Growing up, I bounced from church to church and other houses of worship, as my family was divided amongst religions. Although I was never forced to believe in anything, I was strongly encouraged to live a life based on the Catholic faith and was constantly battling with the dilemma of following one thing or another.
Later, the pressure of believing in a god or following certain doctrines caused my relationship with God to become more and more distanced as time passed. When I became a teenager, everything I heard seemed like too much work. Suddenly, my thoughts and my actions were now considered bad. I lost all interest in going to church because I simply did not care to listen.
Almost eight years ago, while enduring hardships, I ended up at a church after being invited by my mom. The moment I walked into that church, nothing changed. I was not “on fire,” and neither were any of the other sinners sitting next to me. If anything, I felt welcomed and loved by a blanket of human warmth that makes one feel they belong.
That day, I understood what Christianity is about — and that it takes a humble and willing heart to experience it.
When I first heard there was a group of Christians on campus, I was surprised and eager to hear how they would explain the gospel to others. In my mind, all I could think of was that if it made such a difference in my life, I could only imagine what it would be like for others too.
But, I was quickly disappointed by their actions. Such members of the Key of David Christian Center were only focused on terrorizing students on campus.
One of the first things I learned about being a Christian is that it isn’t simply about memorizing Bible verses and pointing fingers at people. As a Christian, one is to be a follower of Christ. What the Key of David Christian Center does on public campuses does not portray Jesus’ ministry.
Don’t get me wrong, the majority of the sins listed in their signs are and will always be considered sins in the Bible. But, some of them were taken out of context.
Members of the group, for example, were showing off one of the verses in the book of Hebrews, in chapter 12, but they didn’t seem to have read the following verse in Hebrews 12:15, which says, “See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no ‘root of bitterness’ springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled.”
Truthfully, I want to believe their intentions are genuine and come from a place of pure solidarity. But even if that were the case, Jesus did not come to this world to condemn it, but to save it through his death.
They called students “whores,” as if Jesus hadn’t sat with prostitutes. They screamed hateful things as if Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross wasn’t all about love. They made themselves seem righteous while snatching away the possibility of a true relationship with Christ for everyone watching them.
They forgot to admit they are also sinners. They forgot to say “I have failed God, too.” They forgot to say Hell is a bad place because it isn’t just a place full of flames and sinners, but that Hell is a place where you are eternally separated from Christ. It doesn’t look like a frat party, it doesn’t look like Dante’s “Inferno,” but I sure don’t want to know what it looks like and I hope you don’t either.
I feel compelled to say what happened on campus on Jan. 25 is not a true representation of Christianity; rather, it was just a rageful and aggressive demonstration of faith. It was disrespectful, hateful and it is definitely far away from the freedom a true encounter with God can give you.