My Jesus, My Hesitation – Part 1

“I want to talk about Jesus to my seniors. But then, I think again- what if he has a bad opinion of me if I do that?

What if that affects my appraisal and I am denied a raise in salary, which will then affect my family?”

This was a dear brother in Marg admitting his hesitation to speak about our Saviour Jesus Christ, to his senior colleagues. He is a follower of Christ & he has disobeyed Christ’s command (Matt 28:18-20) to make disciples.

I admire his honesty in a world where hiding one’s flaws is the norm. Listening to him helped me because- the fear of “what would people think when they hear that I am a Jesus-freak” is a perennial battle from which I would rather fly. And the recent anti-Christian power surge across India, does not help.

I believe talking about Jesus should be a joyful rhythm in one’s life, not an excruciating process where you check over & over before you speak your mind about the power, mercy & love of Christ and encourage others to surrender and follow Him!

Then what’s the problem with my brother at his workplace? And why do I hesitate to speak up?

It’s not hard to grasp– I want to preserve my self and I think that’s O.K.  I do not want to be identified with Christ, if that means discomfort of any sort.

 

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This mean I do not want people to know my real ID – I am a Christ-follower, but try pinning an ID card saying “Christian” to my chest, and I might fight you like a beast. I do not want to identify with my beloved Jesus nor his servants who suffer across the planet daily.

What’s worse- it is easy to continue life without letting ANYONE in my society or workplace know that I follow the “mighty Messiah” I sing of, with my church family. My “reasons” to stay this way abound:

I need to support my family first.
I need to use “wisdom”.
I need to be a good example first.

I hope those arrested in M.P because they were bold for Christ better not hear that I would rather NOT identify with them, the people of God.

Do you bring up Christ in conversations these days gladly?  Will you be honest in your response?

“The world is more willing to receive the gospel than Christians are willing to give the gospel.”   – Tahir.

From “Dispatches from the Front” by Tim Keesee.

Post-Christmas Musings : 2 Articles and A Poem.

 

Today on popular demand ( 2 brothers from Marg church asked for this) are two articles and one poem.

One is about the man completely covered up by today’s consumerist big, Santa Claus- The original Saint Nicholas .

The second article is a brilliant piece on why Santa is not a Christian. Creative, insightful & highly recommended.

Below are a few lines, inspired by a dear brother. A merry Christmas season to you from the Marg church family!

 

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“Santa’s Caps or The Crown of Thorns”

I hear the carols sung,

They celebrate my birthday,

No mention of the reason for the season,

My suicide mission,

This world celebrates my arrival,

with a man who cares not for,

The work for which I have come.

The air of this world entombs me,

From my birth.

I choose birth & death, so it might be well,

For those who cling to me,

While Mr. Claus distributes red caps,

You will fare well if you choose my crown of thorns,

There in you will find eternal love and brand-new life.

 

“In the same way, anyone who holds on to life just as it is destroys that life. But if you let it go, reckless in your love, you’ll have it forever, real and eternal.” John 12:25 –  Jesus Christ

India and The God-man Syndrome

An article in “The Hindu” by Dipankar Gupta describes the relationship god-men have with India. “Armed with nothing more than a prayer & a song to feed the despair of the soul” is how god-men flourish where science has no answers. The article also mentions that gurus for individualized preferences are encouraged by the availability of many well-to-do patrons.

Our’s indeed is a country with god-men in it’s veins. Gupta’s article honestly mentions questions of life & death that science cannot answer but god-men claim to.

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Yet, god-men are imperfect. Countless god-men have been convicted of criminal cases. Others who stay clear of crime preach denial to one’s self but seem to be all too glad to live extremely rich lives supported by ardent devotees.

You have to wonder why India has it’s plethora of spiritual gurus and god-men. Is it just because superstition still abounds here? Is it because we are a people who are very gullible? That may not the case- even scientists fight the eternal questions of what lies before life & after death.

Are we unable to connect with gods made of wood & stone, but need a “human” connect with the living God? Do godmen generally do well because we want a mediator with visible skin & hair who can relate to us ?

If this is true- India need not look further than Yeshu Maharaj, or Jesus Christ of the Bible. Jesus Unlike Gupta’s article claims, Jesus is not a spiritual leader who “shored up the strengths of the Bible”- no that is not what Jesus said about himself.

Jesus told him,”I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me. – John 14:6

For there is only one God and one Mediator who can reconcile God and people. He is the man Christ Jesus. – 1 Tim 2:5

What god-man we know, claims exclusive access to God?

What god-man we know, calls the creator of life, Father?

What god-man we know, would be willing to go through the ultimate soul-torment for someone else’s sins?

“There’s not a friend like the lowly Jesus
No, not one! No, not one!
None else could heal all our souls diseases
No, not one!”

What do you think about the god-men “issue” in India?

What do you think about the claims of Yeshu Maharaj?

Suffering & The Divine Suicide Mission

“You say your God died for you? Then WHY does not He stop evil & suffering?”

That question. Some of us hate hearing it. Others, live with it.

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Suffering often comes upon us by surprise. When the soul cannot find justice, it will pour out questions- questions that are very tough to answer when they come mixed with personal grief and burning vengeance. This is not an attempt to answer the question, but a deeper look at the question itself.

Did you notice this question above shows an assumption beneath it?
AssumptionGod is duty-bound to address evil & suffering.

Looking at the Bible, we see 2 truths that address this assumption. The first is that God is obliged to no one, to do nothing (Rom. 9:15). He is someone who is so pure, wickedness evaporates in His presence. He is truly the Master of the vast universe and has power we have no clue of. Like it was said of Aslan – “Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.”

Meanwhile our world paints a picture that shouts – the universe, this world, the things around me, all of this will help me become better. “I will be Happier.” We all buy into this philosophy. Because you and I think everything exists to serve us, we forget that everything actually exists to make this God more amazing & worthy of adoration. Even evil has this purpose. (Rom. 9:17).

So – In the big story, the Lord God is able to make any form of evil, any wickedness out there or in our own hearts, to serve Him.

The second truth? This God has already addressed evil in an impartial yet amazingly, compassionate manner.
He is the very reason we have virtues called justice & love. He will punish all wrong-doing. Easy to hear, but that will wipe you & me out too. We deserve eternal punishment for violating His pure ways. But unlike men, He offered himself to be punished instead of us imperfect sinners -the Ultimate Suicide Mission. You and I do not know what it was for Christ to bear His Father’s wrath for our wrongs.

So when I see suffering in the world & ask “where are you, God?”… he is right there at that Cross, dying for my wrong-doings.

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May this Christmas be a good reminder- I know of no one else who was “born in a manger”, to suffer something that awaits those who reject Him- a wrath that only shows God loves what is right. While we are here, we will suffer. But we have a fighting chance to overcome suffering & evil just because of this Jesus, who is the answer to suffering (John 9:1-3) as long as there is Christmas.

Next time when suffering comes at you like a Tsunami wave, will you look to Him who loved us so much?