Latest Developments

Dear Viewers, Readers, Friends,

The current colour change is a Christmas livery, a traditional dark green and red. This has only a tenuous link with the Nativity, as indeed does the whole of what we call Christmas, and indeed not all Christians celebrate it, or celebrate it with great gusto.

Nevertheless, it does provide a time of year which is ostensibly a time when one can make reference to Christian themes, although many people who know little about the faith will like to tell us what “the spirit of Christmas” should be, or “the true meaning of Christmas” usually accentuating a man-centred message of goodwill towards men.

Certainly the message given by the angels of goodwill henceforth, and peace among men is Biblical, but they are not messengers of bonhomie between different human beings. They give us a message that the God who made us, whom we have set at nought and abused, has entered this world as a human being Himself, in order to redeem us. This is the love that the Father shows us, that he did not leave humans in their own awful sinful mess, but came among us as one of us, lived out a perfect life and died under the curse of God that properly belonged to us, in a great exchange, whereby He becomes the Lamb, the sin-offering, given once and once only for all who wish to be part of Him. Being part of Him is a matter of believing, repudiating one’s own efforts as entirely unworthy (something which gets harder to do the more well-behaved and “religious” one is, ironically) and casting all one’s trust on Jesus.

That’s the message of Christmas, and it is the Plan of God since before the first electron spun around the first proton. It is the only way of peace among men, the channel of God’s goodwill towards me, and the One in whom we have life everlasting.

If you would like to be a Christian, the best way to get the conversation with God going is to read the Gospels and the most accessible is John’s Gospel. It will also be useful at an early point to study Paul’s letter to the Romans as this sets out the Gospel in a theological way. You should cast yourself on God in prayer,  and above all if you have some faith but at least as much dout as faith, you can ask as one man asked Jesus “Oh Lord, I believe. Help Thou mine unbelief”. This must be one of the most frequently answered prayers in the history of humanity and it is unlikely to remain unanswered if prayed with a sincere heart.

I wish you all a wonderful Advent, in the fullest sense of those words.

3 thoughts on “Latest Developments

  1. The world is certainly cold, and the universe indifferent and life on earth “short, nasty and brutish” without belief or faith in something more meaningful than us. It is so very painful to live without it and yet so very difficult to have it if your logical mind tells you it cannot be. There in a nutshell is the age-old dilemma facing humankind. And then there’s the Jewish holocaust and all the theological problems that poses. Rabbi Lionel Blue cites an instance of the difficulty in accepting a loving creator God when he relates seeing, as a young boy, a tv programme showing the devouring of a species of male octopus by the female it had just mated with. He questioned his mother about the point and absurdity of this to which she replied, “yes I suppose it could have been designed better than that”.
    The existence or none existence of a creator God (who remains outside of or enters into the the world) is, I believe, in some ways like the existence or none existence of alien visitors to planet earth. If one had actually had contact with an alien being who communicated knowledge not known to mankind on earth, who would believe you when you tried to convince somebody that you had had this contact ? You would be dismissed as an eccentric at best. So, those who claim to have experienced Jesus in their lives might not just be convinced of this but be entirely right. On the other hand those of us who have had no such experience are not likely to believe without incontrovertible evidence.
    Meanwhile I struggle with the conundrums that theology and philosophy and science throw at us. I don’t think it morally justifiable to hedge one’s bets and believe in the OT / NT God on the basis that if He exists it is better to believe to avoid condemnation, and if not then nothing is lost. Apart from any other considerations, an omniscient God would know your motives and would hardly be impressed.
    So I think, David, as you alluded to on a previous post, Christianity is essentially grace given through faith. We have free choice to exercise that faith, or not, as the case may be.
    Whether or not that faith is justified, many good people (Christians and non-Christians alike) deserve whatever blessings are available to struggling mankind. Holy men and women have existed in the past and many exist today, and for that I am humbled and thankful.


  2. David,
    Your focus on the only thing that matters really, the Just 1 Way of a life reconciled to its creator and therby its fellow creatures is one of the reasons I have respected you since first finding you in a search about language learning.
    Keep running the race and may our God bless and keep you in His steadfast love,
    your brother in Christ,

Your thoughts welcome, by all mean reply also to other community members!