Tuesday, July 18, 2006

#157: Christianity, a Unique Religion

There are many religions in this world; some are good, some are bad, and most are mediocre. Evidently, all religions fulfill the needs of those who adhere to their particular form of worship. Then there are atheism and agnosticism, which are forms of dedication in which what is best for them is the absence of a domineering supreme god. They are their own gods. I ask this question: Who is better off, the unbelievers, or those who worship false gods, or a god that says, “You’re okay; you’re going to heaven; eat, drink and be merry”? I don’t have the answer to that question, but I guess they are all in the same boat.

There is one religion, when practiced according to its instruction book, that is superior to all others; that is the Christian way of life. Of course, many claim to be Christians but are deceiving themselves if they don’t adhere to what their God teaches via their road map (the New Testament) to an eternal destination.

When a religion (genuine Christianity) is believed and practiced in a way that is an unequivocal carbon copy of God’s eternal laws, it becomes a uniquely mysterious religion. The most misunderstood part is that God takes a person’s word when they simply say they believe what Jesus Christ did by His life, death and resurrection, and by His free gift of grace, saves all believers from eternal death. In other words, they didn’t have to do a thing to be saved other than to believe God.

That sounds great. In other words, there is nothing a person can do to earn God’s favor other than to believe. God’s gift of life is made up of such grandeur that it would be impossible for anyone to come close to earning it. That is why it has to be given as a gift through God’s grace.

But there is an all-important second part which follows that tells God which ones who said they believed—truly believed—and which ones didn’t. This second part is not an option but mandatory; it requires obedience–which is another form of belief—to all that God commands in His instruction book. We didn’t have to do anything to be saved other than believe; but, and a big BUT, to CONFIRM our belief, obedience is the instrument God requires. Our obedience doesn’t save us, though it is absolutely necessary. That is a unique quality when it comes to religions, per se.

This is where many who say they believe they are Christians are misled in thinking there is nothing they can do to be saved, other than believe in the work of Christ. Therefore, there is nothing they can do to lose it. Through this heresy, Christianity received a dirty name because of people who say they belong to God but live like hell.

The unique part of this religion is that we get a free passport to heaven, while most, if not all, other religions must work their buns off, their complete life, to get their god’s approval. Therefore, it could be said that genuine Christianity puts the ‘cart before the horse.’

This ‘cart before the horse’ approach is only one unique feature. There is another quality even more difficult to grasp. That is the principle of ‘love for enemy.’ To my knowledge, there is no other major religion which incorporates this command that is not only DIFFICULT to understand, but more so to PRACTICE.

This love of enemy violates nature's most basic law: ‘survival of the fittest.’ And yet, there is a very specific reason for this command, which makes Christianity a religion of love. Without agape love (God-type love) in a religion, it fails the all-important test. Is their God a God of love?

The God of the New Testament is a God of love (Jesus Christ). He loves all His enemies by desiring the best for them. And the best is to believe and live as Almighty Jehovah God commands. Even though He loves those who don’t believe Him, that love will do them no good as to gaining eternal life. Nevertheless, He will love them to the end. God want us to be like Him and love our enemies as He loves them.

That is the principle behind Jesus Christ's teaching of why we must love our enemies. Matthew 5:43. “You heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemy and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. . . . If you love those who love you, what reward will you receive? . . . And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not the pagans do that? Be perfect, even as your heavenly Father is perfect.” Let me now present other verses that corroborate this all-important section of Scripture.

Romans 12:14. “Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.”

Matthew 10:23. “When you are persecuted in one place flee to another.”

Luke 6:27-29. “But I tell you who hear me: ‘Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other.’” There is one similar to this one in Matthew, Chapter 5.

Romans 12:17-19. “Do not repay anyone evil for evil. . . . Do not take revenge . . .”

Romans 12:20-12. “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give his something to drink. . . . Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”

Can anyone dispute that this teaching is an intricate part of Jesus’ teaching for anyone who claims to be a follower of His (disciple)? Still, this is not practiced by many who call themselves Christians. It just can’t be that way. We all know it is extremely difficult to adhere to this command. Yet, it is a must. This is one of the principles that separates genuine Christians from the imposters, and from other religions.

Before one reads the remainder of this post, click on post # 151, “Theocracy, Aristocracy or Democracy.” That post gives a vivid description of what happens when the head of state, who claims to be an Evangelical Christian, does not believe in ‘love of enemy.’

According to Jesus Christ’s teaching of love of enemy, all wars are immoral, even though some may be justified, regardless of the reason or the consequences. I personally hate the Iraq war and all the pain it is bringing to so many. George Bush is personally responsible for all that is happening in Iraq, including every death, which now has escalated into a civil war between brothers and sisters that were friends before the war.

But, what I hate more yet is that a person who claims to be a Christian (Bush) started it all. I wouldn’t have minded the war so much if it had been brought on by the American government, if it didn’t implicate Jesus Christ as the one who inspired us to go to war.

Even though Bush claims he gets his inspiration from a higher source (Jesus Christ), I truly believe his inspiration is from the devil himself. Click on post # 154: “The Devil Made Me Do It.”

In this section, I am going to mingle current events with “Religion’s Crime Against God” and love for one’s enemy. Why is what's happening between Israel and Lebanon and between Israel and the Gaza Strip an unfair conflict? The news media doesn’t mention one fact: who is responsible for all the lopsided chaos in the Middle East.

It all started on May 14, 1948, with the President of the United States, Harry S. Truman. At that time, Israel desired to be recognized as a state. There are many privileges when a territory becomes a state in the world community. A vote for that cause came up in the United Nations. I am not certain if it was a unanimous vote of the National Security Council or all the members of the United Nations. Nevertheless, the United States cast the deciding vote in favor of the resolution to make Israel a state.

The disturbing part of Truman’s vote was that he didn’t take the advice of the Secretary of State, George C. Marshall, who was adamantly against making Israel a state because of the many potential problems it might cause. Marshall was also the U.S. Five-Star General in command of the European campaign during World War 2, and the main architect of the Marshall Plan (European and Japanese Recovery Program)–a brilliant man, to say the least. In fact, Truman secretly gave his vote without asking the advice of any other top State Department officials.

Then, what happened after that was what made the situation volatile. With all the Jewish influence in America and Congress, the U. S. started to give Israel financial and military support, which hasn’t ended to this day. Click on post # 38: “How, When, and Why the Islamic Extremists’ Situation Began.”

Our government not only gave Israel billions each year, but all the advanced military weaponry and technology. The Arabs got nothing, not even the sweat from our brow. The reason we gave Israel all this crucial help was so they could defend themselves from all the Arab nations that surround them.

Whether Palestine belonged to the Jews because God gave it to them 3,000 years ago, or whether it belongs to the Palestinians who have lived in that region since, I think, the 15th century, is not relevant. The good old U.S.A. made the imbalance that is causing all the carnage and hate in all of the Arab countries at this time.

George Bush supports and defends Israel’s extremely aggressive action in their conflict with Lebanon’s Hezbollah and the Palestinians. I thought Bush was an Evangelical Christian that believed the New Testament. That is what irks me. Christians like Bush are no better than Muslim extremists that believe in killing their enemies.

I am not saying that this group is right and that one is wrong, but that the Arab and Jewish conflict has been going on for 3,000 years. No money, diplomacy or any other commodities can soothe ingrained hatred that has been going on for that long. And besides, what right does America have to get involved in the personal affairs of other countries?

You can see why most Arabs hate all Americans. They think all Christians are warmongers because we support and furnish the Nation of Israel with the mighty military power they now have.

This last paragraph is by no means a prophecy or anything like it. It just looks at the world situation and makes a speculative analysis. We have North Korea who has some sort of nuclear devices; Iran with their attempt to get into the nuclear elite; Syria that is a hater of Israel and a supporter of Lebanon; Lebanon in the clutches of Hezbollah, also haters of Israel; of course, Israel, a nuclear power, who hates all Arabs, although some won’t admit it; then we have the U.S.A. that will stick with Israel no matter what; we must not forget Iraq, where hatred is boiling over by many against America; what about Russia? Though they won’t admit it openly, they silently favor Arab nations, mostly for financial reasons; I won’t ever mention China or India and other European nations that have nuclear wares; then, the wild card is Pakistan, an Arab country that has technology which can deliver nuclear missiles. The reason they are the wild card is because, though their government and army are run by a pro-American, the vast majority of Pakistanis are anti-America and anti-Israel. If, by some chance, the Islamic radicals were to overthrow that government, guess what? Israel, including much of the region, would become glass. Those events could signify what may be waiting just around the corner: Armageddon, and the beginning of the end as we know the world.

If it doesn’t happen that way, it will only be time before something else will fuel the animosity between the Jews, Arabs, and Americans, something that diplomacy can never quench. And it all is happening because of lack of love for one’s enemy. In fact, lack of love for one’s enemy is the major reason for all the conflict in the world. Love for one’s enemy is one of the most important and unique of all God’s commands as displayed in the New Testament. Has the Christian world completely missed the mark?


Anonymous said...

Jesus said these things must happen.

Who in this world is without some sort of sin?
Who here is perfect?

Like your blog, given me some things to think about.
I do agree with you on just about 90% of what you say,

But how about this?
Hate the sin,
Love the person.

JC said...

Thanks for your comments, I am not sure where you got the idea that I said about some people are or must be perfect. I am not certain which blog you read, but if you reread it, that is not what I said. Let me quote several verses to substantiate what I said about perfection. 1st Corinthians 6:11. “But you have been washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” This is a positional perfection God has put us into. Sanctified means ‘made holy’; justified means ‘not guilty of sins any more’ When a person truly believes the above, what type of life will that person desire to live? You tell me.

Therefore in the opinion/sight of God that person may be far from perfect, but is living in a realm of perfection. God sees that person as perfect. That is the most potent incentive we need to continue to grow in perfection, becoming more perfect and holy everyday. A person always lives up to what he/she believes about themselves. If God thinks that much about us, should we believe any less? Matthew 5:48. “Be perfect , therefore as you heavenly Father is perfect.” Hebrews 10:14. “Because by one sacrifice HE HAS MADE perfect forever those who are being made holy.”

Said another way, God is doing and has done everything possible to get those that believe in Him to live a perfect life. That should be every Christian’s holy grail.

Thanks for your nice comment about my blog-site.

I think your last comment said it all: Love the person but hate the sin. The only thing is, many times it is difficult to separate the person from the sin. For example the Islamic radicals, etc. Thanks again for your comments. Keep them coming.


Anonymous said...

You're welcome, and keep up the great work.

JC said...

Douglas Ives, thanks for your interesting comments. I disagree with a few things and agree with others. That is okay. No two people believes exactly the same. The doesn’t mean we are going to hell because we have different views on trivial matters.

As to the first subject you brought up; can you tell me exactly where it unequivocally says in the Bible, concerning Israel becoming a state again, and that is the only reason for the existence of the United States.

As to your second thought: I thought separation of church and state came into existence when our founding fathers wrote the Constitution. “Congress shall make no law respecting any establishing of religion.” What are you referring to that was enacted in 1947? But, I do agree with you on all the ungodly perversions that have been slyly pushed on us in the last 50 years or so.

My only exception in that paragraph is evolution. I strongly believe that since God lives in eternity, there is no hurry as to what God accomplishes. He could have created the universe and human life in six days, but what was his hurry? That was the best way He could have explained how life originated to Moses because of his limited knowledge of the processes of life. I believe God through His evolution process–not Darwin’s–created all things which took billions of earth years to accomplish. Click on the April, 06 archives # 143, “Creation, Evolution and Intelligent Design” That is not a perversion, just stretching the first four chapters of Genesis from a few thousand year to about 12 billion earth years. If you are truly a thinking and logical person you will, if even in part, agree.

As to your next statement: It all started in 1948 by President Truman–click on June archives blog # 151: Theocracy, Aristocracy, or Democracy--and continued by ensuing presidents including Carter and Clinton, but Bush put the frosting on the cake by continuing to support Israel to this day with military arms and by his stupid Iraq war; plus giving Israel the green light to continue attacking Lebanon until Hezballah is completely destroyed. Bush is a Christian–sure–who never read the New Testament. Our God is a God of love, not hate.

As to your facts: Allah was a prophet with great persuasive powers to a people who were ignorant of what Almighty God really is like. I believe his motives were genuine. His biggest error was his teaching of how to treat their enemies. His aggressive attitudes toward those who did not believe as he taught, is ungodly. Therefore, he was a false prophet: that means he was inspired by Satan. But to say he is the devil, is going a bit too far.

Your statement as to million of years never existed, upsets me to think that millions of Christians still stick their heads in the sand when it come to the unequivocal evidence that the known universe is at least 12 billion earth years old.

Next, I agree Islam is a pagan religion.

Concerning Communism; true Communism that is voluntary, like in the first several chapters of the Book of Acts did work for the first follower of Jesus Christ. But when forced like in Russia, I agree, doesn’t work.

Your next statement involves politics. You are a Republican and I am a Democrat. I will leave it at that. You are for the rich, I am for the common people.

Lastly, Thanks for your blessing, the same to you. God bless.

Anonymous said...


JC said...

Thanks for your comments. I agree with you completely. althinker.