Sunday, 10 May 2009

Fellowship

I'd like to say a thank you to Derek Fortnam of Park Hill Evangelical Church for a thought provoking sermon on fellowship and Bible study - we should be hungry for the word of God and desperate to meet up with each other! We Christians should be noted by our difference - not in the, "I'm better than you na nana na na!", but in the fact that by becoming believers and having faith in Christ we are changed and are seen to be changed in our dealings with each other. For if we as Christians fail to show love and compassion, friendship and help to each other then we are failing in our faith (Acts 2:42; 45 - 46 show devoted Bible study from all the believers, giving to anyone as they had need and meeting up together and sharing meals together).

As Christians we are called to reach out not just to each other as believers but to those who do not believe. To be able to give them a reason for our faith, "Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have." 1 Peter 3:15. The reason Christians should have hope is because of their faith.

Christians, however, are also called to give sacrificially. To give outside and beyond their comfort zones; be it a financial or physical comfort zone. That is the hardest part for many Christians, to give and walk outside of their comfort zones. I too have a problem 'giving' and 'walking' outside of my comfort zone.

I am enraged when I see injustice - not just injustices that I disagree with. I feel enraged when I see cruel and despotic regimes propped up by use of political and financial institutions in the name of globalisation or free market economics. Like use of the bible for the substantiation of 'biblical' abuses, the use of the terms globalisation and free market economics has been substantiated to mean greed, irresponsibility and lack of accountability via individualism rather than community.

If Christians are called to be seen to be different by their moral and physical behaviour then that must have an impact on their civil and social behaviour. That is something I can relate to, politically, socially and civically, but can I relate as a Christian, from a Christian perspective? That is the question. For if I define myself as a Christian, then how does my civil and political views have an impact on my fellowship with other Christians? Especially other Christians who disagree with my Christian theology or doctrine, and adhere to an agenda that allows for discrimination because it seems to allow a biblical doctrine?

A Christian leader has expressed the view that if a country wants to ban people who hold same-sex affirmations from having access to civil and human rights, it should not be prevented from doing so [See this link]. But, say it another way, "If [put whatever you like here] wants to ban Christian people from having the same civil and human rights then it should not be prevented from doing so". But what if the punishment to affirm the right to same-sex relationships [or affirm the right to be a Christian] is punishable by imprisonment, stoning, or death? I am that sure the above Christian leader would say, well that's that country's law for the former situation, but be outraged at that country's law for the latter situation. Where is our fellowship then? Can I stand in fellowship with the above Christian leader?

For more on my views on Christian Fellowship have a look at Faith and Reason.

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