When we look at the Bible our thinking is affected by the cultural expectation of our time. There have been a lot of years of human development between the time of Christ and today. For some people this means a whole new way of understanding the Christian faith. I wonder, however, if a simple faith, engaged with what was written at the time, isn’t a better way of understanding what it means to follow Jesus? John, one of the first followers of Jesus, follows in this train of thought in his letter:

So who is lying here? It’s the person who denies that Jesus is the Divine Christ, that’s who. This is what makes an antichrist: denying the Father, denying the Son. No one who denies the Son has any part with the Father, but affirming the Son is an embrace of the Father as well. Stay with what you heard from the beginning, the original message. Let it sink into your life. If what you heard from the beginning lives deeply in you, you will live deeply in both Son and Father. This is exactly what Christ promised: eternal life, real life!

Even before the councils of the church in the fourth century, that set out our orthodox Christian belief, John is certain what is right. Believing in God the Father and in God the Son is right, believing in God the Father but denying that Jesus is truly divine isn’t. In our modern age there has been much movement to say that there is one God over all but taking the view that, if Jesus is truly God too, this will put the theological cat among our modern, tolerant, religious pigeons. I don’t see why this should be the case! If, as a bible believing Christian, I say that Jesus is unique in his nature as both fully God and fully human I am sticking to the historical Christian faith. I am following what the Word of God says. If, as I am required to by my understanding of this faith, I am loving, kind, respectful, and gracious, toward other people who do not share my Christianity, how is this wrong? I want others to share in my faith but I am not about to treat those who cannot, or will not, accept this faith as any less than people created in the image of, and loved sacrificially by God. So here is the rub, I may disagree with the view put across by others of Jesus, who is the central figure of my faith, but I will not deny the right of others, in a post-Christendom world, to think and act freely as I myself wish to do.

Lord help me in following my faith through the guiding hand of your Word today. Let me have the fullest of pictures so that I can see you as you are and behave toward others as you would have me do. Let my faith live in me and be attractive in the sight of others. Amen.

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