When did Christianity become a mask we wear in life? Being a Christian for many is a costume they put on during certain days of the week. We live a life that is Christian approved when we are around parents, Christian friends, or church. Once we are away from that lifestyle though we take our mask off and indulge ourselves in other things.
Church can often become one giant masquerade. Some people have really elaborate masks with such tremendous detail that you cannot help, but be enamored by them. These are the people that speak deep words of wisdom on how to live for God. They seem to worship with passion and zeal. However, they get home and take their mask off showing that it was only a well delivered performance. I’m sick and tired of masquerades.
Christianity is not some spiffy new outfit you put on to cover the grime. It is not something that is placed as a simple outer shell to give the appearance of some clean and pure. Christianity is something the pierces into the core of your being. It removes before it applies.
Paul said in Ephesians that we need to take off the old self and put on the new. The old self is enslaved to sin and Satan. It indulges in the desires of the flesh. Its god is personal pleasure. It hungers for the things that never satisfy. It is a cancer to the human race. Paul says that we must remove that and replace it with the new self. We are a new creation in Christ.
Some of us would rather just put on the new self over the old self. We think we can just get by if we have the appearance of the new self. We lead ourselves to disaster in these situations. Christianity is not a new outfit to put on. It is not a mask that gives us the appearance of a stereotype. Christianity takes the core of who you are. It takes the person God created you to be, and then it completes it. It fills in the gap. It removes all the trash and poison that we fill that whole with and replaces it with the Holy Spirit.
The crazy thing is that we wear masks because we think that is what everyone else is doing. After all, even Christians still sin no matter how hard they try. We join in on the masquerade because we think that is what you are supposed to do. Satan has given a huge lie to the church. He has told the church that there is no room for transparency. It is shameful to be open about our failures. It is inappropriate to bring up the issue of pornography amongst men. It is intolerant to help people to get out of their sin. You should not meddle in someone else’s life, and you certainly should never let someone else meddle in yours.
These lies push us to come to church with our masks on. We wear the Christian outfit and still fill our gap with gossip, pornography, pride, sex, alcohol, financial success, fame, etc. Maybe it is time for the masks to come off. I think we would all be pleasantly surprised what we see.
Switchfoot has a song called “Beautiful letdown”. The idea is the singer explaining the surprise and beauty when he discovers what the church is made up of. It is made up of former murderers, idolaters, addicts, failures, and anything else that you would not expect in church. I love that song because it reminds me where we come from as a church, and the beauty that can be found in that. We were once sinners, but we have now been redeemed by Christ. True faith in Christ is more than just a mask. It penetrates your soul. It allows you to be transparent about your life because even though you may have a nasty past, even though you may still struggle with sin, you have been bought with the blood of Christ. I’m done with the masquerades.