Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Christ's Message

  Dear Friends:

It occurs to me that based on current events and trends there may some confusion about Christ and His message.  In the last 72 hours I have seen a good deal posted in meme and on-line rage by people who otherwise name the name of Christ and probably would (on the whole) present themselves to be "good" Christians proclaim interpretations of Christ's messages as they understand it.  Just in case, in the welter of noise, you have missed what Christ's actual message was:

1)  Christ was against racism.  He was also against sexual activity in any form except in marriage between a man and woman, lust, rage, actual murder (as well as figurative in our hearts murder, including [undoubtedly] on-line invectives and belittling turns of phrase), lying, retaliation, pride, self righteous judgment, hypocritical self serving charitable deeds, "evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies" (Matthew: 15:19), cheating on your taxes, unforgiveness, and rebellion against governmental authorities.  He had a simple word for all of this.  He called it - all of it - sin.  And He spoke against all of them equally, as He viewed all of them as equally abhorrent.

2)  God's expectation of us is perfection - which we cannot achieve.  "Do not think that I have come to destroy the Law or the Prophets.  I did not come to destroy but fulfill.  For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law until all is fulfilled.  Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches me so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.  For I say to you, that unless righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven." - Matthew 5:17-20

3)  Christ paid the cost of our sin by dying in our place.  His Resurrection proved His claim that He was the Son of God and had the ability (alone) to do so.   "From that time Jesus began to show His disciples that he must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day." - Matthew 16:20; "And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should no perish but have eternal life.  For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.  For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved." - John 3:14-17                                          

4)  Christ's command to church was simple: "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit." - Matthew 28:19.  Otherwise called "The Great Commission".  Note well was is not included here:  governmental revolutions, social crusades, even rising up in "righteous anger" (also a fairly risky venture in self justification).  The saved are commanded to present the message of Christ - His Death, His Resurrection, His payment of the dead we could not pay - and encourage the baptism and discipleship of all believers.

The conscious decision I have made for myself is this:  if anyone I know of who is in a position of Christian leadership or professes to be a mature Christian does not pull themselves in short order to the message and purposes of Christ (as spoken by Him), I have little time for them and little respect for their opinion.  They have replaced His will and purpose with their own, having thrown aside the altar raised by no human hand and replaced it with idols of their own making.

No wonder the world ignores the church.  We are nothing but a pale reflection of their methods, their words, and their ways.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

4 comments:

Rev. Paul said...

Excellent points, all. Thank you.

p.s. I'm still cogitating on the request you made on my site, two days ago.

Toirdhealbheach Beucail said...

Thanks Reverend. Probably sound a little more frustrated than I should (which is in itself un-Christlike). It just strikes me that the Church is acting like Martin Luther talked about, a drunk: having tried to get on the horse and fallen off one side, our solution is to try to get on the other side - only to fall off again.

Appreciate the cogitation as well.

LindaG said...

It is hard not to be frustrated, with all that is going on.
Be safe and God bless.

Toirdhealbheach Beucail said...

Thank you Linda. You as well.