It was two days ago at the Dee Why beach, where we have just concluded the FOCUS Church Camp 2003, and some MBF wanderers went around the North Shore before heading down to Mosman for dinner. A few MBF guys and girls are trying to be creative by building a 2 Ways to Live illustration on the sand. The illustration has already been divided into 6 parts, and each person would take one part to construct. At the end, each person also needs to explain the meaning behind the illustrations with the Bible passages as back up.
M was a non-Christian who came to the this year's church camp, and after C quoted John 3:36, I jumped in and challenged M, "If you have a choice, which way would you like to live?" M quickly responded that Way B, which is following Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour, is the way he likes, because of the relationship he can have with God, and the eternal life God has promised us.
Then I asked him, with other MBF guys and girls around, "Which way do you think you are living now?" He responded, "I think I am in way B, sometimes..." The conversation did not carry on because everyone else was there, having fun with the 2 Ways To Live construction they did and taking photos. A few minutes later the momentum has just lost. There goes the opportunity...
It was not the first time M was challenged with his relationship with Christ, but he has always given that "in-between" answer. I am on Way A sometimes, and other times I live on Way B. Sometimes I am my own boss, and sometimes I do follow Christ as my Lord. I found many Asians give this kind of response - they are usually living in Way A, having themselves as their own kings, and still rejecting Christ deep inside their heart. However, at the same time they don't want to have the condemnation that follows. They think somehow there is still some good in them sometimes that qualifies them to live in Way B - but again this is a misunderstanding of Christianity.
It is easy to find out what they really think. Usually I will just ask - "So, you think you are in between, right? What do you think God will think of you? If you are in Way A sometimes, and in Way B sometimes, what will God do to you on the judgement throne?" People usually don't know how to answer that from God's perspective. They don't want God's wrath and punishment, but at the same time, they know that they don't deserve God's gift of eternal life. They might think they can live here in this world, walking on the fine line between Christianity and the ways of this world, but on the judgement day, there is no consequence dedicated to those in-between people. John 3:36 says it all - you either see life, or you don't.
The in-between people are ultimately still trusting on themselves. They put "trust" as a kind of work that they have to do. When they come to Bible study or church, when they are surrounded by Christians, and when they are praying to God - then their trust at that point in time would somehow put them into the "Way B" category. Other times, when they work, play, study and sin, when their focus is now on God, then they think they must be in "Way A" at that point in time. Yes, sometimes we are weak in our minds, and sometimes we do trust a bit more - but at the end it is not the trust/faith that saves, but God's generosity.
Are you too living God's way, sometimes? Maybe you need to evaluate your idea of faith a bit more...
M is leaving Australia to go back to Shanghai this Saturday, but he will come back to our Friday event. Just a few more days to go. If it is God's will, I will have more opportunity to challenge him. Be prayful, I shall.