Keith Hunt - Simple Christianity Restitution of All
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Simple Christianity

Pretty basic in many ways



                             by


                         Keith Hunt








     Volumes of books, pages of articles and study papers, have
been written for centuries, concerning the doctrines and theology
of the "Christian" religion. To be sure, it has often been
necessary to do so, as the foundational truths of the Lord found
in the Bible have been perverted and twisted out of all plain
recognition, through the process of time and compromise, together
with either deceived minds or deliberate false prophets,
sometimes both.
     I, myself, have spent countless hours in study, research,
and writing, on various Biblical topics over the last 20 years
plus.
My articles and study papers have now reached over the 300
mark. Altogether those writings amount to about 3,000 pages, or
more. My KJV Old Testament contains 802 pages, while the New
Testament has 258 pages, both with a center reference column.
     So, what's the big deal? You could write 10,000 pages or
20,000 pages, or more, and NOTHING man could write will ever
compare or be in the same league with the inspired Holy Bible. 
     I simply mention all this to draw the readers mind to this
short article and its title. Many have, for various reasons, made
Christianity, or one section of Christianity, into a huge
complicated theology, when in fact it is VERY SIMPLE!  No big
degree or theological seminary training is needed.  Just a child
like belief and simple pure mind to read the four Gospels and the
teachings of Jesus, and then to ACT upon them, as you live your
daily life within the context of other human beings.
     
     A lawyer once came to Jesus and asked Him which was the
GREATEST commandment. Christ said to him, "How do YOU read the
law?"  He answered by saying that the greatest commandment was to
"love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your
mind, and with all your soul."  And, Jesus said he was indeed
correct and not far from the Kingdom of God.  He went on to say
the second greatest commandment was to love your neighbor as
yourself.
     But, there was some unclear understanding as to WHO was our
neighbor, and they wanted Jesus to tell them the truth of the
matter on that point. So He did.  Most know the famous parable He
gave - the parable of the "good Samaritan."  Now, the Jews had
big mental problems with any person from anywhere but their own
little "jewish" seat of race and/or (often both) theology.  The
Samaritans they especially hated, mainly because of their
religious position which they held. The Jews in the main, well at
least the ones influenced by the Pharisees, had nothing to do
with the Samaritans.  In the parable Jesus gave of how some of
the Jews passed by the man visibly needing help, who lay battered
and bleeding on the side of the road, and how it was a Samaritan
man who came to his aid, it was obvious what the teaching was all
about. 
     Jesus was showing that there are times when what is needed
is just to simply help anyone who needs the help. No questions
asked, no thought of or question such as: What religious faith do
you hold?  What Christian denomination do you belong to?  What
political party are you a member of?  What ideology do you
believe and proclaim?  What race do you belong to?  And many
other such questions that could divide people into different
camps of society.  
     Christ, in the parable of the "good Samaritan" was teaching
everyone that to obey the second greatest commandment, is to even
serve and help, when it is genuinely needed, those whom some
would claim are your enemy, not deserving of any help under
any circumstance.  The parable emphasizes literal good deeds and
works towards anyone in need.  On other occasions Jesus taught
that we should mentally love our enemies, not only "doing good"
to them, but also praying for them.  He taught we should
do unto others as we ourselves would like others to do unto us. 
He taught that if we only did good to those who did good to us,
what could that do for us, because even sinners did the same to
each other.  In pretty simple words Christ Jesus taught that
people should go the "extra mile" - go above and beyond the call
of what was commanded of them.  In fact He taught that if we only
did what was commanded of us we were unprofitable servants, and
all such servants would eventually be cast out into outer
darkness (see Luke 17:10 with Mat. 25:14-30).


     There really is no way around such plain talk and simple
parables that Jesus gave at times concerning living the second
great commandment - loving your neighbor.


     If we were to look around at the world scene of today, to
look for someone that we could hold up as an example for others
in obeying and living this Christian simplicity, of following
this one side of the two sided coin that represents true
Christianity, we would not have to go beyond the example of
Mother Teresa.
     We in the Church of God need to cast away any "theological"
proudness or swell-headedness we may have run through our
enlightened minds, by declaring, "but, she was not a part of the
TRUE church of God."  Jesus made it clear that there is a lot
more to being a true Christian than just "correct doctrine."  In
fact it is quite possible to have ALL the correct "doctrine"
mentally, and still not be a really true Christian.  Paul was
inspired to write, "knowledge puffs up, but love edifies." 
Having just correct doctrinal knowledge ain't my friends(using
some popular language slang) going to get you into the Kingdom
of God, if you do not have genuine practical love, concern, and
compassion for others. Certainly I am not trying to put down
correct doctrine, it is important and does have its place. I'm
only saying that it is not the "end of the matter" in and of
itself. True Christianity has more than one side to its gold
nugget.


     Let me share with you a short message by Whaid Guscott Rose
that appeared in the October 1997 Bible Advocate, published by
the Church of God (Seventh Day) out of Denver, Colorado, USA.


     Quote:


     " In Scripture, God is always on the side of the poor and
the oppressed. In the economy of Israel, provision was
consistently made for meeting the needs of the less fortunate. A
special promise is made for those who spend themselves on behalf
of the poor (Isaiah 58:10-12). Jesus came to earth in a lowly
manger. During His inauguration to public ministry, He defined
His mission as preaching the gospel to the poor.
     But even more important, Jesus defined authentic
Christianity in terms of our willingness to respond to the needs
of the hungry, the naked, and the imprisoned (Matthew 25). The
gospel of Jesus is a gospel for the poor, and few in this world
preach it - indeed, lived it - like Mother Teresa of Calcutta,
India.
     But how do you tell a hungry man about the Bread of Life?
How do you tell a thirsty man about the living waters of the
Lord? The answer: You begin by meeting their most basic human
needs for food, shelter, and love. That's what Jesus did, and
that's one of the reasons the crowds followed Him. That's what
Mother teresa did, and that's one of the reasons the world loved
her.
     She was a native of Albania and was in her late teens when
she first went to India. After studying nursing, Mother Teresa
moved to the slums in obedience to a call from God to spend her
life serving the poorest of the poor. It was there she opened her
first leper colony and subsequently founded the Order of the
Missionaries of Charity through which she served the rejects of
society and advocated a cause of the world's less fortunate -
from the hungry in India to those dying of AIDS in New York City.
     The timing of Mother Teresa's death (in the midst of
worldwide grief over the death of Britain's Princess Diana) calls
us to consider the difference between service to humanity
rendered out of the need for self-assertion and what is done for
others out of self-sacrifice.
     For example, when the pope gave Mother Teresa a limousine to
assist in her travels, she quickly sold it and gave the money to
feed the poor. When awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, she used all
the funds in her work. She even convinced the peace prize
commission to cancel the lavish dinner usually given for prize
recipients and instead to donate all the would-be dinner expenses
to feed the hungry.
     Among the vows each of Mother Teresa's missionaries is
required to take is the vow of poverty. Her life and work gave
her the respect of governments and nations, yet she slept on a
concrete floor so she could continually identify with the lowest
of the low. Mother Teresa was the epitome of servanthood. I am
told by one closely associated with her work that her dying words
were 'Jesus, I love You.'
     Jesus transformed His society by daring to love, touch, and
meet the needs of the poor. Mother Teresa dared to do the same
thing and has inspired us all. But the scripture calls us beyond
mere inspiration; it dares us to love as Jesus loved and to give
of ourselves as Mother Teresa did. For as one songwriter has
written, the kingdom begins where you give your life away,
expecting nothing in return.
     The crucial question is, Will you? "
         
     End of quote and message from BA.


     Perhaps too many in the "more truth than anyone" Sabbath
keeping Churches of God, will pay little attention to the life
and death of Mother Teresa, for, some will say: She was not a
Seventh day Sabbath keeper, and not a part of the Church of God,
why she was a "Roman Catholic" and part of the whore of the book
of Revelation."  Maybe there is some truth to that statement, but
look, it is written it is the Spirit that leads into all truth.
If God in His mercy had not revealed to YOU and to ME the truth
of the Sabbath and other things contained in His word, then you
and I would still be a part of this deceived world, worshipping
God (if we were religious minded) in our sincere but false ways.
Even as we once were, did this mean we could not read the Bible
and see certain truths within its pages. I mean, if anyone can
read, surely it does not take some University degree to see the
New Testament clearly teaches we should love and care for and
show compassion upon all men, especially those who in the
majority of cases simply find themselves in circumstances beyond
their control. Let's remember it could have been us who were born
into the less blessed and even the poorest of the poor of this
world.
     So Mother Teresa did not have all the fine technical
knowledge that many of us are fortunate to have, and often feel
"smug" about. But she had a part of Christianity, lived a part of
Christianity, that is absolutely ESSENTIAL to exhibit in attitude
and also in deeds, if we are to enter into eternal life. I do not
mean we should all sell everything we have, leave our jobs,
families, homes, and lands, and take off to some down-drodden,
slum-dwelling, starving and poorly clad people in distant
countries, to all become more Mother Teresa's. God, may call SOME
to do the kind of work Mother Teresa did. There are different
callings to different functions in this physical life by the
Lord. Some may be called to become Billion-aires and then give
away to charities and humanity causes ten billion dollars as Ted
Turner recently has done, some are called to do and be other
things in this life. Yet the point is, that no matter what our
calling, our abilities, our talents, our fame, or lack of fame in
this life, we can all within our sphere and means in our
societies, love, give, and show compassion to those less
fortunate than ourselves.  And it does not always have to be
shown in physical material ways.  Just taking time, sharing
loving words, visiting, encouraging, maybe holding someone by the
hand or in your arms, perhaps sending a card or a letter. There
are dozens of ways to be and to do some of the Christianity that
Mother Teresa performed in her dedicated life.


     Regardless of the church denomination Mother Teresa was a
member of, forget about it, for one day she will rise in a
resurrection and be given ALL truth, and probably be easier to
teach those truths she was not given in her first life, than many
of us have been willing to learn them, because she did live that
part of true Christianity that is simple to understand.  So with
that, I recommend to you all that sometime in the not too far
distant future of your life, you buy, borrow, or visit your local
Library, and read about the life and service of this outstanding
modern example of selfless, loving, and giving person.


     Thank you Mother Teresa for answering the calling that God
called you to do. Many in great need were made a little more
comfortable in body and spirit because of your love and service.
Your memory and work will continue until the restitution of all
things has come, when all will then dwell under their own vine
and nothing will make them afraid.


     God speed that day! 
                            ...................


Written  November 1997
 

 
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