- Religion and Philosophy
The Christians and Everybody Else
Who Are the Infidels?
The conviction Christians are losing in defense of their faith is in their inability to convey their high regard for God's Laws and the importance in preserving the individual's relationship to God.
Everybody knows Christians believe Jesus is God, but what we are failing to convey is how obedience to God's laws is of no effect for salvation - or God's glory - if they do not come from the individual's own conscience (heart, mind and soul) through what God alone does in His refinement. Hence, we are viewed as transgressors to those of other faiths that do not believe Jesus is God.
But can we meet our respective ideologies with respect to God's Laws alone to convey further why our beliefs alone allow those who choose not to believe individual rights and peace among men? Can we convey how we see the Laws of God for the individual? Is what we are, the truth we hold most dear in our lives, the means of salvation, communicable to others, intellectually, by first disposing the truth that God is for the individual and His laws valid only through one's conscience and personal relationship with Him that is invisible to others? Have we put the cart before the horse?
It is in the Christian's inability to convey such matters that "the other" is trampling upon us a man-made moral authority or interpretation of the Laws of God that bear no resemblance to the Christian relationship with God, or any true spiritual relationship with God. Whether "the other" is the progressive theology or the extreme religion that demands conformity to worship in a style that mimics other men, and reinforced through threats of death or bodily harm, the enslavement it produces is killing people who do not believe the same superficiality. Putting God's name on a man-made forced control by demanding conformity then, and then claiming Christians are transgressors of the Law (as religious zealots often do) because Christianity leaves God, and God alone, to judge, we find ourselves astounded at how their contempt in how Christians live God's Laws affects our whole way of life. Little wonder the ease with which our constitutional rights and our freedoms - that are derived from respect for the individual - are now being forfeited in our country, all in the name of a God we never knew, and a "progressive" theology and "tolerance"!
However they choose to spin it though, the opposite is in fact true. For Christians alone one thing is true: Christianity's God demands more than conformity to religious laws that satisfy the eyes of other men. For Christians, God is the sole arbitrator between the individual and Himself, and He must have the individual's heart and mind in His plan because our Bible teaches us that the heart and mind within us is seen, heard and known by God - NOT MEN - like many believe. And that He gave us His Laws to acquaint us with our inward selves and failings, and made us as vessels for spiritual dispensation to prepare us so that upon our deaths all that we are - within - will be by His refinement of us and taken with us in the life to come to His glory - not men's.
In fact, the realness of God's love for the individual is what proves Christians are not "infidels" as Islamist extremists like to say. Neither are Christians to concern themselves with the inward lives of others except to the extent their "sins" result in the breaking of society's laws ("Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's and to God the things that are God's" [Mark 12:17]), or bring ruin and harm to others. God's existence for believers in our way of life - that is reflected back in the economy we once knew - then grants simultaneously for unbelievers a freedom to reject that truth while at the same time preserving freedom for all other beliefs. (In other words, our faith teaches us how no one can be forced by men to believe in God when God only hears those that believe in Him - and turn to Him - with their heart.)
So it is not Christianity (or Christians), therefore, that is intolerant; it is our faith that God, and God alone, does all things - and our unwavering conviction that HE ALONE will deliver judgment, not men.
We Americans (and for most worldwide, whether believers or not) do not condone by our laws the beheading of people, and the killing and rape of women or children, to appease our guilt and desire for power - which is what "terrorism" is all about. And it is "power," conditioned by the interpretation these terrorists have of their religious laws and by generations of dictatorship that we see plainly the fruits "collectivism" rather than "individualism" and what it has in store when allowed to run amok. And while there have been men from all walks of life in society and history that have acted abominably, are we not now seeing greater abominations being committed against those that will not conform to the new order? Are we not witness to a rise in the chaotic that "collectivism," whether political or religious, delivers by way of men and their politics?
Christianity itself does NOT, as secularists like to claim, seek POWER over others. For if we actually were POWER mongers - or if we sought to convert others by force - we would not have allowed by use of the same force that rug to be pulled from beneath our feet by that "other" against us these past 20 years. Rather, we remain mystified concerning the logic of those that desire such things.
No, it was and is our belief - through God's given Word - that we retain that reverence for the individual. And what a strange paradox it is that the "individual" alone, through an economy that grants him the power to create himself, still has the power to unite our country again - and make economies better to unite a world. Let me explain.
What Christians believe regarding God's Laws can best be summed up in the story in The New Testament about an adulterous woman a crowd threatens to kill by "stoning" [John 8:7]. Jesus replies, "Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her." [John 8:9] They listened to Him, and then they began going out, conscience-stricken, one by one, from the oldest down to the last one of them, till Jesus was left alone, with the woman standing there before Him in the center of the court." [John 8:10] He said to her, "Woman, where are your accusers? Has no man condemned you? [9:11] She answered, "No one, Lord!" And Jesus said, "I do not condemn you either. Go on your way and from now on sin no more."
When one hears a Christian explain what Jesus' response here means, in depth, it reveals everything about the convictions we hold as Christians.
This is so because Jesus's response not only sheds light on the "sins" of those wanting to "stone" the woman to death, or the sin of adultery itself; it says, in a most profound way, that God - our spiritual father - regards the sins of the mind and heart just as seriously as any transgression of the law that He alone is judge. In other words, since God is "spirit" by nature, and we are made in His image and thereby "spiritual creatures" first to His eye, the reprehensible quality of sin that adultery signifies (that carnal longing that the woman in the story fell victim to) is exactly the same carnal longing being demonstrated by the hearts and minds of the stone-throwers.
Paul explains this quandary of thought about the "spiritual" laws of God quite simply when he wrote in Romans, Chapter 2, Verse 1: Therefore you have no excuse or defense or justification, O man, whoever you are who judges and condemns another. For in posing as judge and passing sentence on another, you condemn yourself, because you who judge are habitually practicing the very same things [that you censure and denounce]. Verse 2. [But] we know that the judgment (adverse verdict, sentence) of God falls justly and in accordance with truth upon those who practice such things. Verse 3. And do you think or imagine, O man, when you judge and condemn those who practice such things and yet do them yourself, that you will escape God's judgment and elude His sentence and adverse verdict? Verse 4. Or are you [so blind as to] trifle with and presume, upon and despise and underestimate the wealth of His kindness and forbearance and long-suffering patience? Are you unmindful or actually ignorant [of the fact] that God's kindness is intended to lead you to repent (to change your mind and inner man to accept God's will)?...
And then Verses 14 & 15. When Gentiles who have not the [divine] Law do instinctively what the Law requires, they are a law to themselves, since they do not have the Law. They show that the essential requirements of the Law are written in their hearts and are operating there, with which their consciences (sense of right and wrong) also bear witness; and their [moral] decisions (their arguments of reason, their condemning or approving thoughts) will accuse or perhaps defend and excuse [them]. On that day when, as my Gospel proclaims, God by Jesus Christ will judge men in regard to the things which they conceal (bold emphasis added) (their hidden thoughts. [Eccl. 12:14])
It means then that those throwing the stones are in fact like "adulterers" also, because in their actions and thereby their hearts they evidence their own secret "longing" to commit adultery in that their desire to stone the woman is an attempt to appease guilt, increase their own self-justification, self-righteousness and gratification, and then feel the power it confers. It also evidences the equivalent of "infidel" (unbelief) because the stoning of another is an admittance that those throwing the stones do NOT believe God is capable of exacting His own justice - which those who truly believe, those who are NOT infidels, KNOW that God alone exacts His own form of justice and does so most brilliantly. Thus, the only difference between the woman and the stone throwers is in her commission of an act that the others dared not do (but thought about doing).
That the stone-throwers in this story departed after Jesus spoke, and left the woman alone, it yet takes little to imagine how adultery impacts any life who engages in it, even when it is concealed from others' eyes. For example, as in most cases of adultery, it is not as though a spouse would not come to know about it eventually. Naturally, any woman in similar circumstances might lose her husband. The loss of a husband in those days no doubt might have resulted in separation or divorce; and at that time in history a woman no doubt might have been propelled onto the street to feel the ravages of a life in poverty, friendlessness, vagrancy, destitution, etc. (which, for the greater call of repentance and reconciliation, and for society as a whole, was the reason why Jesus cautioned against divorce "What therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder (separate))" [Matt. 19:6].
Though it is not written what happened to this woman in the end, it stands as evidence by itself that - as with all the parables of The New Testament - the "individual" matters to God. In fact, the parables most profound truths come from the root of God's love of the individual - even if some believers - yes, even some of the Christian faith also - cannot wrap their heads around it.
For the Christian then, an "infidel" is a person who follows only the law alone without regard to the mind and heart that moves him to that obedience, as an individual barren before God. For how can one say they believe in God - that HE is REAL - if they do not trust in His vengeance alone? Is it not HE alone who allowed us to fall in the beginning? Did not HE alone say "Vengenance is mine"?
Who are our stone-throwers today? The terrorists, of course - and the secularists too who twist the attributes of "terrorism" and say it is "Christians" who are terrorists. They are the ones who - contrary to their conviction that God does not exist, are beholden to that similar force used to destroy the individual - and destroying institutions that uphold the individual - that is also chipping away at our freedoms simply to control others.
Even so, how hoodwinked is God by a man or woman who obeys religious law that men alone wield by threat of death? Would not a person under threat of death say anything to appease the terrorist? If so, is the one threatened with death to worship only men with power, or God? Doesn't it say a lot about lack of love of God if terrorists have reduced God to the equivalent of their own carnal glory that is the power over others? And for whom does this show of "power" benefit in the end but the perverted lust for power that is in the heart of men. Should not this longing be subjected to discernment as well by standards only a true democracy is capable?
Therefore, it is not the message of God's Laws from Christians that is delivered through force by men wielding power over other men. And if Christians are to take back their freedom and restore their country they must first be equipped with His Spirit in the Law and make clear what has been perverted by men who do not understand the individual and God's Laws, or Christianity, yet speak of us as though they do.
© 2015 Cynthia Taggart