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MATTHEWS Dominic , Chennai says,
The Call to Be Christian among Christian Religious
By Augustine Arulraj
forum
360° VIEW
Chennai, Oct. 30. Why should we need to rethink our Christian life and call


``The last Christian died on the Cross.`` Said Nitchez. ``I don`t believe in a God who sits in heaven and enjoys his life when people are suffering on earth.``  I rather would burn all the Churches and I would be ready to crucify Christ naked for hundred times if he tells me to pray and to pray when my people are dying out of injustice and poverty.

The call to be a Christian, it is a matter of being or not being faithful to the mission of the Jesus here and now. And being faithful here would be reprisals, calumnies, blows, torture, weariness and if one is an outsider (lay people) outcaste, expulsion, made to feel ashamed of her/his status. Now a question arises in my mind, ``Is it dangerous to be a Christian in our milieu?`` It is practically illegal rather I would ask, ``Is it sinful to be a true follower of Christ in our religious life? ? precisely this question arose in my mind because the world in which we live and work rather our communities are often filled with Consumerism, Globalization, Privatization and Centralization.

To radically follow Christ in our religious life always throws a challenge. To work and to be with the poor is a real hard task. Our doors are shut to the poor and needy. We read the Gospels and translate them. Many a times we meditate over them because we sure of our meals and clothing. We have nothing to worry. Yes we have nothing to worry. I think this is the reason the man cried out in the 16th century that the last Christ died on the Cross.

We are worried about what others would remark at us. This is so because in our formation houses we were brought as ``test tube babies``. We were protected, we were approved, we were encouraged, we were patted? But in reality when we work for the people of God no approvals rather disapprovals, no words of encouragement rather discouragement, no pat on our back rather there is a heavy blow on our back, that too the kick is from the people for whom we work. Therefore we get down and fall back to the long line of religious who remain as a dead log, ``Calling and waiting for the coming of the messiah, the CHRIST. (wasting our time in prayers..)``

As a result some of us prefer a dumb Christ without a mouth passing on a portable platform through the streets. A Christ with a muzzle, a Christ made according to our whim and our petty interests. Some do not want a questioning God who would disturb our consciences. A God who would ask: ``Cain, what have you done to your brother Abel?`` Some would prefer a God in the clouds. They do not want that Jesus of Nazareth for ``in Christianity one has to be ready to give one`s life in the service of securing a just order, in saving the majority and in helping, defending the values of the Gospel.

Therefore a Christian is one who lays down life for the values of the Gospel. In the history of humanity very handful of them have did this. That is why once Gandhi has made a statement while he was traveling in a train, ``I like Christ not Christians.`` Today our missions and our lofty ideals are for the poor and I am very happy. But how far are we sure that we follow them? Am I working with the poor? Because it is easy to work for the poor. With the poor means being one with them. Living with them, feeling like them, ill-treated and thrown out just like them. With all these how will I make them to realize their humanness and make them to win back their rights?

It is easy to be a Christian but it is rather difficult and risk to live the Christian life. Here I am crying out to you my sisters and brothers to live our Christian life. Our non-Christian sisters and brothers even after looking at our lives are they going cry aloud along with Nitchze?

Dear Sisters and Brothers
The God in whom I believe is :
The God of the poor,
A human and a simple God,
The God who sweats in the streets,
The God of the withered face.
That`s why I speak to him
Just like my people speak
Because you are worker God,
The labouring Christ.

He chose a manger for his birth,
He had no permanent address,
His life was always threat to the powerful,
His words were straight forward,
His friends were so called sinners and out cast,
He was addressed as mad man,
He was in the search list of the Government for stimulating people,
He was with the poor,
He prepared and made them to fight for their right,
He was an utter failure,
His life was short,
His dead was shameful,
He had no place to lay down his body,
Above all
He was fully human...
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