The definition of Christianity is premised on Jesus, more than what currently prevails. It takes an analytical person to see that Christianity, regardless of its current popularity, is on the trajectory toward waning. These are chilling words, unbelievable to ordinary people, but as true as the certainty of the rising sun tomorrow. Clinging onto Christianity is currently like parasitic ticks remaining stuck on a beast, soon to become a carcass.
Falsehoods can be trendy and embraced in popularity, but there cannot be any falsehood that remains forever. Although unpopular, truth is the only reality that remains for eternity. These words can be classified as prophetic, but pronounced by a Jewish Scholar named Gamaliel, in the first century.
Gamaliel was projecting his truthful opinion to the Jewish clergy, plotting against Christianity in its formative years. The Jewish council had resolved to slaughter the entire apostles after Jesus had been glorified. The entire Jewish council had resolved to decimate Christianity in its formative years.
Acts 5: 33. When they heard that, they were cut to the heart and took counsel to slay them. 34. Then stood there up one in the council, a Pharisee, named Gamaliel, a doctor of the law, had in reputation among all the people, and commanded to put the apostles forth a little space; 35. And said unto them, Ye men of Israel, take heed to yourselves what ye intend to do as touching these men. 36. For before these days rose up Theudas, boasting himself to be somebody; to whom a number of men, about four hundred, joined themselves: who was slain; and all, as many as obeyed him, were scattered, and brought to nought. 37. After this man rose up Judas of Galilee in the days of the taxing, and drew away many people after him: he also perished; and all, even as many as obeyed him, were dispersed. 38. And now I say unto you, Refrain from these men, and let them alone: for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought: 39. But if it is of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God. 40. And to him they agreed: and when they had called the apostles, and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. 41. And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name. 42. And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ. – Bible Offline
What Gamaliel said was axiomatic. Even if the Jewish council had succeeded in carrying out their evil plot against the apostles, Christianity would have continued to blossom. Christianity comprises a Church which Jesus declared death would not prevail against it (Matthew 16:18). But could Jesus have referred to a Church represented in current fragmentations? In its fragmented form, is Christianity a representative of what Jesus said would be indestructible? Hopefully, at the end of this presentation, the wise will have become able to separate truth from error. Jesus lamented: …..” when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:8).
Falsehood was never designed to last forever, as portraying the opposite of eternity. Christianity can be said to have been resilient for approximately, the last two thousand years. This seems to confirm the invincibility of Christianity. However, what may elude those asserting that appearance is that two thousand years is still insignificant when compared with eternity. Let us cast our lenses across Christianity, to see whether what Jesus taught is still represented. What needs to be borne in mind is that Jesus’ words, in their pristine form, cannot be decimated.
One of the most misunderstood Scriptures in the entire Bible includes Matthew 22:14, where Jesus stated that many are called, but few are chosen. This was after Jesus had given a parable of the wedding banquet. The one found not wearing the wedding garment was thrown out, yet having been among many other invited guests.
The parable seems to suggest only a few, among those invited, would be thrown out. Hence, at the end of that parable, Jesus casts the opposite being true, to those with ears: “Many are called, but few are chosen.” The prudent can realize that safety cannot be found among the majority, but few, among all the invitees. This invites prudence in the ability to discern error from truthfulness.
How does one choose truthfulness from error, defined by falsehoods? Even in this world, accidents are caused by erroneous judgments. Jesus said only the truth sets believers free (John 8:32). But how many people are willing to confront the truth? The most appropriate Scripture, codifying the wholesale deception affecting Christianity is shown below:
Luke 18: 10. Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a Publican. 11. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. 12. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. 13. And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. 14. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased, and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted. – Bible Offline
The New Testament Bible emphasizes that none is saved by works, but by grace. Although this does not necessarily suggest being unethical in one’s conduct. Humanity is a species totally lost in sin. But, what is that sin, in which humanity is lost? Forget about multiple sins describing the degradation of humanity. We have to focus on just one sin, which Jesus came to eradicate, according to John the Baptist: “John 1: 29. The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” – Bible Office.
All Scriptures point at pride being that sin, causing a person to despise truth, even when clearly shown. Even the failings and stupidity in government are driven by pride, which is synonymous with stupidity. While stupidity can also be associated with ignorance, only the proud are unwilling to renounce ignorance, due to pride.
God’s Kingdom is reserved for the humble—willing to renounce erroneous paths. The only reason for religious people to remain stuck in dogmatism is pride. This has got nothing to do with ignorance, requiring humility, to overcome. See [Gehenna is for those assuming to be right]
Jesus said: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven”(Matthew 5:3). This does not suggest anything else, except willingness to learn. None among those identifying themselves as “Christians” regard themselves as unwilling to learn. Surprisingly, willingness to learn is pronounced by most, if not all those Christian groupings. However, the same groupings cannot tell the reason why they remain stuck in their respective denominations.
When carefully analyzing each of those denominations, each possesses strengths not found in others. Each also possesses weaknesses not found in others. One could suggest exploiting the best traits of each; while discarding their respective weaknesses. That would be a daunting task, as none of those denominations would accord such a discerning character, some fellowship.
To be accepted, one is expected to conform to the practices of each of those denominations. In other words, one cannot apply the best practices of the Catholics when regarded as a member of the SDA, or vice versa. One has to subscribe to conforming to the respective authoritative leaderships, to be accepted as bona fide.
Nothing appears wrong with that viewpoint when considering the leadership structures that serve to foster unity. The challenge would be faced by those genuinely desiring to follow Jesus. The Apostle Paul highlighted this when castigating the Corinthians who had succumbed to follow personalities, according to the pattern of their tastes:
1 Corinthians 1: 9. God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord. 10. Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. 11. For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you. 12. Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ. 13. Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul? 14. I thank God that I baptized none of you, but Crispus and Gaius; 15. Lest any should say that I had baptized in mine own name. 16. And I also baptized the household of Stephanas: besides, I know not whether I baptized any other. 17. For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect. – Bible Offline
Paul was highlighting what currently describes the evils of denominationalism. Nothing shows whether those Corinthian believers heeded Paul’s admonition or not. But that message could as well be directed to current denominational believers, serving under their respective leaders. This reveals idolatry, being anathema to Christianity.
The idea of denominationalism, portraying erring Christianity, is shattered in the parable of the prayerful Pharisee and the publican. One does well when analyzing what Jesus condemned, but also the idea of prayer, itself. The Pharisee compared himself favourably, against the sinful Publican. There may have been truth in the Pharisee’s Prayer. But he was at polarity with the purpose of Jesus, who knew the actual sin gripping humanity. Jesus specifically came to eradicate that paranormal sin, codified in pride, from where all sins emanate.
The meticulous keeping of the Law may have been good. But this demanded the assumption of responsibility towards those not similarly keeping the law. The basic principle of Christianity demands being one’s brother’s keeper. Jesus projected that principle by dying on the cross. True Christians are those prepared to do the same (1 John 3:16). The existent evil in the entire world portrays laxity in Christianity, and not necessarily those considered as evil-doers—hence, Jesus declared:
Matthew 5: 13. Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt has lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. 14. Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. 16. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. 17. Think not that I have come to destroy the law or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. – Bible Offline
The oddity has always been that Christians cease to receive honour when involved in politics. To earn respect, a Christian is expected to avoid meddling in politics. But here is a candid question: If the game of politics is considered unfavourably dirty; who carries the responsibility to clean it up? What is the role of a Christian, if that responsibility goes to any other character, other than a Christian?
The package of Christianity includes politics. Otherwise, Jesus could not have been brought before the Roman Governor. Similarly, His disciples died at the hands of politicians, except John, who was isolated on the island of Patmos. Those now pushing the idea that Christians should be so dignified as to avoid politics are influenced by a different spirit. This does not necessarily suggest Christians ought to run for political offices. Theirs is passionately opposing evil, whether committed by politicians or not.
True Christianity, in itself, was never intended to draw large numbers. Hence, Jesus said many are called, but few are chosen. The sifting occurs on the aspect of choosing between serving other people and being served by others. Jesus is Lord, but only to those choosing to leave everything, including their lives, to follow Him. Political leaders and their subjects never granted Jesus any respect.
The same is true for His true followers. Currently, Jesus is the Lord of Lords and King of Kings, who are not necessarily the rulers of this world. The Kings, for whom Jesus is King, should not be mistaken for the politicians of this world. His disciples are Lords and Kings, just as He was ordained, King, to those other Kings.
The greatest drawback has always been the assumption that there are physical advantages to Christianity. Accumulation of wealth is considered a blessing, even though acquired corruptly. Receiving worldly respect and honour should be considered off-tangent. True Christians cannot be accorded respect, just as Jesus was never accorded honour.
Currently, Christianity is comprised of what can be characterized by husks, rather than the grain, uninfluenced by the wind at winnowing. True Christianity cannot be found among those gripped in desiring personal salvation. But it is found among those gripped in desiring to salvage humanity, similarly to the aspirations of Jesus. They sacrifice their interests to serve others, as directed by the Holy Spirit.
Matthew 20: 25. But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye, know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. 26. But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; 27. And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: 28. Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life as a ransom for many. – Bible Offline
This makes sense, only to those able to distinguish between true and false Christianity. The rest are chaff, to be blown away by torrential winds, soon to ravage the entire world. Only the wise, represented in corn, cannot be affected by such torrential winds, whether driven by war or some yet-to-emerge torrential phenomena.
Andrew Masuku is the author of Dimensions of a New Civilization, laying down standards for uplifting Zimbabwe from the current state of economic depression into a model for other nations worldwide. A decaying tree provides an opportunity for a blossoming sprout. Written from a Christian perspective, the book is a product of inspiration, bringing relief to those having witnessed the strings of unworkable solutions––leading to the current economic and social decay. Most Zimbabweans should find the book as a long-awaited providential oasis of hope, in a simple conversational tone.
The Print copy is now available at Amazon.com for $13.99