Tag Archives: Christian

The Job of the Christian Abolitionist is not Complete

What is a Christian Abolitionist?

The Christian Abolitionist is a Christian who actively pursues the end of slavery (human trafficking).

Where have the Christian Abolitionist gone?

During the anti-slavery movement, pre American civil war, the Christians were heavily involved in the abolition of slavery. In fact it was largely led by Christians.  They won that battle, slavery was made illegal in the USA.   The problem is that the war was not over, but we became content with our progress.

Today we see human slavery at an all time high.  Presently over 27,000,000 men, women and CHILDREN are slaves.  You can see them chained and working.  You can find them huddled together in factories in 3rd world countries. You will find them on street corners, all over the world, selling themselves. Not because they want to, but because they are forced to.  You will find them in the richest areas and the poorest.  You will find them in your neighborhood and in your city.  You find their bodies thrown out into large unmarked graves when they no longer hold . Slaves are often killed rather than set free.

Folks, less 3% of slaves are freed. That means over 97% (26,190,000) will die in slavery. Where have the Christian Abolitionist gone?

Although everyone should act against slavery,  I will not stand up and condemn people who do not claim the name of Christ. I will not stand up and call them out for not standing up for my morality.  They may have a different morals then I do.

If you are a Christian then we have the same morals. You and I have the same base for morality.  We are commanded to help those in need. We are commanded to protect the helpless.  There is no one more helpless than a child forced into slavery.   There is  no weakness more pure than a child.  How are they (the children) to stop what is happening to them?  They can not. YOU and I can.

stop_human_trafficking.cropped

My heart breaks when I think of the vastness of human trafficking.  When I (even for a moment) ponder the reality of what is taking place my heart aches.  Right now, someone is forcing five year old children to work fields and twelve year old children to have sex. Right now men and women are being sold like chattel.

human-trafficking-victim

What gives another human the right to do that to someone else?  Are we not all progeny from the garden?  Who am I to not do everything in my power to stop this?  This is not something that only happens over seas or in third world countries.   It happens in my back yard.

slavery in the us

How will we as Christians stand before God one day and answer this very simple question: “Son/Daughter why did you not help your brother/sister who was trapped by evil?”

Remember Matthew 25:34-46  ………… ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’………………. ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ …….

Which one do you want to be?  On the right or on the left?  Do you think He does not mean what He says?  Do you believe that judgment does not start in the house of God?

Do you want to receive the judgement of God?    I do not.

We must stand.  We must be heard.  We must be felt.  Our voice can not be drowned out.  Our motion can not be stopped.  Christ is in this movement.  Christ stands with those who are helpless and in need.  He does this by using folks just like you and me.

There is much work that needs to be done. So I will ask one more time “Where is the Christian Abolitionist?”

I pray they are not lost.  There were no slaves in the garden.  God did not create us to be slaves, but He created us as a family.  He created us free.  If God did not create slavery, then who are we to participate in it?

If you wish to publicly make a difference and become a Christian Abolitionist; please visit one of the links below. There are only a few (there are many) organizations that work to end this tragedy.  They work hard. There are simple things that can be done to help.

NHTRC

http://www.trafficking.org/organizations.aspx

A21

Please visit their sites and see what you can do.  If they are not available in your area that is okay.  There are others who are.  Together we can end human trafficking.  We can end slavery here and abroad.  This is doable. All we have to do is stand up.  There are 27,000,000 slaves today in this world.  The numbers of folks who control them are much smaller then that.  There are over 7,000,000,000 people in this world. If we got together the small numbers that support this would end and every child that God created would be free.

We must end this atrocity.  We must fight for the helpless.  We must be the voice of the voiceless. We must end slavery.  We must end human trafficking.

 

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The Three Most Holy Days for Christians (part 2 of 3)

This post is going to go over Good Friday.   The first question is what is Good Friday?   This is an easy one.  Good Friday is the day Jesus was crucified read Matthew 27: 33-56 for the story.  The hard question is “Why is it called good?”

The answer is simple yet incredibly hard to accept.   Forgiveness.  That is the simple answer what makes it hard is that Jesus had to die so we could get forgiveness.  So the reason a sinless man was on the cross was exactly because He was sinless.  Our sin needed to be forgiven (so we put Him there) and this was the only way to do that.

In the Old Testament of the Bible God instituted a sacrificial system.  Ancient Israel would sacrifice lambs, bulls, birds and so forth as per the instructions from God.  The reason was simple any sin brought guilt on someone and the penalty of death.  God clearly stated that the penalty for sin is death, due to this God instituted the sacrificial system using the blood of animals instead of our own.  (this is called blood guilt)  The problem with the sacrificial system is the blood of animals did not take away the sins only covered them up.  This allowed God to not destroy humanity because of sin.  This did not solve the problem with sin it only put a band aide on it.  The true problem solver was Jesus.  When Jesus was born this was His purpose and only purpose.  There was  no other reason to come He was to provide a way for true forgiveness of sins and not just a covering of our sins.  This means that when Jesus the Christ forgives us our sins then they are gone.  As far as the east is from the west.  They are remembered no more and God the Father only sees the payment that Jesus made and then looks to us and says welcome good and faithful servant.  (even though some of us are not so faithful He sees us this way anyways)

The reason this day is Holy is simple this is the day Jesus voluntarily gave up His life.  He could have said no.  He could have called down angels and wiped out all the Roman and Jewish cohorts who had Him there.  He could have just walked off the cross and became God in front of everyone and everyone would have believed.  This is not what He wanted.  He wants us to make a choice.  He wants us to have faith. He wants us to live knowing there will be proof other than a personal relationship.  So each person has to find that proof themselves.  Science will never prove nor disprove God.  Philosophy will never prove nor disprove God.  Only in a personal relationship can we find proof that we will ever accept.

I want to address what would have happened if Jesus actually did not go through with it.  Remember in the garden He asked the Father to allow this to pass and lets try something different.  The Father said no.  Now Jesus being God could have done what He wanted to He could have said yes and not have gone through this.  What would have happened.  Honestly, this would have been absolute proof that He was not who He said He was.   In other words God will never be untrue to who He is and thusly even if everything else was just right and in the end He did  not follow through He would not have been who He said.  Thank fully He did go through this.  If He had not we would not have forgiveness.  We would not have someone else pay our debt a debt mind you that we are not able to pay.

Lets tie this together now.  Jesus had to die in fact if you read the Bible you will find that He knew this even before creation was made.  He decided to make creation anyways.  He had love for us even before we were created.  That love was their even knowing what we would do, say, think and so on.  He knew how often we would fail.  He knew how often we would really hurt those around us.  How often we would do things to ourselves that are just wrong.  He knew all this and decided to do it anyways because of love.

This is simply and explanation.  There are hundreds of Bible passages that relate to this and when I get to this section under my Systematic Theology section I will explore this in its entirety.  Thanks for your understanding as to why that is not done here.

Thankfully though the story does not stop there.  Be ready for part 3 next.

The Three most Holy Days for Christians (part 1 of 3)

There are three days that stand out above the rest on the Christian Calendar.  The first would be Christmas (the Birth of Jesus) the second would be Good Friday (the Death of Jesus) and the third would be Easter Sunday (the Resurrection of Jesus).  I want to take a look at each of these and see how they are pivotal in the Christian world and how each one should be portrayed and why.  I will not make a determination as to which is more important I am of the opinion that they are equally important and are at the top of all history with nothing even near it in importance.

Lets start with Christmas.  This is the time we celebrate Jesus’s birth.  We all realize that He was not born on Christmas day but this is a day that we use today to remember His birth and why He was born.

Matthew 1:18-25 

18 Now the birth of Jesus [r]Christ was as follows: when His mother Mary had been [s]betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit. 19 And Joseph her husband, being a righteous man and not wanting to disgrace her, planned [t]to send her away secretly. 20 But when he had considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for[u]the Child who has been [v]conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. 21 She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for [w]He will save His people from their sins.” 22 Now all this [x]took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet: 23 Behold, the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name [y]Immanuel,” which translated means, “God with us.” 24 And Joseph [z]awoke from his sleep and did as the angel of the Lord commanded him, and took Mary as his wife, 25 [aa]but kept her a virgin until she gave birth to a Son; and he called His name Jesus.

This passage give us the essence of what took place.  There are many more passages like this in other books.  The base concept we need to understand as Christians is that Jesus came from Heaven and took residence here on earth.  He did this of His own free will.

Philippians 2:5-11

Have this attitude [e]in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be [f]grasped, but [g]emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death [h]on a cross. For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ isLord, to the glory of God the Father.

This passage clearly states that by Jesus leaving heaven He willingly took a lower station in life for the express purpose of following the will of God the Father.  Jesus was born into humble circumstances and lived in the same manner the whole time He honored His heavenly Father even to the point of death.

Why is this important?  Why make such a big deal of His birth?  Why not just honor His ever near presence?  All good questions and worth asking.  The point of Christians celebrating Jesus is to recognize His coming.  There are many amongst us now and through out history who have stated that Jesus never existed and that He was made up for the express purpose of supporting Christianity.  There are a number of ancient documents outside of Christianity that support His being born.  Most folks believe He lived even if they do not believe He is God.

The birth of Christ is a big deal for a number of reasons the foremost being that God became man and dwelt amongst us.  God dwelling among us is fantastic in fact so much so many question the viability of this statement.  This is where Faith steps in.  God expect us to have faith and without faith we are not able to please Him.  He wants folks who will make the choice to believe He does not want robots who are forced to serve Him.

I believe we are indeed supposed to honor His ever near presence.  I think we should at all times do this.  When looking at Christmas from this perspective it is important to think of the celebration of His birth as a singularity in time.  A time where God intersects with man in such a way that the entire world changed.  Think of our calendar system for just one example.  Our calendar system is based off of the birth of Jesus.  This singular moment when God became man and came to earth where God lived with us (as in the garden yet different) where God was our friend, confidant, teacher, servant, savior and more.  This is the one key pivotal moment in all of history where the One who started it all who spoke one word and history began is with us.  That is you and me He is with you and me.  It is this reason we celebrate Christmas.  I realize that the date we celebrate is not His actual birthdate but since no one knows His actual birth date it works for me.

The next article in this series will be on Good Friday.

 

Grace (The WOW Factor)

The Pilgrimage of Grace 1536

The Pilgrimage of Grace 1536 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We all know the question which came first the chicken or the egg well when speaking of Grace and Faith we must ask which came first?  The truth is I am not so sure you can have one without the other.   The fact is we are saved by Grace but with out Faith there can be no Grace.  This provides for great discussion please lets focus on what is Grace (provide Scripture) and how it relates to Faith.

This concept of Grace is so powerful that as I think on it I go into a deep contemplative state.  I can not help to be amazed by the Grace that God has shown me so please meditate on the concept and the state of Grace.  Then write about it thanks.

Faith…. What is Faith?

Trial of Abraham's Faith (engraving by Gustave...

Trial of Abraham’s Faith (engraving by Gustave Doré from the 1865 La Sainte Bible) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I want our first discussion to be about Faith.  I find Faith to be a key agent in the beginning of ones walk with Christ.  Remember we are saved by grace through faith.   So here are the questions to be asked and discussed:

Define Faith. (obviously use Hebrews 11:1)  I really want people to expand on their definition.  Try to define it with out using words that are Christianeze.  From the perspective of someone who knows nothing about Christianity and is wanting to learn.

Why is Faith a key base concept in Christianity?

In what way does Faith affect our daily choices?

Please as you talk use Scripture from both the New and Old Testaments and expand on your ideas so that those of us reading them will understand and feel free to get deep into the concept.  The more material there is to work with the better the finished product will be.

Series: Basic Christian Beliefs: Intro

English: A cross close to the church in Grense...

English: A cross close to the church in Grense Jakobselv, Norway. Suomi: Risti kirkon lähellä Vuoremijoella, Norjassa. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am starting a small series.  I would like to have great discussion with the hope that if this goes well then the concepts vetted here can be published in a book format with the intended audience to be non-Christians who are interested in understanding Christianity in its simplest form.

I want to create a small easy to read book for someone who wants to learn about Christianity with out the Christian lingo in it but it expressly states the basic beliefs of all Christians. Lets work towards this goal.

I am thinking of these few topics (I want to keep the list short) faith, forgiveness, love, hope, grace, mercy.  This is all.  Please if you disagree with me say so in the discussion area below.  I want to fine tune this prior to moving on.  You will notice that I am not talking about Christ or about if God exist.  Those topics are worthy of great discussion but that is for a different series.  I am making certain assumptions and here they are:

  1. God exist
  2. Jesus is God
  3. Bible is with out error

If you do not believe this then I am sorry this particular series is for those who do and though I eventually will have those discussions this particular series is not the place.  Thanks all and God Bless.