|Is God Christian?|
The Most Rev Desmond Tutu , former Archbishop of Cape Town, have said in a new book “God is not Christian and provocations” asking the age old question whether a good man faithful to his/her own faith tradition can be worship the same God as Christians do. The example of the Buddhist sage Dalai Lama, a good person by all accounts was used as a person definitely more “Christian” than many believers. The uniqueness of true Christianity is that our righteousness is in Christ, ie it does not depend whether we are more holy than the Dalai Lama, Gandhi, or even Tutu himself. We can’t be a Christian on account of how holy we are.
The question posed by the Most Rev is a deep intellectual question, for which Christianity most obviously contradicts the Archbishops assertions. The question remains ambiguous without defining “God”, and “Christian”.
Are “Christians” simply a belonging to a faith community/church with vague links to the ministry started by Jesus Christ, or it is a disciple of Christ being a servant entering into a relationship with God in Christ through faith in the work of the Cross.
Do we believe in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior? Rather than the institutional church with its hierarchy of priests, saints, Pope and Mary before we see Jesus? or is church about a few anointed mega church pastors whose word is law. Can faith be simply generalized to only one aspect of God’s character of Amazing grace and love. Perhaps Christ is the stumbling stone that the builders of religion and intellect have rejected, but found worthy to be lifted up in resurrection.
For some Jews even the full name of God is not mentioned, less they violate the reverence of God. Yet, when Jesus, God incarnate appeared, they executed Him. Is the church Christian? A pure faith in Christ in the early church have long been being politicized and nationalized through Constantine abounds in pagan traditions.
Is the church christian? for we have long departed from the simplicity of faith in Jesus Christ being enticed by the world culture which is not homosexuality but the powerful seduction by the power of darkness using wealth and power as baits.
Which God are we talking about.
The bible reflects a spiritual reality and realm where people belonged to the gods that they worshiped. They were by very existence different, yet real and not a figment of human imagination.
The people of Israel chose to worship God almighty, a choice amongst the many deities. The God of Israel was One God, unique, set apart in character and deeds of love and mercy to the people of Israel so different than the surrounding nations and their own gods.
We seldom acknowledge that people of faith in Canaan even the law abiding Jews would fall into error by worshiping other gods who are the spirits residing behind the idols even to the extent of joining themselves as one with the gods through anal sex with the temple priests. We label such faith worship as the sin of homosexuality because we fear the image of people of faith so easily changing allegiance and enter into graphic sexual acts. The sin here is not homosexuality but sleeping with other gods.
There is a covenant between God and Israel, just as there is one by grace between us and Christ who was with God and is God from the very beginning, yet becoming to us a friend in an enduring relationship. “I know whom I have believed” lyrics of a well known hymn because of the experiece and journey in our walk with Jesus Christ.
There is a wideness in God’s grace and mercy, in sending His Son Jesus Christ. We are accepted in Christ which has broken down all the frivolous walls society has set us apart such as gender, wealth, sexual orientation, etc. For in Christ, we are all exalted to become a child of God, our former status that defines us in society no more the defining factor in our lives. The wideness of this mercy is not that the best of us would be saved just because we are of holy stature, but that the most evil and corrupt person is forgiven when the person believed that Christ paid for his/her sins. The Amazing grace of God that touches John Newton to change and release his slaves or for Paul a murderer of Christians to be given the grace to lead the Gospel message into the nations shows a great God.
NKJV) For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor
principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come,
We are convinced that as Christians that nothing can separate us from God even our passing from life to death because of the bond of love we have from God through Jesus Christ, a love that cost the life of the Son of God to be exchanged for our life. It is a bond of love than gives us space and room to be true to ourselves and walk with wholeness and authenticity in a relationship with Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit of God.
God is "Christian" when it is based on the ministry that Christ started on earth. As Christians we proclaim that Jesus is God because our faith should be founded on Jesus' death and resurrection, a worthy sacrifice as Jesus is God. In order to join ourselves to God, we are baptised into Christ through identifying with His death when submerged through the waters of baptism, and identifying with His resurrection by rising from the waters of baptism. Christ is our Noah's ark through the storms of life for which there is no other vessel.
(Eph 6:12 NKJV) For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.
The unseen the hierachy of principalities in the Spiritual realm governs much of what is happening even though unseen. For some evil is inherent in mankind because if there was a spiritual realm of good and evil principalities, then it follows that mankind worships not the same God but the various deities they have aligned themselves to.
The powers of darkness and spiritual hosts seek worship from men, hence we have various faiths and idol worship in the bible. As Christians, we belong to Jesus Christ, the Son of the God of Israel, Elohim, God almighty, the creator of the universe.
The key to accepting people as equals and giving people space and dignity, their humanity and basic rights eg for the GLBT population, is to be keenly aware that the bible is less to do about sex rather how it as been misused to join ourselves with other gods,
We can accept others as equals when we are humbled by God's grace and mercy on account of us falling far short however holy we may be as compared to other faiths, of God's righteousness. If it is all of Christ, what can we boast? Nothing but the blood of Jesus. We do not boast that we are Christians or of God, but we boast of Jesus Christ, God's grace, mercy, love, and salvation made flesh for all to see.
It is important that we get real, and not to generalise the spiritual realm to be about "love" and one God, but to face the reality of a spiritual plane with the many opposing spiritual forces more real than the physical world we lived in. But we need not fear, for Jesus Christ is our protector, deliverer and mighty warior. We are safe and at rest in God's love, grace and mercy - the ultimate reality.