Part 103 – The Christian
The Christian – Logos
The Christian is quite different from the Muslim. The Christian Religion, as noted in one of the points below, is the religion of ‘Logos’. It reflects well on reason.
- Volunteer for Christ; Being a Christian is voluntary. Leaving is not subject to punishment by death; especially not by another Christian. Whatever judgment befalls man occurs on Judgment Day; either Salvation for the believer in Christ, or the Alternative.
- Every one is welcomed into the Christian faith, encouraged to understand Christ’s sacrifice, believe in God’s saving Grace, and follow God, doing good as a result of accepting Christ and being made right with God.
- God, uncreated, was the First Cause, created the earth and all that supports human life.
- Man is made in God’s image.
- Humans were given the ability to think, the mind, a conscience and equipped to understand their world (their cosmos). Inherent in the human cortex is the mechanism to reason. God provided rational thought knowing too that its use would reveal that which is good vs. that which is evil.
- Man is capable of grasping moral truth.
- The religion of ‘Logos.’ All revelation created through Christ as Logos.
- The religion relies on the inspired Word of God.
- Revelation is important, but not the absolute as God provided that man was to be responsible for man, the animals, the food supply, the water and the air we breath. Man was charged with the role to ‘subdue’ that which God created.
- God created humans so that they would have a relationship with Him.
- The laws of nature are an expression of God’s authority.
- Reason and Revelation are compatible.
- God is all-powerful.
- God is reason.
- God is knowable.
- God’s omnipotence, His power and His Word are an expression of His rationality.
- Man is welcomed to examine the laws of creation, the why of creation, all this in order to know God, to know the Creator.
- Humans recognize the evil power that can consume. It is God that provided through the Gospel, the inspired Word of God, how to become ‘right’ with God.
- Christians recognize the power of idols, those influences that turn people away from God, as a spell that controls, and see through a ‘personal encounter’ with Christ their ability to free themselves from the shackles of doom.
- God and Allah, considering the Trinity, are different; thus the New Testament presents a different view, the Trinity introducing the saving Grace of God through the ultimate sacrifice of his beloved Son for the crimes of others. The Father, The Son and the Holy Spirit are One – a Unity of One.
- The Trinity is One; God the Father, God the Son (made man) and God the Holy Spirit indwelling in believers. It is all One – God.
- Christianity – Salvation comes through accepting Christ as one’s savior, making man right with God by accepting what Christ did for the sinful human (every human), as the advocate for the believer, and man’s acts of good will follow as his relationship with God and the reminding presence of the Holy Spirit keeps our eye on the Lord.
- Original Sin – We are born with it as a result of Adam’s disobedience to God in the Garden of Eden. Even with Christ’s taking the punishment we all deserve for our sins (considered crimes against God), small and large, by dying a horrific death on the cross, our sinful nature remains. The DNA of man is toxic, containing the sin-strain we all inherit (the ‘Bad News’).
- Christian – The good news is Christ’s sacrifice for all mankind. The bad news is we are sinners, to the core, always. The good news is that Christ, man-God, lived a perfect life and then suffered (more than we can ever suffer) and took the sins of mankind upon himself to be punished accordingly, freeing those that believe in Christ from punishment on judgment day – Christ being our advocate.
- God’s Justice – Without Christ all mankind would be condemned as no one is ‘righteous.’ Christ’s sacrifice not only made those who believe right with God (righteous), but enabled God to make His system of Justice applicable to those cleansed with the redeeming blood Christ shed for you and me. Those past, present and future that follow now know the truth and have an advocate when preparing to face God on Judgment Day. Salvation is assured.
- Christianity defined (by Calvin) – your work produced by faith (in Jesus Christ), your labor prompted by love (doing what you do for the honor and glory of the Lord), and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.
- God is Love.
- God loves all mankind, even those who do not believe.
- Separation of Church and State a preference for Christians.
- Jesus is divine; man-God.
- The Bible is the inspired Word of God; not to be altered in any way. Created by man; inspired by God.
- Christian Leaders are more subject to the demands of the Bible, with no special privileges as a result of their status. As teacher they are subject to greater scrutiny.
- A Christian prays to praise and thank the Lord for his Grace, and to ask God for forgiveness for the innate nature of sin we possess, to be strengthened in the inspired Word of God to be a better servant to the Lord, and to honor and give glory to God in everything we do or say.
- Civil Laws are designed for the common good, and seen by a Christian as positive, protecting not just Christians but all citizens, even atheists.
- Christians desire the love of God, belief in Jesus, and freedom to follow their faith; even to evangelize what they believe.
- Freedom of Speech, freedom of expression, freedom of choice, freedom to think, encouragement to reason, to study, explore, invent, and improve society is a goal of Christianity. Believe in God, in Christ, and understanding His revelation will flow naturally.
- Man has free will. Choices are to be made.
- Jesus is divine, incarnate, and the savior for those who believe. This is the Christian view. Through Christ man was made ‘right’ with God, able to forgive and be forgiven, and wanting to lead a proper loving life as a believer. Suffering is not eliminated; all Christians suffer for their Lord, but never to the extent Christ suffered for the believer.
- A Christian woman is free, equal, and independent.
- Roles for men and women are described in the Bible, yet they are dependent on each other, functioning as a couple as one. The attributes of one complimentary to the attributes of another.
- Man is to love his wife as He loves the church.
- The wife is to respect the husband; the husband to earn her respect, not demand it.
- The Bible asks for love of mankind; love your neighbor as you would want your neighbor to love you. Even love your enemy. That is not to say Christians do not defend themselves against evil.
- Christians are open to other viewpoints knowing that reason will prevail in revealing God’s truth.
- God wants man to challenge God, as man will only learn of God’s handiwork and the resultant outcome of any confrontation will demonstrate God’s victory and His creation was for the humans, all, who, he loves unconditionally.
- God does not fear those who doubt, as in time, with an open heart, a self-awakening will result. Only to those whose hearts are hardened to God will his wrath become known.
- Christians respect capitalism and see it as an outcome of progress. However Christianity wants the benefits of success to be shared voluntarily as a reflection of the acceptance of the saving Grace of Christ and belief in Christ.
- We are to respect and not waste the gifts God has provided, to include our intellect and ability to think and reason.
- God is good, always good, and cannot do evil, cannot deceive.
- Reason is encouraged – “Come now, and let us reason together, Says the Lord.” (Isaiah 1:18)
- Only God can deprive man of reason, and that for a reason, “He deprives the leaders of the earth of their reason: He sends them wandering through a trackless waste. They grope in the darkness with no light….” (Job 12:24-25)
This summarizes the view from a Christian perspective. Not all Christians agree, Catholics and Protestant denominations, with the interpretation of Scripture. Even God left questions to be answered. But where they do agree is on the Saving Grace of the Lord Jesus Christ. Peace in the world is an objective, and it need not be an all Christian world. Fundamentalists in the Christian faith have made many mistakes in the past and harmed the ideals of Christianity as well as brought criticism and doubt towards the religion. Man wrongly interpreted and applied his personal interpretation of the Word. If it was not for ‘reason’ we would all be condemned to think alike. Proper study, with an accepting heart, leads to understanding and a desire for God. A relationship, unexpected, will grow and then build. Life without Christ is empty and unfulfilling.
Many Muslims doubt, the fundamentalist Islamists as well. Opening on the summary of the Muslim (Islamist) view (prior Blog #102) I noted my respect for the moderates. In them I see more reason, more openness to the human spirit and less focus on the absolute Will of Allah. From one with whom I correspond I provide the following reflection when asked as to the scholarly advice followed:
“I have already told you that I follow Quran and I ask my heart when things are not obvious and there is some sort of ambiguity. Although my family belongs to zaydyah sect, I don’t restrict myself to only its teachings as I believe life changes and some issues need to change too. Every time has its own needs and if Quran is for all ages as Islamic scholars claim then there should be a kind of flexibility in it to survive. It is always not the religion that causes all this mess around. It is the human mind that applies what sounds good for individuals/sects benefit.
If peace is what we try to bring to all over the world, then we need not to attack the other or prove that we are the right ones while others are not. We need not to condemn one’s belief and fish for faults and deficiency. The more we quarrel, the wider the gap gets. We need only to accept people as they are and find ways to remove misunderstanding that might cause hurt to one another. Teach values regardless what source they come from and do acts that show true love and peace. Do good things out of pleasure and don’t wait for a reward or people recognition. That’s the real message of God. Teach humanity before religions. Be good first and then choose whatever faith you like. Your faith will always be between you and God. I want nothing from you but respect and good treatment/dealing. For my religious deeds including prayers, fasting,…etc, all are meant to God and you are not the one to accept or decline them.
That is my faith and that is the way I would bring my children up with if I had. Being a Muslim is not enough to be assured that you are on the righto path and being a Christian, a Hindu or any other religion covenants is not enough, too. It is all about being a human; a good human.”
The mind of the writer above is reasonable, rational, and accepting. The person may have even read Greek philosophy, at least Aristotle. It is the mind of a moderate Muslim, a mind that is conscious of the world that surrounds and questions evil. What is written comes from a considerate mind reflecting on the reasons of man, not the Will of Allah. The concept expressed of ‘teach humanity before religions’ may reflect the thinking of the vast majority of Muslims, the silent majority, those not in the media’s spotlight. It is not that of the Islamists. “It is … about being human, a good human.” Presented is something to ‘think’ about. Only if there were a leader, a new Mu’tazilite that could garner the attention of the World’s total Muslim population and engender change in the direction where ‘common sense’ matters. If only there were such a leader that could survive the onslaught that would arise from the Islamists, the fatwa for their life and the apostasy that would be suggested.
Open Minds – A Reason for Prayer
We pray for open mindedness and the spread of God’s love; His arms embracing all nations, all people, and His inspired Word and saving Grace providing the water that nourishes our bodies for a life eternal. I believe God can only do good; God is Good. He would not engage in the evil we see in the world; that is under the control of another party, man, man influenced by the fallen devil angel. The Christian God does allow evil; it enables humans to see what idol worship can do to cause a disease of the heart and harden the soul to anything but self.
We must pray for a rational world. In such a place peace is possible.
Grace and Peace.