What does it mean to be a Christian? Many people accept the title, but their actions in no way correspond to the way Jesus lived and taught. He demonstrated God’s love for humanity in everything he said and did. And, the standard he set was for us to love one another just as God loves us. As the old hymn says, “they will know we are Christians by our love.
Some people go to Church on Sunday and then act horribly toward others afterwards; this is a clear sign that they have failed to live as Jesus taught and modeled in his treatment of others. Going to church only helps if you listen to what Jesus taught and did, believe as he did and follow in his ways.
Many find so much hypocrisy among Churchgoers that they avoid churches so that they fail to learn what Jesus called into being and stood for. There are other ways to learn about the Christian faith: TV programs to watch, books to read or listen to, community groups to attend and dramatic movies of Jesus’ life and other Christians. The Message, by Eugene Peterson is a contemporary version of the New Testament that makes learning about Jesus a lot easier than the versions filled with “thee and thou” that you may have heard as children. I use it in my retreats because the contemporary language arouses our interest and understanding. Start reading the Gospel of Mark as it is the earliest one written. You’ll notice differences and similarities when you go on to read the Gospels of Luke and Matthew. Remember these Gospel writers are interpreters of Jesus; even when they quote him, they often assert their own opinions and values rather than his. The Jesus Seminar, a group of Progressive Christians has actually attempted to discern which quotes are trustworthy and characteristic of Jesus and which ones are not. Their work is found in the text, The Five Gospels.
Feeding your spirit requires input. You know your own learning preferences. I need to hear because I have reading a disaibility, so I can maximize my learning from lectures, visuals and auditory books. Creating time in your day or week to focus on your faith development is very useful to increasing your understanding and your faith. Building your Christian faith is knowing the Source of faith.
Bonnie Ring’s Women Who Knew Jesus takes you to a different perspective of how women served their purpose through the ministry of Jesus.