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- Christianity, the Bible & Jesus
Who is a true Christian?
In these modern times of liberalism and secularism, Catholicism has been faced with various movements trying to sway away from the traditional teachings of the Church. I myself am raised and educated as Catholic. My whole family is Catholic until one of my sisters joined an independent Christian ministry. One of my best friends have turned away from any religion and another is married to a man who owns his own Christian ministry.
This is not an unusual situation as the Church has always been faced with oppositions within and outside its institution. One of my concerns is that these modern Christian movements are founded by individuals who just pick up some of the text in the Bible, interpret and twist it to fit his own ministry theme. There was a recent news about a mother charged of neglecting her child who died when she refused to call medical aid and just trust in the "healing power" of Christian ministry she is a member of.
Second, is that these modern "Christians" tend to promote its ministry not by its own strength but by spreading lies and slanders against the Mother Church. They even go to the extent as to make mockeries of serious issues in the Church. They may gain laughter and praise for the mockeries but is this the way to spread faith in Christ by campaigning for disparity within Christianity?
Look at the other religious faiths. Islam has always been supported by its followers even to the extent that the radical groups are willing to die and kill for the sake of their beliefs. The Buddhists and other religious faiths all have devoted followers.
Jesus Christ did not give us a magic and fast formula for salvation. It is not enough to say "I'm born again and I accept Jesus" and then continue with the usual worldly ways for self-satisfaction. Jesus has said "If anyone wants to be My followers, take up your cross and follow me." Matthew 16:24-26 Jesus' words do not change with the whims of the modern world. Jesus' words remain the same through all the ages. He wants us to love Him and adore Him. We cannot just say, "I am too busy to go to church, or I do not need to go to Church since He's everywhere."
So why are we misbehaving as Christians? Is this how we want to project our Lord Jesus to humanity?
A real Christian lives in the spirit of Christ Jesus. Jesus Himself has told us to "Love one another as you love yourself". He taught us in His Beatitudes to be meek and humble of heart and not be one of those hypocrites who shout at the top of their voice as to how holy they are and at the same time make fun of the others. Our one duty is to spread the truth of Christ; not lies and mockeries.
Christian living does not mean hating others. Jesus' message is love - love for God the Almighty and love for others as we love ourselves. That means we have to love ourselves as Christ loves us. We as Christians should now focus on the important issues of today - which , so as Pope Francis pointed out, include the weakening of family and social ties; decreasing populations; the prevalence of a way of thinking which values profit more than work; insufficient attention given to younger generations and their formation, which jeopardizes a peaceful and secure future for society.
Let's come out of our selfish thinking, out of our own world and reach out to the world - spread Christ's spirit through our deeds of charity. I quote here the Pontifex twitter message: "Christ leads us to go out from ourselves more and more, to give ourselves and to serve others."
Christ has always been subjected to unbelievers and faced trials and hardships. The Church has also been enduring trials and hardships through all the years of preaching Christ's teahings. We join in the prayers with Pope Francis and all the church clergy for Unity in Christ and world peace.