, and as a people over generations. And yes, Christianity is more than a little prayer. It is like putting chains on one’s self, the only difference is that they are chains we choose for ourselves, and they are chains we hope make us better people (this is funny because in a way I’m applying Rousseau’s view of how the legal system develops from the Social Contract).