All Christians Are Not The Same

All Christian subcultures read the same Bible and pray to the same God, yet all interpret Christianity differently. They promote different sets of values. Some denounce allowing mixed-sex swimming at church youth events, yet condone smoking cigarettes. There are conservative Brethren churches in Scotland where the women wear head coverings and do not speak in church.

Yet, other Irish pastors and church members see nothing wrong with consuming alcohol at meals. Christians are not all cut from the same cloths. Trying to make everyone the same eliminates diversity as well as God’s grace. Christian subcultures may develop their own values but this can become destructive when they try to force their values on others.

Christians also seem to expect instant holiness from new Christians especially in areas where they feel they are doing well. For example, Shia Labeouf was criticized by some for using curse words a few weeks after converting to Christianity. Some people even doubted his conversion and suspected it might have been an elaborate act. Christians seem to sometimes forget that only God can judge another man’s heart. God knows true believers from fake ones. It is not for men to judge other Christians based on their language. Some bad habits like cursing can take some time to remove. Judgment and pride often show in Christians who forget that these things are also a sin. Grace means that all Christians are working toward eliminating sin from their lives. It takes time for God to work in the lives of Christians at all stages of their relationship with him.
This was proven in Jesus’ choice of his twelve apostles. These men were not the saints they are sometimes portrayed as. Peter walked with Jesus for three years and witnessed miracles and sermons. Yet, he denied Christ three times the night before he was crucified. James and John were nicknamed, “sons of thunder” and definitely had anger management issues. They once wanted to destroy an entire village for not allowing them to spend the night. This destruction included women and children. Jesus interceded to stop them from murdering the entire village. Matthew was a tax-collector. Men in this profession were thought to be committing religious and political treason. Tax-collectors were not just known for extortion but for leading notoriously immoral lives. Simon was a “Zealot”, they were fighters known for killing Romans as well as Jews they viewed as sell-outs. They were aggressive and violent and not known for loving their enemies.

Christians can’t regular grace. God does not create mass-produced Christians who are all exactly alike. There are many shades of righteousness and Christians should be patient with each other not judgemental. God makes sinners holy by meeting them where they are and making them holy. This is holiness that serves the poor, prays, and loves their enemies. Holiness preaches the life-giving Gospel of a crucified and risen Savior in Jesus Christ.

The Poor Will Inherit the Kingdom of God

A woman afflicted with A condition causing her to bleed for twelve years approached Jesus from behind. She touched the hem of his robe, praying for A cure. Jesus turned around and told her not be afraid, she was now healed because she had faith.

“Paul of Ryan” admonished Jesus for the rashness of his actions toward the sick woman. He insisted the poor would never learn self-reliance knowing that Jesus would bail them out continually. Paul insisted the poor needed to learn to depend on themselves.

Soon the pair were interrupted by ten lepers who were pleading Jesus’ help from A distance. Paul Ryan quickly reminded Jesus they had A fancy fundraiser to attend at the temple. He also said that these lepers already had access to healthcare. When Jesus gave Paul A questioning look, Paul reminded him that the sick could pray for A cure. He deemed this appropriate access to healthcare. Jesus told the lepers to get up and go because they had been healed by faith. He then turned to Paul and told him the story of The Good Samaritan.

A man was attacked and beaten by robbers. The robbers took his clothing and left him for dead on the of the road. A preacher walked down the road and when he saw the robbery victim, he went to the other side of the road. A wealthy man who said he loved God also moved to the ohter side of the road to avoid the hurt man. A hated Samaritan came by and showed mercy to the bleeding man. He cleaned and bandaged the man’s wounds and put him on the back of his donkey. He took the victim to an inn and paid the owner to care for him until he was well. Jesus asked Paul Ryan which example should be followed. Paul replied that the merciful should be followed.

Paul continued to explain that he meant the preacher and the Godly individual who crossed the street were the examples to follow. Paul thought the Samaritan’s actions sent the message to travelers that they would be rescued if they went down the wrong path and were injured. The Samaritan is also making the redistribution of money from the wealthy to the poor seem like an honorable thing to do. The wealthy should not share with those less fortunate because that supports socialism. The privileged should invest their money and create jobs, that is why it is better for the upper class to cross the road and ignore the robbery victim.

Jesus mused to himself that it is easier for the camel to go through the eye of the needle than for a wealthy person to enter heaven. Paul insisted that the health care model in favor of business was the best. People needed the freedom to suffer misery and be paupers.
Jesus reminded Paul that he had been designated by God to bring good news to the poor. Then he told the paralyzed beggar in front of him to stand up and go home. The beggar stood up and danced in joy as Paul scoffed at Jesus.

Paul offered to have Jesus meet his partner, Donald Trump, who would build the hospital where Jesus could work. The upper class would come there and pay Jesus large amounts of money to be healed. Jesus would get part of the income for his services. Jesus reminded Paul that the poor were blessed and would have the kingdom of heaven. The wealthy already had their comfort on earth with their money.

Paul Ryan argued that giving public money to the top of the social classes would give the poor more reason to work harder. A health plan has to center on less care for the poor and bigger benefits for the rich.

Jesus told Paul to leave him because when Jesus was hungry he had not been fed, thirsty and not been given anything to drink, naked and had not been clothed. Paul insisted that he had not refused help and that he talked about Jesus everywhere he went. Jesus retorted that since Paul refused to help the homeless and sick he had refused Jesus.

Taking Christianity Back To Jesus

Declaring Christianity in today’s world is more difficult than it once was. Many believers are embarrassed to admit to their faith. They are not embarrassed by Jesus but by some of his supposed followers and the Church itself. Many claim to worship Christ and uphold his tenants, but they are dangerously straying farther and farther away from the basic principles of Christianity.

During the 2016 United States presidential election claiming Christianity began to mean that you were a bully born to white privilege. It meant you were an open racist and bigot towards many groups of people who represent the world that God loves. Christian pulpits were turned into political grandstands instead of mouthpieces of the Holy Word.

Basic characteristics normally attributed to followers of Christ are now not so normal. For many people, Christianity no longer includes humbleness nor does it include forgiveness. Christians are no longer assumed to have a servant’s heart. They are not expected to bring healing to the sick. Many people no longer view Christians as compassionate, benevolent, or merciful; all of which are inherent to the word of the Bible. Some Christians have even decided not to turn the other cheek or even love their enemies. People around the world no longer view Christians as putting themselves second and everyone else first or as loving their neighbor. Christianity, in the opinion of many, no longer needs Jesus.

Christians are facing the choice of dismissing the idea of claiming Christ to avoid the negative associations or taking back their faith again show the love of Jesus. Choosing to take Christianity back to Jesus means choosing to embrace the Bible, not the worldly creation of Christianity. This is being done by refusing to live in fear of other cultures and the way they worship.. Reclaiming the faith means not believing God blesses America more than he loves the rest of the world. Also, not putting allegiance to a flag or political party above loving Christ.

These believers do not interpret the Bible so as to promote racism, bigotry, or sexism. Preachers, politicians, and congregation members who perpetuate these biases are being called out for them. Christianity is not always about rallying against an enemy or preaching only damnation and not grace. Bringing Christianity back to Jesus means refusing to be a Christian who does not claim Christ. Christians can not be faithful and carry out God’s will without the humility, compassion, and gentleness shown by Jesus. It is not Christianity without Jesus at the center of it.

Living the Christian Life, Not Just Talking About it

amercian christian

Many American Christians do not realize the irony in singing praise songs about the Holy Spirit leading them to love without borders and then refusing help to refugees. Christianity in Western culture has taken a turn toward claiming to live like Christ, but in practice, they do no such thing. The basic tenants of the Bible instruct followers to help the poor, downtrodden, mistreated, and the sick.

A large number of American Christians have supported legislation that does the opposite by rejecting refugees and refusing to help immigrants. Social services for the poor have been cut and the sick do not get the help they need. Recent American government officials, with the support of so-called Christians, has promoted inequality and prejudice and increased fear of anyone who is culturally different.

Loving your neighbor as yourself is explicitly stated in the Gospel, yet modern Christians have chosen to use their political power to hurt the poor, the immigrants, women, foreigners, and the LGBTQ community. If they are not loving these neighbors, then they are not living Christianity, only talking about it. Protecting self-interests has become the norm, instead of selflessly loving others and putting Christ first in all things. This is most evident in the election of President Donald Trump. Control and power have taken the place of humility and service to others. Love, joy, peace, and happiness as blatantly missing from the current administration’s legislation involving health care for the poor, or aid to refugees.

In Matthew 25:35 the Bible clearly states, “For I was hungry and you gave food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me.” The majority of American Christians have disregarded this verse in regards to political policies. The Trump administration may cite political, economic, financial and safety reasons for its fear-inducing legislation, but these measures are clearly not based on the Gospel. Yet, modern American Christians have continually supported these politicians while claiming to follow Christ. Following Christ means you give up all your valuables and fears and rely on Him. This has been forgotten and Jesus has been abandoned in practice. The early church understood these precepts when they stood up to their Roman oppressors even to the point of being martyrs. They chose to serve Christ, not the ruling government.

They were persecuted to the point of execution, yet they kept Christ in the center of their ministry. When will modern American Christians learn to put Christ in the center of their lives instead of just talking about it?

Christmas and New Year Programme 2006–2007

3rd Dec 06 4th Sunday before Christmas Holy Communion Service 9:30 a.m.
10th Dec 06 3rd Sunday before Christmas Matins Service (W.F.C.S. Felloship Lunch I/C Capt & Mrs. H. Joab) 10:00 a.m.
17th Dec 06 2nd Sunday before Christmas (a) Carol Service
I/C Mr. Andrew W. Peoples (Church Organist)
Mr. R. Titus, Mr. & Mrs. A. Bhattacharji, Mr. & Mrs. A. V. Liddle Mrs. C. Jain, Mrs. Jennyfer Kumar(b) Christmas Nativity Play
I/C Mrs. V. Peoples, Ms. S. Chandekar, Ms. Anvita Edwards, Mr. Adriel V. Samuel

(c) Games and Sports at Church compound
I/C Mr. & Mrs. A. Edwards, Mr. & Mrs. A. Joel

(d) Christmas Lunch
I/C Capt. & Mrs. H. Joab

10:00 a.m.
21st Dec 06
22nd Dec 06
23rd Dec 06
House to house carolling. All to assemble at St. John’s Sr. Sec. School.
I/C Mr. & Mrs. A. Joel, Mr. & Mrs. A. Edwards
06:00 p.m.
24th Dec 06 Sunday before Christmas (a) Christingle Service New
A special service, to explain to children the meaning of Christmas and Jesus Christ as the light of the world.
I/C Mr. Andrew W. Peoples(b) Brunch
I/C Mrs. C. Jain, Mrs. Pamela Peoples
10:00 a.m.
25th Dec 06 Christmas Day Christmas Day Holy Communion & Thanks giving service (Rev. Peter Baldev)
Tea and Refreshments
I/C W.F.C.S.
10:00 a.m.
26th Dec 06 Boxing Day United Christmas procession:
From St. Thomas Girls Inter College to St. Joseph’s Church
01:00 p.m.
31st Dec 06 New Year’s Eve Holy Communion Service
Parish Club function and lunch at Church compound
I/C Mr. & Mrs. A. Edwards
10:00 a.m.
1st Jan 07 New Year Day New Year’s Holy Communion & Thanks giving service (Rev. Peter Baldev)
Tea & Refreshments
I/C Pastorate Committee
10:00 a.m.
1. The Presbyter Incharge will gladly arrange for private Holy Communion for the sick and infirm, if informed well in time.
2. Flowers and flower pots will be received with great appreciation for church decoration on special services.
3. All subscription and related arrears to be cleared by December 2006.
4. Any changes in this programme will be announced in the church.May the Peace and Happiness of Christmas be yours today and every day.
Best wishes for a Happy and Blessed Year 2007
Mr. A. Joel
Col. John I. Peoples
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