Monday, 20 July 2015

Christianity 101

OK, I try to stay out of politics on this blog. Just this once I find myself needing to say something political.

Donald Trump is running for President. That's his right as an American. He, like all the Presidential candidates, seems to have made a point of stating they are members of a church. In his case he defines himself as a Protestant, Presbyterian to be precise. He's pro-moral issues by being anti-abortion and against same gender marriage. Because his understanding of the Bible from one perspective tells him it's so.

I'm a Protestant. In my time I've been a member of Anglican, Baptist, United Reformed, New Frontiers and an array of other denominations according to where I was living and which one I was drawn to by my heart. I've even attended Catholic Mass from time to time.

Here's the thing.

None of what I've done makes me a Christian.

Sitting in a Protestant pew for the last 35 of my 43 years hasn't made me a Christian any more than sitting in my garage for the same time would have made me a mechanic.

Christianity is unique in that it invites individuals to have a personal relationship with a Living God through that own deity's personal sacrifice of taking human form and dying on our behalf for the specific purpose of entering into that relationship.

We accept or reject His invitation freely, but never by default. I ask God to remind me that He already forgave me the sin I commit daily, whatever it may be on that day. I speak to Him as a friend and Father and ask His guidance on the matters I need to deal with ranging from how best to do my earthly work within the structure of His being to major issues like "should I emigrate?" or "should I change jobs". The big one for me twelve years ago was "Do I marry this girl?" (He said 'yes').

It comes from a place of relationship, not religion. That's what Jesus spent His ministry on Earth trying to get through to everyone. It's what the Bible teaches in both the Old and New Testaments. The Gospels give us the story and the Letters give us the "how-to".

Jesus Himself told Nicodemus that a man needed to be reborn to enter a relationship with God. His death and Resurrection then opened the invitation to everyone as Peter demonstrated the day after the Holy Spirit was poured out on the disciples.

Christianity isn't about politics.

America is a post-Christian country. Sadly most of the world are post-Christian societies. Bible-founded laws are repealed and Church-founded reforms to improve society are eroded by secular laws all the time.

But none of that is Christianity.

Christianity in its most basic and Glorious form is simply an invitation from a Loving God to enter into a personal relationship with Him.

It's personal.

It's that simple.

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