I have come to discover that quite a few of my work colleagues are ‘Christians’. I generally don’t have a problem with this having grown up in a largely Judeo-Christian environment and dare I say it, a Roman Catholic upbringing. I admit that with trepidation least of all because of the various child molestation cases around the world – I am glad to say that I never encountered anything even close to that. Rather, there seems to be a sense of exclusivity to the term ‘Christian’, especially to ‘New’ Christians. Apparently, Catholics aren’t Christians as far as well…. Non-Catholic Christians are concerned.
First of all, before somebody decides to launch into a history lesson about the reformation, I get it. Martin Luther, the German CATHOLIC Priest wasn’t happy with his boss, so he nailed a letter of complaint/resignation onto a giant wooden door. He didn’t believe good deeds added much to your chances into heaven, rather he preferred to just profess your faith and you’re in! He was also anti-semitic.
But hey, I’m not here to argue the pros and cons of each because let’s face it, I’m not the staunchest Catholic/Christian/Anything either. It has just been interesting to see ‘it’ pan out in Hong Kong.
I am sure that there are some serious believers here in Hong Kong, but it feels to me that Christianity is largely a form of Neo-Classism where non believers are excluded or at most, sympathised from a distance – behind their backs – with disdain. Yet this air of superiority cannot usually be backed up significantly with either deeds nor biblical knowledge. At most, it might be a shiny sterling silver crucifix worn around the neck or a few festive themed religious iconography pinned to the chipboard office cubicle with words such as ‘Love’ and ‘Peace’ and ‘Hope’.
Now come on kids, WWJD?
Since I was in uni, a long time ago, I’ve been relentlessly jostling with the question of ‘What defines a religion?’ to the point of exhaustion. It does not make sense to me that people do not delve deeper into their own consciousness when they encounter a new belief system. Shouldn’t this automatically happen? What did you used to believe in? What are your values? What defines a religious belief?
A book? A building? A person?
Can you really just say ‘Yep, I’m a believer’ and then just carry on? Is this not tantamount to a Band-Aid, or worse still, a silver spoon? Should there not be some implied action that needs to be acted upon once you read the text of the good book?
Fides Caritate Formata