Community (1 of 5)
Following will be a series of Blogs on the topic – Community. Focus will be Christian and Muslim communities, what they represent and how they differ. The nature of community and political aspects will also be reviewed.
For Christians community is the church; those that participate in their church, who attend regularly, who support efforts by the church, who lend a hand at maintaining the facility, and who embrace others within the church as fellow Christians, ready and willing to help in times of crisis, or need, or just as a fellow Christian in helping to overcome obstacles that may arise through doubt. Christians share a common acceptance of the Lord Jesus Christ as their savior. Christ is the unifier. They understand God’s Creation and every day see the wonders that God provided for his humans. We are all God’s people is their claim and that of the Bible.
The “we” of mankind, unfortunately, may not all view themselves as persons of God. They are either in denial or simply do not accept the idea that an intangible, something that cannot be touched, something that cannot be imagined, can be real. Nor can they accept the incarnation, the essence of the divine, and the reality of God, his avatar (using a modern term – Jesus), and his presence in the believer (the Holy Spirit, God’s reminder and guarantor within). With no-one born without a sin nature, Christ made possible, God’s directive, salvation. It was always possible to believe, but with sin, even the slightest, it was impossible to meet the standards of the Old Testament Laws, God’s commandments, and attain a seat at His table. Sacrifice of a pure animal became a mechanism for the hope of man to die with a clean slate and obtain an eternal opportunity. An imperfect solution which God directly altered by divine intervention; in its ultimate form it showed the world how physical death can be overcome and spiritual life begun. God made his kingdom accessible to those who believe knowing the Risen Lord was the perfect lamb of sacrifice for sins past, present and future. The Christian Community gathers around this fact and lives to benefit.
Within the framework of the Christian faith the love that is expressed, demonstrated, and exhibited by Jesus Christ becomes part of their lives. If they lead Christ-like lives they love their neighbors, they love their children, they love their extended family and friends, they understand God’s purpose, and they love the opportunity they have to be one of His Children and have a place in His eternal kingdom. Each Blessing is a sprinkle of the love of God for you and me that provide clarity in understanding their mission in God’s plan. Each Blessing is God’s dust that provides covering, as a blanket, as an embracing companion, that includes loving warmth.
“God demonstrates His own love towards us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8; NAS) The word “us” is not exclusive, but for all mankind and applies to those that accept the history and fact of the birth, life, sacrificial death and reincarnation of Jesus Christ.
Those outside the Christian Community are always welcome. The doors remained open. When they step outside and see those not of the Christian Community, not of their faith, or of no faith at all, they remain objective, prayerful, and hopeful that the Truth will also shine on them and open their eyes to the saving grace of the Lord and His Love. The goal is not to eliminate those that do not believe in Christ by destructive means, neither exclude nor kill, but to call on them to read, understand and get to know God, develop a relationship with God through the Word and change. It is a voluntary offering to experience the joy, love and hope God offers in knowing the Truth.
For those in the Christian Community that are overly judgmental, they have missed the lessons of Christ. Mistakes made in the name of Christ, in fact in the name of any religion, are those of man; humans acting more for their benefit than for God; neither right, righteous nor godlike. Such errors of judgment and understanding, acting as if their religion is right, their interpretation and enforcement is directed by God, are wrong. The Christian Community is to remain true to their Lord, lead by example, and share the gospel. They are to carry the Word to all Nations, not using force, simply sharing the Word, caring and loving others.
The Christian Community is best described as a “Loving body” joined in the celebration of the sacrifice made by God. They wish to honor God and glorify his name so that others too can enjoy His abundant joy.
As to Church it can be the place Christians see as their worship center, but it can also be the fellowship they have with others, members of their worship center as well as their neighborhood, their extended friends, the children, the children’s friends and people within the community in which the children reside. If Christians visit some other locality they can readily become part of the church in that area and immediately enjoy a Community of Christians.
The Christian Community is not organized to dislike others, nor does it preach an enmity towards those that do not share their beliefs. Any Christian Community wants the outsider (a term I would prefer to an ‘infidel’) to know that they pray for them, they pray for peace among all peoples, they hope they will take the time to understand the Christian faith, Christ, the Trinity, and that the Salvation they anticipate can be the same for them. Christ made that possible. There is no secret, no code to break; understand, believe, and embrace the Word that is Christ can justify acceptance as a person of righteousness when God sits in judgment on all mankind.
Any member of the Christian Community has an advocate in God’s courtroom. That is Christ. No one is righteous in God’s eyes, we are all sinners, however knowing that God made it possible for believers in the Risen Lord to be saved, even makes the sinner that is in each of us saved for the glory of God’s Kingdom. That is the Christian faith. Yes we need to repent, we need to recognize our addictions; we need to be critically aware of Satan’s temptations and resist. Knowing they are a Child of God makes resisting Satan’s offering easier. A relationship with the Triune God is possible.
God reveals himself in the Bible, and not just for one man, a prophet, or a minister or priest, but to everyone. You too can sense God’s presence in your life; he enabled that by providing the Holy Spirit to dwell within those that accept Christ. The Holy Spirit is the Counselor that Jesus promised would come and live in us. This is the claim and foundation of the Christian and as a body of believers, the Christian Community.
In Summary – Christian Community
- Welcoming of all people.
- Centered on Christ
- Love – of everyone is dominant
- Does not preach enmity towards non-believers
- The Spirit (the Trinity) binds them, dwelling within each member.
- Through the Word God makes Himself known.
- Christ is their Savior – The Risen Lord.
May the Love of Christ, His sacrifice always be remembered. His blood was shed to enable mankind the freedom of knowing salvation is theirs, imperfect and as sinful as everyone is, born to sin, Jesus took the punishment we deserve as our substitute. Just believe in Him, the one who overcame death; each believer died and rose with Christ. We are joined as a body.
To Be Continued………. Next – Opinion as to Muslim Community
Grace and Peace.