Whimsical people are never happy. Even God doesn’t suit them.
It seems that any argument we make cannot break through the wall of skepticism of an “experienced” interlocutor who knows exactly what he wants from life and what he wants from God. “There is so much evil in the world, and where is your God?”, “religion was invented by people”, “I don’t need intermediaries to communicate with God”, “you do everything for money”, “priests rob people”, “I came to church and they were rude to me. I won’t go to church again”… You are certainly able to continue the list of fake arguments of a person who has decisively broken with Christianity.
We may think at this moment: perhaps there is something wrong with us if people act like this. In part, we can probably agree with that. After all, we believers have no right to set a bad example for the world, but we do it regularly in private as well as in public. At the same time, there are those among us (and there are quite a few, despite what pessimists are tempted to think) who carry the label of a Christian with dignity in their lives. The problem is not only about us. Even Jesus Christ himself (!) had to deal with people who were dissatisfied with everything. They called John the Baptist, the strict ascetic and hermit, a demoniac, for he neither drank nor ate, and therefore they concluded that he was possessed by a demon!
Okay, here is the Savior, who drinks and eats and visits people at weddings, and multiplies their wine, and also talks with everyone, and does not divide people into classes and social status. “Again, he’s not the one we need!” the Pharisees screamed. So who was their messiah supposed to be then? Those people would look up to someone who fully satisfied them. He would skillfully exploit their passions and vices, fondle their ears with pleasant speeches, and approve of all their actions. It seems that we needn’t mention the name of a person who clearly meets the aforesaid criteria.
The Savior saw that the Pharisees were clearly dissatisfied with both Him and John, and compared the zealots of the law with whimsical children. They are happy when you indulge them in everything no matter what the consequences may be. Anyway, if you go along with their selfishness, you will in no way cause the murky masses to burst out with rage at your revelations. Christ was, is, and will be a living manifestation of humanity’s conscience. Not everyone is comfortable with the honest voice of his heart. It is much easier to silence the bellowing voice of eternity in your soul with the exorbitant appetite of your ego.
It is more convenient for a drunkard to share a relationship with his drinking buddy than with his wife who criticizes him (and not for no reason); a harlot does not want to hear about chastity, pure marriage and family because this information is distressing to her habit of promiscuity; a greedy person does not like to talk about generosity because the very words infringe on his “treasure”; a mean person is furious with attempts to resolve the conflict because the good does not fit into his image of the world; a hater can not rejoice in someone else’s happiness; a moody person refuses to be patient; a “celebrity” won’t tolerate criticism and defeat; and a narcissist can never step over his or her ego for the sake of a neighbor.
Christianity strikes hard at the sinful habits of humanity by the mere fact of its existence. Our faith does not seek convenience for man but rather shows him the thorny way toward eternal bliss. Any success requires labor, sweat and blood, and the spiritual sphere is no exception. That is why the words of an adult person that, for example, he decided not to seek harmony through the struggle against passions, cultivating virtues and finding unity with God for eternal life just because he does not like a certain bishop or he does not feel comfortable making a donation (most often symbolic) to the Church, do not hold water.
We live in the era of kidults, who are not ready, first of all, to solve a number of eternal questions for themselves, to conduct an “investigation” into the essence of Christianity, to separate grains from tares, to figure out the core of our faith and, finally, to look into their hearts. What does a man see there? “This generation”, which Christ likened to children, hardly dare to a deep introspection, and instead choose the pop clichés about religion and are satisfied with this fast food worldview out of fear and sloth. Yes, you can indeed live like that, justifying your own spiritual failure by searching for a mote in someone else’s eye but remember that one day, it’s all over. The questions that a person declined during his lifetime will be bugging him at the threshold of eternity.
Translated by The Catalogue of Good Deeds