On Being Christian
This, being Christmas, I would like all Nagas who profess Christianity to really think about what being a Christian means to you. Because in my books; a Christian is not one who is baptised into the faith; but one who practises the Tenets of Christianity. And that every religion has its forms/rituals and its substance/tenets and one should not confuse the two.
Being baptised, attending Church Services regularly and Prayer are some of the forms/rituals of Christianity; they are necessary to strengthen our faith and to maintain our relationship with God and Christ; but I do not consider them as tenets of Christianity. One’s baptism by water becomes an empty ritual if one does not change for the better and go on to do the things Christ enjoins us to do. As to the church, Jesus Himself says, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up”(John 2:19); I don’t mean we should go about tearing down churches, and Jesus certainly did not mean we should do so; but what Jesus meant was that the human body, created by God, in His Image,(Genesis 1:27) was the Real Temple of God and not the one built by Solomon; and we should not exalt the human temple above that built by God. So, treating other people with Love and Respect is more important than attending Church. As to prayer, Jesus mentioned The Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13) and that the Lord knows what we need and will provide, “Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? Or, What shall we drink? Or, How shall we be clothed? (For all these thing do the Gentiles seek) for your heavenly Father knows that you have need of all these things. But seek you first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. (Matthew 6:31-33).
Which bring us to the Substance of Christianity. “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbour as yourself” (Luke 10:27) is what I believe is the Essence of Christianity. Christianity means loving God and loving your neighbour as you love yourself. Loving God without loving your neighbour is meaningless. And that brings up the question of, “Who is my neighbour?” The Parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10: 30-37) shows us that each and every man I come across, be he a friend or a stranger, is my neighbour. And that each act of kindness I do, I do to God; and every evil I do to my fellow man, I do the same to God and Christ.
So, this Christmas, I want all my fellow Nagas who profess to be Christian, to introspect and answer the question, “Am being a Christian or am I just a Christian?”
God bless you all and God save my Nagaland
Kahuto Chishi Sumi
G.B. Hevishe Village