Calling all Christians to bond togetherPublished 10:03pm Thursday, November 14, 2013
I thank God that we currently live in a country where we as citizens have the freedom to take part in a spirited exchange of thoughts driven by obvious differing opinions about politics, religion, and many other subjects.
I would also like to say thanks to David French for addressing Woody and I as “the Baird boys” in his letter that was printed in a weekend edition of The Outlook. I personally take it as an honor and a compliment to be referenced with my brother.
David, I also would like to address some of your questions and comments that were directed toward me.
The first question you ask is my opinion about “just who is a Christian?” We can look to Webster’s Dictionary which defines Christian as “one who professes belief in the teachings of Jesus Christ.”
Biblically, the word Christian was first used to describe the Church at Antioch in Acts 11:19-26 where the Church body was represented by both Jewish and Gentile believers who had heard the Good News about Jesus Christ and trusted in Jesus as the only way to God.
The point is that the Church at Antioch was a very diverse group represented by people of different races with different cultures who spoke different languages, but the one common bond they shared was Jesus Christ.
Your next question “do I consider Catholics, Presbyterians, Mormons, etc., Christians, or are just the members of our Senior Adult Bible Study Group Christians?”
The Church at Antioch that was just mentioned is certainly an example of a group of believers that the Word of God defines as Christians, and may I add that there is no reference to any named denomination or representation of any particular denominational doctrine.
They were Christian believers.
I have been taught that becoming a Christian is an individual decision to seek a relationship with Jesus by believing that Jesus is God’s Son, by believing that Jesus died on the cross and shed His blood as the final sacrifice for every individual’s sin, by believing that Jesus defeated earthly death when He was resurrected by God on the third day after His death, by believing that Jesus ascended to Heaven and is alive today, and by believing that one day in the future, when God says so, Jesus will return to this world and defeat evil once and for all.
It is up to each person, individually, to make this decision on their own.
I have reviewed the scriptures you “strongly encouraged me to reread with an open and loving heart” and since the message of Matthew 6:1 is about hypocrites, and since the message of Luke 18:11-14 is about a self-righteous Pharisee compared to a humble tax collector, I have to assume that your opinion of the message in the first letter was of a hypocritical, self-righteous nature.
Everyone is certainly entitled to their own opinion, but I can say that the intent of the first letter was for our Bible Study Group of Christians to express our opinion about what we feel is incompetence and a total lack of presidential leadership, intentional lies and cover up schemes labeled by the president of our country as phony scandals when brought forth by the opposing party, the open support of ungodly policies, irresponsible fiscal policies, etc., and we wanted to call on the Christians of this city, county, state, and nation to bond together as a significant group who we hope will vote their convictions in the upcoming elections.
John 14:2-3 states “In My Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with Me that you may also be where I am.”
David, I don’t know what your intended message was for me but this scripture is Jesus’s wonderful promise of the future that lies ahead for all Christians.
I compliment you on your choice of scriptures but I wish you had gone a little further in Chapter 14 to include verses 5 and 6. Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?” Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”
In reading verse 6, I pray that anyone who is not a Christian will make the choice to follow Jesus.