There are plenty of examples already out there, both in history and in this blog, of how Christianity has been its own worst enemy throughout the ages, so I'm not going there again! And, please don't get me wrong; I'm not saying that, as 'a new kind of Christian', we should no longer be followers of Jesus the Christ, or lovers of God, just that, as fellow-workers with Him in this 'Kingdom Project', we should be ready to flout much of the orthodoxy that much of Christianity has stubbornly held to for these same 'ages'!
As partners in this building project, as has been intimated; we, as followers of the Christ, little Christs ourselves, must be prepared to think, say, and do things that much of what is known as 'Christianity' would balk at! Although I say 'a new kind of Christian'; this is really nothing 'new': think of Martin Luther.......think of John Huss..........think of many in Foxe's Book of Martyrs, for instance.....Through the ages, so many good followers of Jesus have been horrifically and tragically murdered because they dared to challenge the established orthodoxy!
It is abundantly clear, through the inspiration of the Spirit of God in His people, that regardless of the harm that has inadvertently or stubbornly ( blindly ) been caused by the actions or in-actions of many 'Christians' throughout the ages; the Kingdom has been prospering, and as Daniel prophesied through this same Spirit, has become 'a great mountain and filled the whole earth' ( Daniel 2:35c )! This Kingdom is always expanding, as more and more, every day, through 'random' acts of kindness and the power of God, people are entering into the City, and into a right relationship with their Creator and Father!
So, as we begin to exercise our rights as 'a new kind of Christian' and as Kingdom-builders; we must remember that, while we will likely be frowned upon by the 'establishment', and likely even persecuted for our 'stand', everyone, and I mean EVERYONE with whom we come in contact is a child of our heavenly Father ( though not necessarily in a living relationship with Him ) and is thus a potential inhabitant of the City of God ( Hebrews 12:18-24, Revelation 21:1-4, ( 22:14 & 15 ). I am NOT saying that we must call homosexuals, lesbians, transvestites, and those others who live in direct contradiction to the Law of God as that which is laid out for us in Scripture, brothers and sisters, but we MUST treat them kindly, as for who they really are ( whether they like it or not ), as children of our heavenly Father, though estranged!
Beginning, in the past few decades, and really taking notice ( and action! ) in the past few years and months; I have come to the startling, though not shocking, realization that there is a lot of hurt out there in the world, and much, if not all of it can be traced back to its roots in 'Christianity'! This is not to say that Christianity is something that must be shied away from, or totally discarded, but we must be prepared, if we would partner with God in this 'building project', to get our hands 'dirty', to think, say, and do things that, in ages past, and even in much of today's 'Church', would be regarded as unconscionable, unthinkable!
I have written quite a few articles in the past several years on the subject of 'healing leaves', and in fact, if you'll notice at the top of my 'blog' here, this theme is based on a verse from the Revelation of Jesus Christ.As the passage implies, we as followers of this Jesus, and His Body on earth, His Bride, ARE ( whether we like it or not, whether we act like it or not ) the 'leaves of the tree' that ARE 'for the healing of the nations'! This is NOT an option! Yes, we each, as individuals, have the choice as to how we are going to live, what fruit we are going to bear for our Lord, but we must always remember that, as we make our decisions, and bear the consequences of those choices, for good or evil, pleasant or not-so-pleasant; we are ALL God's children, and as our Sovereign Lord and Father, the Creator and Sustainer of ALL; it is His will that is done, not ours!
May we ALL realize this, and as realization begins to set in, may we do what is right ( though not necessarily 'orthodox' ), loving our brethren as ourselves, and God and His Law ( personified ), most of all!
In the love of God,
Charles Haddon Shank