A Letter to a Re-conversion Candidate

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Dear Re-conversion candidate,
There has been a lot of uproar over recent re-conversions that some Hindu groups conducted in Agra. There is word that more re-conversions from Islam and Christianity to Hinduism are coming in the near future.

As a fellow Indian & a Christian, I want to encourage you :if you wish to re-convert from the Christian faith to Hinduism, please do so – I support you!

If your faith in Jesus Christ has been unable to give you ration cards & a hassle-free life, blame it on our Saviour, Lord Jesus Christ!

He is unfortunately not like so many affluent Gurus our nation has harvested. He is the very Son of God, but He never chose a good life anyway and he didn’t even get a decent death. In fact he promised that we, His followers will face the same opposition & sufferings  He faced  (John 15:20). So why should you follow this troubled path to follow Him?

Also to blame are FALSE Christian teachers who may have TOLD you that you will get all you want in life if you follow Jesus- shame, shame– they seem to not even know that Jesus is not a wish-granting guru but the Final Judge (Acts 10:42).

It is also possible that you were part of a church where the brothers and sisters did not share their possessions with you out of love as Christ has taught us by His supreme example. If they have not done this, and if you are jilted & are moving away, I apologize on their behalf. There is no excuse, but I request you – please forgive us. We are hopefully, learning.

Finally, though I love you, the fact is – it becomes easier for me when so-called Christians choose to follow who their god truly is- money and comfort. Your “re-conversion” helps me see that your conversion was never genuine. It sobers me up and helps me when I know who is truly Christian and who is not.

Your friend & fellow citizen,
An Indian Christian.

Of Break-ups and Redemption – I

Recently my wife and I discussed a relationship I had entered into as a new believer. I had “fallen in love” with a girl at church I really wanted to be with. I initiated the relationship against the Biblical command to consider only partners who share faith in Jesus. She was not a Christian at heart, and I knew it. A couple of months of superficial joy, merciful interventions & inner turmoil later I broke up with that girl, leaving her clueless & lonely with little excuse or attempts at reconciliation.

Why did I commit these gross sins?

How could I toy with the heart of a young girl made in God’s image?

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My wife’s questions on how unfair this was, made me also realize that-

I didn’t want to be satisfied in Christ. I treated the gospel as something only for a non-Christian. I didn’t see that Christ satisfies both the married and the single Christian soul. Even if I saw it, I –

Looked in the wrong places. I followed the System around me, or what the Bible calls “the world”. I coveted a relationship after I noticed other Christian friends in relationships. I figured I wanted what they had. Nothing bad about having a girl-friend when you are committing to marriage, but I took it to –

Idolatry. I tried to live to make ME HAPPY, Not Jesus.
First, I wanted this beautiful girl, hoping she would become a believer. Later when a mentor confronted me about her being no Christian, I escaped pain by not even meeting her to explain why I was breaking up. I protected myself from consequence & shame at the cost of someone else.

I don’t deserve forgiveness from this person or from God.

But God – He is merciful to offenders like me. Jesus’ death for people like me, baffles my mind and melts my prayers into tears. Even now – to find her & beg for forgiveness, would take that unfair break-up towards redemption.

– Aravind

Have you sinned in a relationship or marriage that God redeemed?

“When God says to keep waiting, He isn’t trying to rob you of an experience but rather lead you into a greater one.” – Matt Chandler

When marriages serve Christ & His Church

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I had the joy of visiting Anil and Rekha’s home one evening, some months ago. Anil, his wife Rekha and their little son Pranav are a vital part of our church family in Wanowrie. That night I stayed over at their place and in the morning Anil and I intended to study some portion of the Bible together so that we could be encouraged by God’s Word. As we all finished some hot, yummy breakfast and sat in the sofas in the living room, I began to comprehend the problem – Pranav, at that time, hardly two years old, is a boisterous and affectionate child who loves spending time with his father. So how were we going to have time to discuss from the Bible, with Pranav running about, and clambering all over his dad and his Bible?

But Anil and I did not even see little Pranav for the next 45 minutes. He was engaged by his mother Rekha as she spent time with him in the bedroom. Could Rekha have benefited from the discussion Anil and I had? Yes. Could she have given us valuable input that would have helped us think hard about being a disciple of Jesus each day? Yes. But she chose to help her husband out by taking care of their little son.

For some, this is probably nothing extraordinary. It is something most couples with kids do, right? Take care of the kids when their spouse is busy. But what is the motive behind someone sacrificing their interests in marriage? Is it because the husband and wife are supposed to take care of one another, because it is a duty, a heavy responsibility? You better do it or else people will start portraying you as an insensitive spouse?

Like Rekha sacrificed her time for Anil, I get to see my friend Vishal regularly baby-sit his kids on Sunday and Tuesday nights. This lets his wife Esha go catch up with the church family and play board games with them. Why does Vishal wash and clean up after three children gladly?

These simple acts are more than just duty, when I see them in the larger context of Marg and its missional family gatherings. By taking care of Pranav, Rekha is declaring that her husband and her brother’s spiritual growth and well-being in Christ are more important to her than her own preferences. Her service actually helps her family grow which in turn helps the Marg church family grow. By baby-sitting for his wife, Vishal is saying without using any words, that he is willing to serve his wife and let her take a break and grow spiritually with the church family, without having to worry about three cute kids running amok around her. The body of Christ will grow only when the individual families in it align themselves to love and support both themselves and their local gathering.

Marg is essentially a church community that is a family made up of families. The Biblical concept of the church being Jesus’ family is core to each missional gathering. And as I see Rekha, Vishal and so many other married folks at Marg serve each other in various ways, I see their actions build up not just their individual families but in turn, their service builds up God’s people.

Its such a blessing to witness marriages, though imperfect, serving Jesus’ mission of loving and serving one another so that those outside the church may know the church as Jesus’ disciples by our love for one another.