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Jimm
Member



Joined: 2004/4/27
Posts: 498
Harare, ZIMBABWE

 A taboo to be a Christian????

Greetings and salutations!

I left my own country (Zimbabwe- Africa) 2 years ago to attend college and see the world a bit before I return. I have been I Christian really all my life but being away from home forced me (not by my own accord, but through the circumstance which are under God’s sovereignty) to become more spiritually aware of my faith. I am only 19 but I realize that my entire high school Christianity (6 years in Africa) was a waste… I did not minister to anyone but perhaps my two closest friends, even then my life was not much of a ministry and was contrary to my words, moreover I would minister of my own accord and I would not draw strength from God…this was indeed very futile! So now as I slowly grow in spirituality I have come to hear the voice of God more often, and sometimes ministry is begins with something as simple as a smile. I am very encouraged. One thing that has been discouraging however is the apparent taboo of talking about one’s religion, especially if that religion happens to be Christianity. It is sad that we have to be “tactful” when speaking of spiritual things when, it is so easy to speak blatant profanities in front of anyone. Surely these things ought not so to be. Is there a reason why Christian in particular are constrained so much more by social norms than any other groups or is this a sign of a lack of spiritual growth in our own lives? You say I am pessimistic. Surely in a country like the United States where more than half the nation (statistically ofcourse) profess to be Christians there should be more evidence of the light of Jesus. How can we remedy this situation?

Your son in Christ

James


_________________
James Gabriel Gondai Dziya

 2004/5/28 23:41Profile
crsschk
Member



Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 9192
Santa Clara, CA

 Re: A taboo to be a Christian????

Hi James

Bless you brother for this thought provoking question.

Quote:
One thing that has been discouraging however is the apparent taboo of talking about one’s religion, especially if that religion happens to be Christianity. It is sad that we have to be “tactful” when speaking of spiritual things when, it is so easy to speak blatant profanities in front of anyone. Surely these things ought not so to be. Is there a reason why Christian in particular are constrained so much more by social norms than any other groups or is this a sign of a lack of spiritual growth in our own lives? You say I am pessimistic. Surely in a country like the United States where more than half the nation (statistically of course) profess to be Christians there should be more evidence of the light of Jesus. How can we remedy this situation?



There is a related thread here:
[url=http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?topic_id=2066&forum=36&15]Evangelism[/url]

Yes, there is a sinister undermining of a word that is prevalent in this country;
Tolerance.

Found this interesting;
From ye old Websters Dictionary of 1828

[b][u]Tolerance[/b][/u]
[b]TOL'ERANCE[/b], n. [L. tolerantia, from tolero, to bear.] The power or capacity of enduring; or the act of enduring.

Diogenes one frosty morning came to the market place shaking, to show his tolerance.

[Little used. But intolerance is in common use.]
________________________________________________

Yes, that last part is from the definition!

But of course this is stemming from the unregenerate side of things, or should I say, [i]should be[/i] because the term has been redefined to mean something entirely different these days and has also crept into the church as well.

What that new definition is, well maybe somebody can come along and bail me out here, I am not sure just what it is supposed to mean anymore.
It seems to be a catch word for escaping or dealing with truth. Married to that is another cleverly used pair of words; Moral Relativism*, at least as how it is also being used to defy the responsibility of us human creatures to our Creator who is God.

*[i]Moral relativism is the view that ethical standards, morality, and positions of right or wrong are culturally based and therefore subject to a person's individual choice. We can all decide what is right for ourselves. You decide what's right for you, and I'll decide what's right for me. Moral relativism says, "It's true for me, if I believe it.[/i]"

http://www.moral-relativism.com/

Don't get the wrong idea here, I hardly have a true grasp on all of this, a lot these things are to 'heady' for me.

But none of this should have a bearing on us as Christians, yet if we are honest it does.
It is something I have been wrestling with somewhat of late and it really comes down to some basic, gut level issues.

Do I believe God? [i]Truly?[/i]
Do I fear 'man'? [i]Do I?[/i]

If the first is true and the second false then it should make absolutely no difference at all what I think or others think. That's not to say we are to be without compassion toward others nor is it to compromise was is true. If we truly love we will tell the truth even if it causes us injury to do so. Easy to say, harder to preform.

What's the solution?

Jesus.

True heart conversion.
True dying to [i]self[/i], self-interest, self-gratification, self-exaltation. It's been touched on before here in many ways, but I am slowly beginning to see that it is a glorious thing because though it seems you are losing so much of 'you', you really are gaining;

Luk 9:24-26 [i]"For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it. For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away?
For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father's, and of the holy angels."[/i]

I believe this applies also to the here and now.
To borrow again a loose paraphrase from Zac Poonen, "If you're 'dead', what can harm you?, What can a dead corpse do? You can kick it, hurl insults at it, spit on it and it just lies there."
'You' are unaffected, 'you' are not easily offended...because it's not about 'you', it's about [b]Him[/b]. It is so freeing in so many ways, I can only hope to die more today and that the Lord would truly become Lord over every aspect of my life.

2Co 4:10,11 [i]"Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.
For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus' sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh."[/i]

A book that I have been reading and cannot recommend highly enough is:
[url=http://www.benisrael.org/OnlineBooks/spirit_of_truth/contents_SoT.htm]The Spirit of Truth[/url] by Arthur Katz & Paul Volk.
The link will take you to an online version.
Here is a snippet:

[i]" There are many of us who have been crippled for as long or longer, sitting in our "correct" understanding, but unable to walk in truth. In order to be able to walk in the Spirit of Truth, one must be made whole. Do we want to be made whole? When God comes and asks that question, He is asking about something far more than our health or our bank account; He is asking about our whole life. Do we want truth to drop like a plumb line into every area of our lives, revealing as well as righting every inconsistency? Do we want every false and deceptive thing removed so that we might speak truly, deal truly, and live truly? We all want to walk, but do we want to walk in the way and in the life? Jesus said, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by Me." (Jn 14:6 NAS). To be made whole, to be able to walk in this way, we need to cry out, not, "God, give me more truth," but, [b]"God, make me true!* [/b] Teach my heart to fear your name!"[/i]

(*My emphasis)

Sorry for the length

Edit: Also, if you are able you might check out the featured video:
[url=http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/mydownloads/visit.php?lid=4165]The Love of the Truth (video) [/url]


_________________
Mike Balog

 2004/5/29 13:41Profile
eagleswings
Member



Joined: 2003/12/30
Posts: 297
Connecticut, USA

 Re: A taboo to be a Christian?

This is good, Mike

Among much else, you refer to Art Katz’ The Spirit of Truth.. Have you seen the “gold teeth” thread? There,

Lars asks “What plumb line must be used over items and issues of this kind?"
Greg writes “my conscience bears me witness”
And the Apostle declares that it’s “the anointing we have received”


Also – Have you ever heard the term “Christo-Fascism’? Christo-Fascism is the term our society is beginning to use to describe the “intolerant” Christian who thinks he/she has “the Truth”, the final word.

It’s my hunch that this charge of “Christo-Fascism”, leveled against the Christian who ABIDES IN THE ANNOINTING, will become a rallying cry in any significant persecution to come.


Jimm,
To relate this back to your post where you ask “Is there a reason why Christian in particular are constrained so much more by social norms than any other groups or is this a sign of a lack of spiritual growth in our own lives?”

Sure. Who wants to have the tongue cut out or be burned at the stake? :-)

Roger







_________________
Roger P.

 2004/5/29 14:30Profile
InTheLight
Member



Joined: 2003/7/31
Posts: 2735
Phoenix, Arizona USA

 Re:

Quote:
What that new definition is, well maybe somebody can come along and bail me out here, I am not sure just what it is supposed to mean anymore.



Our nation has embraced the new age definition of tolerance that says that all [b]views[/b] have merit therefore none should be considered better than another. On the surface this seems good but if you look at it closely it is nonsense.

I could say that Judiasm is wrong for denying that Jesus is Messiah but then someone might say I would be violating the definition of tolerance given above, I am called "intolerant". The problem is that my statement about Judiasm is a view isn't it? So it should have merit and not be considered wrong. But the truth is that either Jesus is the Messiah or He isn't, one of the two positions is truth and one is a lie.

This renders the definition of tolerance given above as being nonsense, it must be rejected and we need to return to the real definition of tolerance which is, all [b]people[/b] have merit and none should considered better than another. All people are created in the image of God and therefore deserve our love and respect but not all views are the truth or have merit.

In Christ,

Ron


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Ron Halverson

 2004/5/29 14:49Profile
crsschk
Member



Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 9192
Santa Clara, CA

 Re:

Quote:
Among much else, you refer to Art Katz’ The Spirit of Truth.. Have you seen the “gold teeth” thread? There,



Yeah, after I took some Pepto-Bismal :-P (sorry, there wasn't one for what I wanted to express, maybe if you x-ed out the eyes...)

I know this doesn't go here, but I thought this whole gold teeth thing was long since dead...Heard about this years ago...will post this over there as well.
Quote:
Also – Have you ever heard the term “Christo-Fascism’? Christo-Fascism is the term our society is beginning to use to describe the “intolerant” Christian who thinks he/she has “the Truth”, the final word.



That's a new one to me, aren't they clever?
So I guess that would now make me a 'Conservative, Right-Wing, Moral Majority, Anti-Intellectual, Bible Thumping, Backward's, Living in the Dark Age Neanderthal, Christo-Fascist'?

:-)


_________________
Mike Balog

 2004/5/29 15:05Profile
crsschk
Member



Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 9192
Santa Clara, CA

 Re:

Thanks Ron, for bringing in the bucket :-)


_________________
Mike Balog

 2004/5/29 15:15Profile





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