A Worldly Greeting This Christmas 2018
We cannot let pass this wonderful day and celebration. Few in history have been more important and remembered than Jesus Christ. From soon after his death on the cross records were produced from eye witness accounts and others that associated with witnesses. He appeared and walked among us in life, and after his death, resurrected. No one else has ever risen from the dead, as foretold in Biblical records and recorded and remembered after the fact. It was almost 400 years after the death of Alexander the Great that historical accounts were available. For Muhammad it was about 200 years before the earlier Hadiths, records of what he said and did, were written.
Followers of Christ readily acknowledge they as humans, like the rest of us, have a sin nature. We are tempted and have succumbed. It is the evil within. There are those who have been consumed with their evil nature; they find earthly pleasures a driving force. Such pleasures include addictions to material things, alcohol or drugs, to sex, to wealth, power and control. Possessed, avoidance is difficult and for some, impossible. The pleasures can become as a religion, a program followed that brings to the person or user, satisfaction. The question to be asked, are they truly satisfied? Is there hope, joy even peace an outcome for their daily lives? Or is there an emptiness, a need for more, a striving to achieve as expectations are not as perceived.
Programs exist to help ween gravely troubled addicts, those most possessed and out of control. For some it is considered an illness, a sickness, that can be cured. The purpose of the cure is so that lives can be restored and the impact on others made more acceptable. Love can be restored.
Demonic human forces have caused great harm to masses. A name often thought of is that of Adolph Hitler and his army labeled Nazi’s. He was power-crazed and as he found followers and support for his political ideas, he grew an army, and eventually used that army to carry out an agenda that intended to achieve a dream of his that made the world into his ideal. He eliminated those who opposed, those he disliked and did not trust, and races, ethnic groups, sick or in-firmed persons, the weak, or ideologues that were not in concert with his own expectations.
Many ego-centric leaders, becoming autocrats or dictators, considered themselves as ‘god’ to those they lauded over. Fascism is that, seeing the leader as a deity, worshipping the man, the human, to do for the people what they cannot do for themselves (so the people are told). Mussolini of Italy, Franco of Spain, even Stalin, and possibly Putin today would be considered fascist autocrats. The government becomes supreme with one political party, the ruling body, to which all must conform. Democracy is non-existent, as that suggests as multiple parties, even conflicting views, freedom of ideas and thoughts.
For 6 to 7 years I have been posting a weekly (for the most part) blog discussing Islam. The form of Islam we have experienced in many areas of the world can be defined as ‘political Islam.’ There is no objective for the political Islamists to separate the mosque, the teachings from the tenets of the ideology of Islam, and the governments and the laws in areas in which they enjoy a majority. The government is supreme, as the ideology from which it derives its charter has at the apex a deity. Where Islamists have power they seek to insure their authority using the education system, thru madrassas, and the worship venues, the mosques, denying other political parties other than Islamic ones, and certainly banning other ideologies or religions from practicing. To allow other religious views, even secular views, and atheism, would allow exposure of the masses, deemed Muslim for their purposes, to other ideas, corrupting the singular stream of thought permitted. Punishment is ascribed to those who seek other ideas. For those that go so far as to choose a differing path, or way of life, having a different leader or deity at the top, then death, extirpation, eradication from the confines of Islam, is called for. Pluralism is a problem as well as freedom, as both suggest a mix of ingredients that enables choice.
Jesus Christ never sought to confine his followers. He encouraged them to lead a godly life. Parameters were provided for those needing help in identifying for themselves what is right. He was critical of the selfish, the autocrat, the dictator, manmade laws and punishment of society’s sinners whose sins, considered minor or not universal, were the same as that of the executioner, or the stone thrower. There are sins that are to be left to God to judge. Certainly there is a need for common law, laws which protect your fellow man as you too would want to be protected. Mostly from theft and harm. What Christ did do was substitute himself for you and me, as a sinner (however, he never did sin, recognized in the Bible and the Quran). We deserve punishment, and forgiveness. He took the punishment, and provided the forgiveness. He did this as God-made-man, and as God. The proof was in the resurrection. God-made-man became God again. If you consider what the almighty is capable of doing, such as creating the earth and humans, he can make himself man. In doing so humans were able to see God and get to know God. The Word of God, the Bible, enables humans today to hear God, ask questions of Him and get answers. He did not live a life as any mortal. He dealt with the evil within mankind. This act is called Grace.
But not everyone accepts the grace he offered. I do not believe Hitler or Mussolini, even Stalin, Lenin or Marx, Mao, Tito or Hirohito, accepted God’s Grace, or were even thankful. They knew God, though, and chose to ignore Him. Certainly Satan said no, and Satan roams freely; he is the evil incarnate. Just as Christ was God incarnate. Wars are fought against those considered evil, but often started, as war, by the evil ones who seek control, bully others to express superiority and enrich themselves. It is unfortunate that so many lives were lost, Christian lives, even sectarian thinkers, fighting evil demonic fascists who would destroy others. Why such evil is allowed by God is raised always and when it effects persons directly their faith in God, their faith in Christ’s saving grace and forgiveness, is challenged. Those that lose their faith, it is sad to say, are themselves allowing evil to be the victor. Hope and joy is lost and without God may never be restored. A life considered meaningless is lacking that one element that an correct it all. That is God.
God is called Father for a reason. Parents, mothers and fathers, love their children. Such love is never failing. Disappointments can occur, but the love is not absent. Father represents parental love, and family. God is a good, good Father.
Our world is broken. There are evil armies at work. Islam in its most strident political form is evil, as those living under the black flag of Islam are caged, kept as prisoners or slaves to the dictates of scholars and dictators, even organizations representing Muslims worldwide, that seek to adversely protect them from the real world outside of Islam (I refer to it as “Islamaland”). There are reformers within the Muslim world and those who have left, that speak out against the evils of Islam displayed by the political Islamists, the radicals and the jihadists. They see the hand of fascist humans, who would be god, saying they act in Allah’s place, as an earthly Allah, maintaining the purity of Islam for Muhammad, the example and Allah, their god. What they are seeking is to have one ideology, one Party, no democracy, for the world as a whole. An All for Allah world. There is no freedom, no choice, no human rights, no independence, no debate, no discussion, no criticism, no free speech and no life in an All for Allah world, or even a microcosm of it.
Christ freed mankind from the shackles of a sin nature. Accept that you have been forgiven. You have been punished. You are not free of sin, the stain still remains, but you can proceed, knowing God is your intercessor. He will be your advocate on Judgment Day. Atonement is what you need to do. Confess that you are a sinner; do it daily. You do not need a Priest. You have direct access to God. Just pray, just speak with Him, just be aware, and thankful knowing you are trying, you love what he has done, his example and horrific death is a blessing, and you know the Resurrection is real, God having done for you what no man could ever do. Thanks be to God. Praise Him.
Christ was born at this time and we are reminded of him as we should be, and we can never forget. What Christ did for man, only God could do for man. His Spirit lives on within us all as a reminder. We are guaranteed our place in heaven when we seek him who has saved us. Why resist his good, good Grace? Man can challenge God, but you and I know, man will never win, nor will Satan. Yes, lives will be lost doing battle with the demons. We do battles within ourselves and with outside elements, but it is evil we seek to overcome so that everyone can live a life of hope, joy, freedom and peace.
“He was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
and by his wounds we are healed.
We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
each of us has turned to our own way;
and the LORD has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.” – Isaiah 53:5-6 (NIV)
Let others share their faith, their ideology, as they should. We should do something each and every day to see and know the truth. The truth will provide joy, not hatred. Let not it be your truth, but truth you discover with an open heart, an objective mind and the freedom to explore other avenues, their history and the reality. In so doing I became a convicted Christ follow. I have applied similar research and study to the Islamic religion and history, which I refer to as an ideology. I must admit I have yet to find in Islam the peace, hope and joy offered by Christ. “The LORD make his life an offering for sin” (Isa 53:10).
“Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth.
Worship the LORD with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs.
Know that the LORD is God.
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the LORD is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations” (Psalm 100:1-5, NIV)
It is written. Find all you need to know in the Word of God.
“By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:2-4 NIV).
What more can I possibly say. Those that seek a Christian world do so voluntarily. If you have doubts, it is time to restore your faith. We have much to do to combat the evil we have in us and the evil that we have around us. Let God be your guide.
Grace and Peace
UI – Part 571