Ashamed to be a Christian! 2017-32

                                                                                          Ashamed to be a Christian? 2017-32        

WHAT!?   How can anyone be ashamed to be a Christian?

I am not talking about those that abhor the Christian faith or how some people that claim to be Christian that do things, say things, and promote things that are NOT in keeping with the teachings of Jesus Christ. 

Those that do so, as Christians, are INDIVIDUALS doing the things they feel are right in their minds, good or bad. They use the word Christian as a rallying cry to perhaps “prove” their point in some way, perhaps based on Scripture, where the Bible is then used as a weapon to make a point.

What I would like to suggest is this. Using the story of Paul as an example, I feel that Paul was an ambassador or apostle of Jesus.  He would travel and proclaim that Jesus was the Messiah and he DID travel far and wide to do so. He did it without worrying about being ashamed to spread the word.

Paul, then, was also a preacher, who was bringing the good news of a man, who was God’s Son, that promised salvation due to His dying on the cross.  Paul was not ashamed to do so, even though he spent about 25% of his ministry time in jail, due to his words about Jesus.

He was by default a teacher evangelist by bringing individuals to the point of committing themselves to Christ. It was his duty to teach them how to live a life of a Christian, to discipline them, and have them grow in their faith.  He did so without being ashamed for his actions.

I therefore make a claim that we, I, you, should NOT be ashamed to state your faith in Jesus Christ as a Christian and most importantly, LIVE a life that the teacher Jesus taught us, living the life of and how a Christian would do. And NOT BE ashamed to do so. Do NOT be ashamed to be a witness for Christ in the process. If we suffer for Him, be willing to embrace suffering with Him.

The old saying, shit or get off the pot is saying, make a decision! Stand up for what you claim to be. If you are a Christian, say you are one, show that you are not one by name, but one by the actions you do. If someone states they are doing something as a Christian, question them on their intent and remind them that Jesus taught certain things, and ask, are their actions per His teachings?

Christianity is not just about going to church. It is, again, living the word of Jesus. The one word that stands out to me is L O V E.  That word is one that Jesus taught more than anything.  We need more love in the world. Maybe WE can start loving our fellow man more, and that will make a change. 

Peace,  Den Betts

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Evangelical’s and Trump 2017-29

Evangelical’s and Trump 2017-29

I do NOT claim to be an Evangelical Christian; have heard of them, think I may know a few, do not hate or really love any for any reason, but think I should describe what I believe they are to me. In that way, I can compare myself and POTUS Trump to them.

 A check at Wikipedia states it is a worldwide trans denominational movement within Protestant Christianity that maintains the belief that the essence of the gospel consists of the doctrine of salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ’s atonement.  Well, that sums it up well, but is hard to get my mind around this explanation. It further states that they believe in the centrality of the conversion or the “born again” experience in receiving salvation, and the authority of the Bible as God’s revelation to humanity and spreading the Christian message. Whew!

I understand, the Methodist Church, the Baptist communities of churches and perhaps some Anglicans are good representatives of this movement.  Evangelicals are among the most dynamic religious group movements in the contemporary world. Since I do NOT want to make this a religious critique, I will leave it at this and allow any to look up the word Evangelical at your leisure and learn more about it.

The main thing, in my mind, is this.   Evangelicals are religious. They are mainstream in many ways, sometimes fundamental in belief in many cases, and basically conservative in nature.  Those are not bad things at all, but does put them in a slot of identifying how they feel to a degree. They have a good bit of history about them and I think of The Reverend Billy Graham is a prime example of an evangelist, promoting this faith. As a total, they represent about 28 percent of the U.S. religious groups in the U.S. or about 91 million total.

POTUS Trump is identified as a Presbyterian, which is not actually listed as being an evangelical religion. In a book he wrote, “The Art of the Deal”, which he highly touts, there is no mention of religion and he stated, “I don’t like to analyze myself, because I might not like what I see” he told biographer D’Antonio. He has stated he does attend church occasionally, on Christmas, Easter and “special occasions” (weddings?), but is too busy on most Sundays. I used to do this myself, I admit, and many do so. 

OK, he does not sit in church waiting for the voice of God or sitting through a service or confessing his sins, or other religious doings and that is fine with me. I don’t care, that is his life, not mine!

But, it does bother me that the religious leaders or those in power at the Evangelical church feel he is Evangelical enough to promote him, endorse him and follow him as they do.  He, in my mind, does not follow the tenants of any Evangelical religion, any fundamentalist actions, or even Christian beliefs. I am not being judgmental about this, but more of stating factual thoughts of how he acts in life.

To say they are Evangelical, fundamental in religious thought, religious in general and promote him as being “one of their own” is Bullcrap to me.  It is hypocritical and not realistic. If they, The everyday practicing Evangelical’s, are part of Trump’s “BASE” that he loves so much and if they still support him, then they are lying to themselves in the process, and Trump loves this and them.

Den Betts

Whose God is Who???? 2015-96

Whose God is Who????    2015-96

If the God of the Hebrew, Christian and Muslim faiths are the same God of Abraham, THEN, is there a different god that is followed by those same faiths? Of course NOT!

All those following these religious faiths can say “God is Great!” or “Allah is Great” in Arabic, if you use that language.

To say or think that the God of Abraham likes only one of the religions mentioned and not the other two is ludicrous. I would think that to use a religion to exclude the others of the same God could be sacrilegious to do so.

To also believe that any that do not believe in the religion that you follow and to insist that those of the two other religions MUST do so, is— well I have many words I could use here to describe those people.

History can tell of how evangelists of Christianity traveled to parts far away to not just spread the word, but to somewhat force the unbelievers of Christ into believing in Him. Christians can deny that this happened, but too many writings have proven this to be a fact.

It is evident in reading the stories of the Old Testament that the Hebrews had a thing of dealing with those that did not believe in their God of Abraham, called Yahweh in the time of Moses and afterwards.

So, it is not surprising that certain Islam followers are trying to do the same thing today. The goal is to have the non-believers of Islam convert to their religion, even at the threat of death.

The difference is what the Hebrews did, what the Christian evangelists did, and what the Muslim followers are doing today is about the timing. What the Christian and Hebrew followers did then is not what they do now as a policy. Then and now does not represent now.

Is there prejudice against the other two religions by one religion today, not saying which religion they are right now. YES, would be the answer, for in reality, the minority of each probably does have resentment towards the other religions not of their own that they follow.

Does this make sense? NO!!! In this modern world there should NOT be this type of discourse today! I would think that the only God in existence must have problems with His children that have thoughts and actions the way they do today. Fellow man cannot be violated and killed in the name of God, regardless of the religion being followed.

God does not get pleasure in hearing “God is Great” or “Allah Akbar” (being about the same phrase) after one of his children does a despicable thing like killing in His name. I believe that those that do so are either primitive in thinking, brain washed, ignorant, or some other description that is appropriate for them. Using God as an excuse is inexcusable.

The main thing is if they kill, decapitate, destroy, maim, or kidnap, DON”T do it in the name of God and state that He is agreeing with your actions. If you do it, do it for your own personal corrupt reasons and not God’s if you feel you must do those acts! Or better yet, don’t do it but try to make a peaceful statement for your religion instead. There is NO reason for killing for killing sake anyhow…… Maybe I should say there is NO reason for killing ––period……

I really think I am writing, but not reaching the people of all faiths that do the things they do. I just watched the news (6-18-15) and listened to the reporter tell of nine people killed by a racist in North Carolina, because he hated blacks. He did it inside a church after staying at a Sunday School lesson for an hour, then killed everyone there except for two people who pretended they were dead.

What a world! Again, God of Abraham has to see these things happen and shake His head wondering about the human race then, now and in the future. So many atrocities that occur that probably remind Him that we are still primitive people on this planet Earth. To think that He is in agreement today or even before, of doing things in His name, must make him ponder of why He even bothered creating man………………………….  Maybe it is because He loves ALL, unconditionally, regardless of the faiths, beliefs, etc………………………… Hmmmmmmmm!!!!!!!

Den Betts

Disciple of Christ + Christian 2015-37

Disciple of Christ + Christian   2015-37

What are a Christian and a Disciple of Jesus Christ? If you have read the Bible it is stated many times about the followers of Jesus Christ who became disciples and journeyed with Him during His ministry before His dying on the cross.

Let me also state that this blog ends up being seen, at times, by many people of various faiths. That is great and if those of NO faith or a different faith read this, perhaps they will learn something or be aware of a different point of view. So be it….

I had a problem with the word disciple and what it meant, regarding me. I never had a problem in the past until a few years ago. Then it was thrust at me as to what the word actually was and I started to ponder it. The word was on my lips and in my mind and I struggled to think that I may be a disciple, but felt unworthy of calling myself one. It was a BIG word and to think that I could assume a word like that was unimaginable to me.

Affirmation of Baptism?

I fought doing so and in the struggle, I came to grips with it. It took time; a number of years actually. I can remember partaking in a church ritual called “Affirmation of Baptism”. My friend, Paul, was my sponsor to this event and I put off doing so for a year after it was suggested to me by my Pastor. This affirmation is done, even though the person is or was baptized early on or as an infant. It is not an everyday event or doing, but more of a reminder of the ongoing journey of faith, one is on.

Why did I feel like it was a struggle? I felt uncomfortable because it was a commitment on my part. I was almost ready, but not quite. History… I was baptized as a baby or at least the church where it happened had a record of the fact. When I transferred my membership from there, to one where I went 24 years later, they sent the records to the new church. This was after I was married and was going to church. Before that time, I was unchurched as a child and young adult.

At the service, I partook of my affirmation in the Narthex, with the water font situated by the door to the Sanctuary. The words were spoken and I had water from the font dabbed on my forehead. I requested that I have the time to make a statement. I did so and said, “I, with this affirmation, hereby submit myself to God and surrender myself to Jesus Christ!” I meant it! I was told later by a member that it was a most wonderful experience they had, hearing me and watching me have this happen.

So, I continued on my journey. I still had problems with the discipleship thing though. What right did I have thinking I was a disciple of Jesus Christ, I said. I was still me, and I did not feel any better than what I was before. I did feel that I was changing though.

My Spiritual Coach at the time suggested that I might have a calling to be an evangelist.  Wow, that seemed heavy.  I did not see myself standing on a soap box expounding about anything regarding God or Jesus Christ. I am NOT well versed on the Scriptures and have a terrible memory from an accident, so didn’t think that was a hot idea.

This was following what I call “The Happening” and I WILL tell you about that occurrence soon, maybe within a short time in the future. Suffice to say that I was on a journey and still am on one. It is a great and wonderful thing that occurred to me and it is probably a better read than this particular blog.

Disciple of Jesus?

Again, what is a disciple of Jesus Christ? This could be complicated, so I would like it to be less so. Simply put, being a disciple means more than just going to church. It really means you are a follower of God and Jesus and consider yourself a student or a learner who believes or adheres to the teachings of Jesus and make the teachings that Jesus taught a rule of life or how you conduct yourself.  This is not an easy task to be taken lightly, and should take some thought. I now consider myself a disciple, but still find it difficult at times to regularly commit myself to Him, but I try to do so regularly.

I can now say I am a disciple and have taken up the cross to follow Him, and to me, it means all the time, not just when I feel like it. Just saying I am a Christian involves my believing in Jesus and this would be in conjunction with an indwelling of the Holy Spirit that I feel resides in me. Wow..  And in the process I am trying to be an obedient disciple at the same time. The apostle Paul described the reality of taking up the cross and following the Lord: “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20).

Wearing a cross?

I might have mentioned this before as to why I wear a cross all the time. It is NOT to have others be aware of my beliefs, but instead, it is to constantly remind ME of how I feel towards Jesus. I show the sign of the cross when I take communion; not for others to see, but to remind me of the bread and wine and what it signifies. I do not care, if others do not wear the cross or show the sign; it again, is something I do for me and my dear Jesus. This is something I started doing after The Happening.

I will say that a Christian is what it sounds like; a follower of Jesus Christ and one that believes in what Jesus taught, in his time period, and who feel those teachings basically, still apply to today in this modern world. Some of those things are archaic, in a way,  and relate to His time and perhaps do not apply to today though. It was a different time and some of the happenings of then, are not prevalent now, I admit. I think I have to un-relate to how it is today in some cases, but do not have any exact examples to give you now. I think of slavery as an item that is not accepted in civilized society now.

I do not consider myself the perfect Christian or disciple of Jesus. I do try to do the things that Jesus would want me to do, but I fail often and truly admit doing so. I am not proud of that fact, but know that, with the Holy Spirit with me, around me and in me, I am forgiven for my inabilities of life.

Anyone can call themselves a Christian or a disciple of Jesus. I do, and I would (and hope others would also) refrain from judging myself as to how good I am one, or what I actually am. I believe Jesus knows how we stand as His follower and how good of a disciple to Him that we are actually.   Also, I feel I really know how I can relate to being a follower and I can judge myself. So can everyone!!!!!! Den Betts