I am more careful in my interaction with people these days, I don’t assume to know them, their culture or religion. I wanted to invite a course-mate to a Christmas party in Church and somehow I ended up asking if she was a Christian, she said yes but said everything about it is complicated. She’s not the only one in that line of thought; I was having a conversation with a friend the other day and he said he gets a bit confused when he goes to different churches and sees the different modes of operation/worship. Some churches choose to kill their enemies by calling down fire from heaven while others may just say a simple prayer of forgiveness over them which some may think, it’s not enough. Question is – is there any right method or doctrine?
A time came when the people of a certain village didn’t come out to acknowledge or receive Jesus, His disciples; James and John after observing it, got angry and asked Jesus if they could command fire from heaven to consume them just like Elijah did but Jesus rebuked them and said you don’t know the kind of Spirit you are, the Son of Man did not come to destroy lives but to save them Luke 9 vs 54 – 56. In Matthew 17, Jesus took 3 disciples – Peter, James and John to a high mountain and they witnessed the Transfiguration but something note-worthy happened. In vs 4 ‘Peter after witnessing the appearance of Moses and Elijah, asked Jesus if he could build 3 tents for the 3 of them (Jesus, Moses and Elijah) but while he was still speaking vs 5 said ‘A shining cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said This is my beloved Son, HEAR HIM’.
I’m sure you are wondering what this is all about, just stay with me. Moses and Elijah were powerful prophets in the Old Testament, the law and all the commandments came through Moses and he spoke to God like a friend while Elijah challenged 400 prophets of Baal and God showed Himself by letting down fire from heaven to consume Elijah’s sacrifice and let’s not forget he didn’t see death but was caught up in heaven. Peter had forgotten who Jesus was and wanted to place Him on the same level as Moses (law-giver) and Elijah but God had to remind him of something very important; Hear what Jesus has to say and in Luke Jesus said He came not to condemn but to save.
Somehow Christianity is divided on the lines of doctrines hence the difference in worship and operation. It gets really difficult to tell what’s right and acceptable these days. There’s a lot of confusion and it hampers the Christians from reaching out cos some of them are not too sure of what they believe and may get scared if they are confronted with questions about their belief. I am one of them but I am constantly reminded to take up the message of Jesus Christ. Moses gave the law and it proved how incapable we are to keep all of it but Jesus came and through His death we have victory over the law, does it mean we have the liberty to abuse the law. NO, rather we even go above the law to live a life that is considerate for our next-door neighbour, in essence we love them and think good thoughts towards them.
In this era of bloodshed in Paris, Nigeria, Syria, Pakistan and the rest of the world, what will Jesus say? In this era of gay rights and the justice system, what will Jesus say? In this era of man’s inhumanity to man, killing of school children, incessant rape, what will Jesus say? After Jesus had gone through excruciating pain and humiliation on the cross, He asked God to forgive them. As Christians can we take a step further from our individual church doctrines and listen to what Jesus has to say. The message of Jesus is centred on love and that’s who we are; anything short of that, is contrary to His message. You want to make disciples of nations, that’s a good project but people will listen more to your actions than what you say. May we step out and become CHRIST-like.
LOADS OF LOVE
N/B : – Photo Credit : – www.leadershipethicsonline.com