Being a follower of Jesus Christ-revisited
I March 2013
As the title implies this entry has to do with my own spiritual walk but also what I believe the Bible tells us in the 4 Gospels. If you aren't drawn to such a post then please understand upfront what to expect.
Since the cradle I have been inundated with religious indoctrination and teachings as to what it means to be "Christian" and after my personal eperiences as well as my own journey into wmanhood I have realized the prototype we are supposed to imitate in daily life has been misrepresented, has had countless unspoken doctrines and supposed utterings. MJost of us have beenh taught since birth that we just weren't good enough to approach the Throne of God on our own and we needed a "churched" spiritual adviser or priest to intercede for us. We were told that only through the strictest of adherance to church laws and doctrines did we even have a chance of making it to heaven, must be a really small place. We were taught He was a vengeful tyrantical God that kept deyailed records of our evry thought and action and was swift to condemn us to hell'. If you were raised protestant, from my obsevations, you just inflicted your own penance on yourself in the form of shame and self loathing til you figured your debt was paid. Most of us were taught about a thing called "dispensationalism" a long words that basically say that God doesn't do miracles through His children anymore so don't get your hopes up. They teach us we owe God 10% of our wages and yet fail to encourage us to tithe of our personal lives in times, goods and/or services. Then there is the other side that declares "name it and claim it", no context required. Manyu of us have heard the teachings on the prayer of Jabez but apparently got hung up on why we desired to be blessed, so we could be a blessing to others. Most Sunday messages revolve around the writings, several hundreds of years after their deaths from the New Testament books starting with Acts, all written by mere mortals and translated, modified and amplified countless times and usually out of the broader context of the writing. If they are looking to feel extra holy or false piety they will reach back into the writings from the Old covenant (or Testament if you wish) to find verses with which to judge others they deem unworthy of God's Love or Forgiveness. Somehow they conveniently forget the minor fact that the covenant was fulfilled, from God's side, on Calvary and is thus powerless to save or condemn anymore.They carry tracts or placards that spew hatred and bigotry and have the audacity to attach God's name and "supposed" seal of divine approval. It shouldn't take a blue ribbon panel of experts to figure out why their church membership rolls are dwindling and their self proclaimed robes of righteouness have been transformed into filthy rags in the eyes of the world around them.This isn't meant to be a rush to judgement, that would make me just as hypocritical as them, but it is a call to approach the Throne of God humbly and seek His Desires and His heart in these restless times.
Daddy is calling His sons and daughters home and the 4 Gospels are a living example of how it is to be done. Show the Love, Compassion, Mercy and Forgiveness that Jesus taught by example throughout His short life on earth.It worked then and will work now because it is an extension of the Father's heart to His children. In Matthew's account of the "Sermon on the Mount" Jesus gives a fairly detailed list of what actions actually glorify God and also bring blessings upon the person living in such a manner. They have been dubbed the "Be attitudes" for a reason and Jesus' life was a living breathing example of how we need to aspire to be. In a world full of strife, greed and cynicism someone living would shine like the morning sun to all they come in contact with. Jesus said " Iam the Way, the Truth and the Life and those who come to the Father must come through Me", there is mno judgement or condemnation in those words only Hope and Life. If we are goig to be true followers then we must go back to the orignal living blueprint Jesus left us. Just like you need to use the same template each time to get correct copies there must be a realization that following a copy of the copy and etc. is never going to give you an accurate representation of the orignal, in this case Jesus our first born Brother and our living template. Much is bantered about concerning the Bible and which edition,interpetation or version is truly sacred and even which writings are Holy Scripture. Jesus said He was the Doorway,the Lifegiver the one true Pathway to the Father, He has fulfilled the Law requirements of the Old Covenant and instituted a new and better Covenant based on having faith in Him and by default living a life that is a true reflection of His life on Earth. He didn't say act like the pope, the pastor, prophet or evangelist for a reason...they are human and as such are flawed by their own life experiences and beliefs. To follow them is to follow the wide road to destrction filled with legalism, judgementalism and plain misinterpetation and undrestanding of written Scripture. This may sound like heresy but the Bible is a lot like my journal, a record of life events from the author's perspective. The reader will probably read it through the filters of his or her life experiences and may miss the intent of the author completely. What makes the Bible infallible is the Holy Spirit brings Life and the Heart of God comes alive as He speaks DIRECTLY to the reader who listens for the small whisper of God. No human can be a substitute for a living and growing relationship with God. We were called to be, like Jesus, vessels of the Father's Love, Mercy, Forgiveness and a Hope for the future. We are living Mercy Seats pouring out the Heart of our Father to a dying world. Jesus said we would do the things He did and much more. I believe in the Gifts of the Holy Spirit and the call fr us to use them like Jesus did but if we are to be true followers of Jesus Christ we need to realize that they were a small part of His total life. We desperately need to , under the guidance of the Holy Spirt, find a natural balance in our daily walk that doesn't flaunt our giftings and yet able to flow humbly in our gifting as the Holy Spirit directs. I have no denomination affiliation by personal choice and at the same time I walk under a spiritual covering of my pastor with full accountabilty and transparency even as the disciples did with Jesus. That is balanced with theunderstanding that my most important relationship is my Father- daughter relationship and everything must pass through the scrutiny of the Ligt of God. Scripture records "Christ in me, the hope of Glory" we will never fulfil our destnies in Christ Jesus apart from this precept. I am nothing and yet He within me, my heart, my spirit and my outward actions will bring Glory to Him and in that place I am fulfilled. Be Blessed and set your eyes squarely upon the prize that is Jesus and let nothing distract you or deter you. He that is within you is bigger than he who is in the world. This seems like a good place to rest my pe.
Charlena Marie Andrews-Hayes