Living out in the countryside, one day rolls into the next in timeless tradition. One could easily shut off and forget about everything else. But there has been so much happening! Everywhere seems to hurt, and we are all frustrated by something.
For the past few weeks, I have taken party in a Christian Union led book club where we came together to discuss “Confronting Christianity” by Rebecca Mclaughlin.
The author addresses 12 big questions often asked of the said world religion. Hitting it off in the way I personally love reading books, we jumped straight into chapter 11 out of 12. “Why would a loving God allow suffering?” It was a great chapter to read, explaining how we can draw close to God through suffering and then showing how Jesus also suffered in many ways and how he was upset when his friend Lazarus had died (even though he was going to be brought back to life again).
The questions and answers addressed in this book are most interesting when we can apply them to real time. Currently, the issue of diversity has ravaged the globe.
We all like the idea, but many fail to see it God’s way. The Christian church has always been a diverse fellowship of people, but for some reason, there is a myth that Christianity is a white Western religion. This is far from the case!
Mclaughlin demonstrates the rich history of the Christian faith and highlights that it flourished in places such as Ethiopia, the Middle East and India centuries before it even reached Britain or the USA. Despite what we may believe, China has one of the fastest growing Christian communities in the world, despite persecution. This knocks the myth! As Mclaughlin puts it, “While Christianity held a monopoly on Western culture, Western culture never held a monopoly on Christianity.”
This diverse church would appear at first glance to have very little in common. However, the apostle Paul gives us some insight when he writes, “Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all” (Colossians 3:11).
The Bible teaches that when we truly become part of God’s church, we are a new creation and our old selves have gone. We leave behind our prejudices as we pursue what really matters. We become anew and Jesus becomes our everything. The church Paul is writing to includes people of many backgrounds, but they can unite as equals through their love of Jesus. God gives us his vision for humanity and it is a shared one, where we can all come and worship together.
We have been devastated and shocked recently at the death of George Floyd in America. For many, this has been the final straw and change is desired. The Bible teaches us that God is the same forever. However, as shown through the Bible, God has always been against racism. Martin Luther King declared that, “Any church that stands against integration and that has a segregated body is standing against the teachings of Jesus Christ.”
We too then must condemn degraded treatment of others; but how?
Well, we are united through Christ, and in our love we show this. Jesus tells us to love our neighbours as ourselves. Therefore, we must ask in our well–founded outrage, are our actions truly loving?
Everyone’s life and soul matters to God, therefore as Christians, they also matter to us.