Learn By Doing: “A Person is a Christian in Order to Become One”
Tom Drake, Gauteng – any years ago I applied for a driver’s licence in Welkom, Free State. The official (there was only one) came out to my car, and told me to drive.
We went about 300m down the road, and he told me to make a three-point turn, which I had never heard of before.
He directed my actions, and we returned to the office, I with much trepidation.
He completed a document and handed it to me with the words, “Here’s your licence, now you can go and learn to drive!”
This may sound a bit back-to-front, it may also be an indictment of the times and the place, but it is actually what happens in daily life. We can only learn things by doing them!
Fr Karl Rahner, a German theologian, in a quote I came across recently, said: “A person is a Christian in order to become one.”
I realised that the same rule does indeed apply. One has to join the Club before you can learn the game, or even the rules.
There’s Plenty of Learning to Be Done
It is often heard, “I don’t go to church, but I am a Christian.” Really? It seems to me that, although I believe all humans are born with an innate sense of morals, of ethics, we still learn a great deal from those with whom we associate.
And again, although formalised communal prayer may have its limitations (we need, surely, to communicate with our God on a more personal basis as well), it does serve to bring a community together, to define a gathering of people with a common purpose — that of recognising, acknowledging, and worshipping the God who gave us life.
So, is it not important, if not essential, for most people to belong to the Christian community in order that they may receive support, learn practices, contribute to causes, and promote by their very existence and their example the ideals that Jesus Christ left us?
Of course, there are those of us who join for other reasons, often of a more social nature, and that’s perhaps a little shallow. We need to keep in mind the real purpose of our Christianity.
“A person is a Christian in order to become one!”