Many Christians define themselves by the denomination to which they belong. I’m a Roman Catholic so I believe . . . . I’m a Methodist so I believe . . . . I’m an Anglican so I believe . . . I’m a fundamentalist so I must believe . . . I’m a reformed this or that so I believe this because . . . . Is there an alternative position ? Do we have to define ourselves by what we are for or more often against ?
Moreover, do we have to convince ourselves and others of our rightness. What is it about belonging that makes us define ourselves by what we believe or define ourselves by the denomination we belong to. ? Do we want to belong or be transformed by the Gospel ?
If we are asked to say something about how Jesus taught we’d probably say through parables. The parables usually contain messages that aren’t black or white, right or wrong or allow us to rest in the certainty we so often crave, often without realising. They have the authority to transform us, taking us beyond the realm of our ego.
Think also about how many times Jesus said “the kingdom of heaven is like . . . .” He didn’t say the kingdom of heaven is . . . . Many Christians place certainty as the sign of rightness for their faith. Jesus didn’t ! He just said “The Kingdom of God is like . . . . “ In Luke’s Gospel Jesus says “The Kingdom of God is among you. Luke 17 : 21.
Many Christians live in the light of Jesus’ death and resurrection and the promise of eternal life that follows from Jesus’ act of salvation. What was it that attracted people to Jesus before the salvific event? They couldn’t have known it was coming.
“Who do you say I am ?”
I hope I’m never certain of the answer. Not this side of life anyhow !
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