After missing out on blogging for almost 6 months, I am slowly treading back into a territory I enjoy thoroughly. To all those who have followed my blogs, I apologise for my inconsistency.
A topic that has been burning in my heart for a while now is what I wish to share with you today. The Lord, in His wisdom has placed some believers in very difficult marketplaces. I like to call these marketplace believers as ‘Visible Christians’. These are the ones that have potential to influence people groups who the church may not be able to reach. However, many visible Christians face the same criticism again and again. Instead of supporting them, fellow believers are constantly pulling down these visible Christians.
“If he really is a believer, would he have done this movie? This picture? This song? This script?”
“If she is really a believer, how come she played that character?” We are so quick to point out how a visible Christian has got it all wrong! We are so quick to point out how their standards are not as good as our own standards. It seems like every time a visible Christian arrives on the scene; his greatest battle is not the devil, but his fellow believer.
Having been in the Indian Film industry for the last 15 years, and a believer for more than 10 of those 15 years, I would like to suggest a few points that we must keep in mind when we consider the life of a visible Christian:
Don’t base your opinion on what you see or don’t see!
Many visible Christians work in such a covert manner that there may hardly be any public ‘fruits’ to show. There is high pressure when you work within the industries of politics, films, media, etc. You work with a clear policy of winning some and losing some. You share the gospel through your life, not a sermon. So, while you may see many failures, what you don’t see is the Kingdom advancing in the lives of some that are touched.
Don’t base your opinion on what you read
I have done countless interviews, where I have shared my faith in Jesus. But, by the time it appears in print, it’s conveniently edited out. Also remember, what the media reports is one person’s opinion and it does not necessarily have to be right (or true)! Since we don’t know what was spoken, may I recommend some more grace?
You haven’t walked in their shoes
It is so easy to criticise, but it is far more difficult to live through. Recently someone said, “How can he be a pastor and serve the kingdom of darkness (aka Bollywood)?” Good question. And the fact is that even I don’t know how I do it. It’s all His grace. And I am aware of it. But here is what I want you to know. Some of my greatest assignments are private and I can’t and won’t share these with anyone. If I do, these potential Christ followers will back off from the gospel. Not everyone is called to mass crusades. Both discreet assignments and mass crusades have their own place in bringing people into the Kingdom. Neither one is greater than the other.
Finally, in closing, I would like to reiterate that it is the wisdom of the Lord that some believers are placed in such places. It is not to feed the believer’s ego. Frankly, by the time you start getting used in the marketplace, the first thing that dies is your ego!! He is doing a remarkable thing with people least expected, in places least expected to reveal the love of Christ. But that’s the wisdom of the Lord. We need to show grace. Showing grace does not mean you are compromising your faith. It requires an extension of faith to acknowledge that you don’t know all the ways of the Lord (Click to Tweet).
How He uses professional singers to pray over music directors. How He uses musicians to share Jesus with large groups of people at Bollywood gatherings. How He uses script writers to take a stand against violence and nudity in their stories. How He uses photographers to share Jesus with actors who would never be willing to sit in a church setting.
Sometimes, we just don’t understand the ways of the Lord.