Imagine you’re a Chinese guy comfortably living in China, and suddenly some white guy with nicer clothes than you tells you about eternal life, a better way, and an intimacy with the Creator of everything through a man named Jesus Christ. But in China you could get arrested or shot up for believing that. It would be easier then to just believe that stuff in private, but no: Jesus has commissioned all followers to share the truth, because after all it’s the only truth that saves people from eternal hell. That sounds serious. Your friends call you crazy, foolish, brainwashed. But you go to the underground meetings, read your Bible in secret, and even attend public worship services that could tarnish your immaculate record.
Your friends ask: Is this really necessary? Do you have to be a Christian?
Millions of Chinese have chosen Jesus. Not quietly, either. At the outset this looks ridiculous; religion always flies in the face of our luxurious rational comfort zones full of Sun Chips and never-bother-anyone except for when-it-bothers-me. These Chinese must be crazy. They don’t have to be Christians, says the inoffensive whitewashed politically correct champion of tolerance. One thing is for sure: any public Chinese Christian is unequivocally the real deal.
Uncommitted: God, can we be friends with benefits?
We circle back: Is it necessary to be a Christian? This is a peculiar interrogative because it sounds like a manner of profession. A job is necessary because of its basic provisions but we can choose to change jobs. It’s like putting on clothes or leveling up an RPG sorceror. To interpret Christianity as a pair of jeans is dumbing it down to a fringe luxury. This is exactly what has happened with nominal, non-serious, hypocritical believers.