Viewpoint from Allan Jeavons 13/06/2014
as published in the Yarmouth Mercury
Elder New Wine Christian Fellowship, Martham
I am a Christian!
I’m aware that for many non-Christians that statement will bring about a thought process which so often will be a negative one. I would personally prefer “Jesus Follower” because a Christian, by definition should be a follower (disciple) of Christ. In Matthew 28 Jesus tells his disciples to go and make more disciples
The label “Christian” has got so much cultural baggage and means so many things to so many people that it is hard to know where people stand when they say “I’m Christian”. For example, does it mean, “I am a Christian because I go to church” or “I am a Christian because I live in a ‘Christian’ country” or “I’m a Christian because I follow certain rules about being good”?
So many things have been done in the name of Christianity that run contrary or directly opposite to the teachings of Jesus, and don’t agree with what Jesus taught. It’s not Christian, despite its label
Just a quick reminder of some of Jesus’s teaching:
John 15:12 ESV “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you” and in Mark 12:31 (HCSB) 31 “The second is: Love your neighbour as yourself. There is no other command greater than these”
OK, some of the theologians amongst you may argue “who is my neighbour”? but in the light of the Good Samaritan parable and Jesus’s statement in John 3:16 (HCSB) - 16 “For God loved the world in this way: He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life” it’s pretty obvious.
Good news indeed! God loves you ... whoever you are. He didn’t say “for God so loved Christians”, or “that God so loved the church” but “God loved the world” ... you and me!
As for Christians standing in condemnation, just referring to the next verse:
17 “For God did not send His Son into the world that He might condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through Him” it tells you of God’s heart.
Matthew 5:44 ESV “But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you”
If we, in the Christian church, and also Christian political leaders, had followed what Jesus taught, how different the world would be.
To follow Christ is a radical life journey; it’s about a relationship not a religion or a “Christian duty”
It’s a journey believing and discovering the God of Love, who is full of mercy and compassion, who is not angry with us and whose love is too vast to be measured