Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Do Christian’s bring peace to earth?

Much has been done in the guise of Christian faith that has discredited rather than brought value to the teachings of Jesus. Christians like other religious adherents fall prey to vanity and exclusive tendencies that work their way out in anger and persecution and mimic the very opposite of what we would call peace on earth.

The fundamentalists among us Christian's love to highlight the wrongs of others, the judgment due to others and brandish the verses in scriptures that herald Jesus as being the only way to salvation. If their attitude is anything to go by I don’t know if the world needs to be saved into a place that replicates this pride and arrogance. It is a future I certainly don’t want to be a part of.

If one has to focus on fundamentals the part of Christian faith I would rather be fundamental about is the fact that we are ‘all’ made in the image of God and we all are as much ‘good’ as we are ‘bad'. What is distinct about the Christian is that they recognize the darkness within them that needs redemption and their identity is not determined by how good they are. This ought to keep the Christian humble and non-judgmental of others. The other fundamental I would be fundamental about is that we are called by Jesus to love and pray for our enemies. If we are living by this creed we have to drop our weaponry of words and sharp judgment and reach out ways that transcend the obvious. Maybe in these ways we can say that Christianity will bring peace to earth. (This has been inspired by Tim Keller’s thinking in the book ‘The Reason for God’.)

2 comments:

markpenrith said...

If the making another wise to the treachery of their sin is, "highlight[ing] the wrongs of others," that they might turn to God for salvation; then alas, Fundamentalists are guilty as charged.

If warning a man of the impending doom of his eternal soul is, "[highlighting] the judgment due to others," that they might fall to their knees and cry out to the God who would lavish His grace, mercy and love upon them; then alas, here too Fundamentalists are guilty as charged.

If pointing a man to the only sure path of salvation is, "brandish[ing] the verses in scriptures that herald Jesus as being the only way to salvation," that they might walk through that narrow gate, and head down the path to eternal glory; then alas, once more Fundamentalists are guilty as charged.

And yet, what else ought they to do? What other message might they proclaim? What else rings true?

I’m such a pariah :). Apologies.

David Barbour said...

Greetings pariah,

I was waiting for a reaction to the post and I am so glad to have your comment.

I am of the gentle persuasion that the conviction of sin meant for humankind is brought on by the presence of the Spirit of God as they encounter truth working itself out in grace through the life of the believer. I came to faith not because somebody threw stones at my convictions, it would have hardened them. I came to faith because I witnessed the grace and love of God in people who were willing to live together because God forgave their sin and they forgave each other.

"Jesus the only way" - not a good conversation starter. Maybe the 'unknown god' approach by Paul would get us further.

Thanks from another pariah and no apologies needed.