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Posts Tagged ‘Galatians 3:28’

As the coronavirus (also known as COVID-19) spreads and entire countries shut down in a desperate bid to stop it, some of us are feeling a growing sense of unease.

Is there nothing anyone can do to stop it? Does the battle seem hopeless?

Perhaps. But I found an Internet meme that explains exactly why it’s NOT hopeless, because it contrasts COVID-19 with one of the most remarkable people in the history of this planet.

You may scoff at what you’re about to read, but I’m hopeful that you’re open minded enough to give my words mature, thoughtful consideration. It’s all I ask.

COVID-19 causes damage. But the man considered by many people to be the Son of God, Jesus of Nazareth, heals. How do I know this? Note these words by an ancient Hebrew writer: He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. You can read one example of a life healed here: https://wp.me/p2wzRb-5g.

Coronavirus creates fear. Jesus brings courage. Here’s evidence, written by an ancient Middle East prophet: Be determined and confident. Your God, the Lord himself, will be with you. He will not fail you or abandon you.

That courage made atheist Jennifer Fulwiller willing to re-examine her worldview after having her first child and, eventually, become a Jesus follower. I wrote a blog about her story: https://wp.me/p2wzRb-h4.

COVID-19 makes us weak. Jesus brings strength. The words passed along by an ancient Hebrew prophet: There’s no need to fear for I’m your God. I’ll give you strength. I’ll hold you steady, keep a firm grip on you.

That strength helped me decide to follow Jesus even though it created a division with all my biological family, which wants nothing to do with Him.

Coronavirus separates us. Jesus wipes away divisions and brings people together. From a person Jesus trained to follow after Him: In Christ, it doesn’t matter if you are a Jew or a Greek, a slave or free, male or female. You are all the same in Christ Jesus.

COVID-19 creates chaos. Jesus gives us peace. The words of Jesus: Peace is what I leave with you; it is my own peace that I give. I do not give it as the world does. So do not be worried and upset; do not be afraid.

That peace helped a grieving mother to forgive her son’s killer. I wrote about it here: https://wp.me/p2wzRb-qB.

Coronavirus is temporary. Jesus is eternal. From an ancient Hebrew prophet: Earth and sky will wear out, but not you; you’ll stay the same, year after year; you’ll never fade, you’ll never wear out.

COVID-19 can lead to death. Jesus always leads to life. The words of Jesus: I came so people can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of.

You can get in on everything Jesus brings to the world simply by making a serious decision to follower Him. Interested? Yes or no, post your thoughts below and let’s have a conversation.

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Seth_AndrewsIf you haven’t thought it yourself, then I wouldn’t be surprised if you heard someone say it: women are second-class citizens in Christianity.

That’s certainly the opinion of Seth Andrews, who grew up in a Christian home and is now a leading atheist.

If Seth is right, then you certainly don’t want to give any serious thought to this faith.

So is he right? Rather than enduring the words of an old white guy like me, I’ll offer you the answers of three women who saw the graphic that inspired this essay and are happy to explain why they are serious followers of Jesus Christ.

CHANTELLE OSBORNE: What If I said I didn’t feel belittled by Christianity and the Bible, but empowered? Empowered to redefine femininity from how society and the media too often define women: as sex objects who need to maintain a certain physical appearance to be accepted.

As a Christian, I am empowered to embrace my uniqueness – that God has created me different from men with a unique perspective.

Jesus’ trust and confidence in women was evident during Bible times and still is as Christian women throughout history have sometimes had the courage and conviction to accomplish things that men have not.

DEBBIE FLETCHER: If you look at how Jesus treated women, you will see that far from denigrating them, Jesus defied the prevailing views of the day by noticing, listening to and respecting women.

In the presence of Jesus, women were valued and given a voice. (See two accounts of Jesus’ life, called “Luke” and “John”). Furthermore, through Jesus’ sacrificial death on a Roman cross, men and women were brought together as equals.

In the Bible, an early Christian missionary named Paul wrote a letter to a church and said that because of what Jesus had accomplished through His death and resurrection, the distinction between classes of people had been removed.

“There is now neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus,” Paul wrote.

In fact, Paul tells Christian men that they should “go all out in your love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the church—a love marked by giving, not getting”. This is the farthest thing from being denigrated; this is being given a value beyond anything we could ever comprehend.

DORIS FLECK: Early in the Bible, we see that God created man and woman in His image. They are set as equals. Women play prominent roles throughout the Bible and even feature in Jesus’ genealogy, which is unusual because the culture of that time did not look highly on females.

When Jesus was physically on earth, women could not receive an education and had no voice in their marriage. Jewish men were not supposed to talk to a woman in public. If they did, it was considered a shame. But Jesus of Nazareth created controversy by swimming against the stream (for evidence, check out “John”, one of the accounts of His life). He gave great honour to women.

Author Philip Yancey comments, “For women and other oppressed people, Jesus turned upside down the accepted wisdom … Jesus violated the customs of his time in every encounter with women recorded in the four [Bible accounts of His life].”

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So there you have it. Does this cause you to rethink your ideas about Christianity? Yes or no, post your thoughts below and let’s have a conversation.

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Open DoorThe headline said ‘Extremism’s appeal for Canadian radicals’. That didn’t sway me to read the article in the National Post, one of Canada’s major newspapers. But what did intrigue me was the one-word “subhead”: ‘Superiority’.

A police officer, trying to figure out what was turning some young Canadians into violence-supporting radical Islamists, did extensive interviews with seven young Toronto men (six of them born in Canada) who fit the bill.

After the interviews, the officer came to the conclusion that they were deeply troubled men who, the reporter wrote, “found, in extremism, a reason to feel superior. In their minds, the had joined an exclusive fraternity that knew the truth. They weren’t losers after all; they were better than everyone else.”

Two things strike me about this:

1. The contrast of being a “loser” and feeling “superior”. Our culture loves nothing more than to constantly rank the value of people. It’s one of the main reasons that I decided to take my own radical turn and declare myself a follower of Jesus Christ.

Jesus followers know that we are neither losers nor superior. The evidence for this can be found in the Bible, in a section called ‘Galations’: “There is no difference between Jew and Greek, slave and free person, male and female. You are all the same in Christ Jesus.

This may not be important to many people, but I need that reminder for those times when I see someone do or say something stupid. That’s when the Bible reminds me that I, too, do and say stupid things. The key difference is that, as a follower of Jesus, I welcome Him into my life to make me more like Him. And He never did or said a single stupid thing.

2. Can there be a more obnoxious word in our dictionary than “exclusive”? It comes from the word “exclude” and when it comes to thinking about my brothers and sisters in the human race, I have trouble understanding what possible good can come from excluding anyone.

Now you might be thinking “Well, you Christians think you’re in an exclusive club, that only YOU get to go to Heaven.”

To that I write that yes, when I’m done with this life, I have a certainty about where I’m going and I feel sure that I’ll see other followers of Jesus there. My confidence comes from a section of the Bible simply called ‘John’: “God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him would not be lost, but have eternal life.

But exclusive? Not on your life. There is no lock on the doors to Christianity. In fact, there are no doors at all. The way is wide open to anyone who wants to enter.

That openness is why I’ve written this essay – to invite YOU to enter and have your life changed for the better – now and for eternity – by Jesus. Will you accept the invitation? Yes or no, post your response below and let’s have a conversation.

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