The greatest deception, or confusion, of all time, has always been the assumption that being Christian carries physical advantages. This portrays the source of departure from the teachings of the author of Christianity, who asserted the opposite. Christianity was never meant to be cosy and acceptable to the physical body. The greatest discomfort of the physical body comes from being Christian.
The confusion arises from conflating Christianity with Judaism. The proponents of this idea cannot even see that if Jesus’ teachings agreed with Judaism, He would not have been crucified on the cross. The problem of the Jews was that they could not grasp the fundamentals of their religion. They upheld the Pentateuch, but without appreciating the significance of keeping those laws. Their inability to grasp the significance of the Law is what moulded them to be hypocrites.
Nevertheless, to today’s Christians, it is important to appreciate that, the entire Old Testament Bible was a shadow of reality, to come through Jesus. Even the story of the Israelites is parabolic—being an earthly story, shadowing the heavenly meaning. A parable was never meant to facilitate understanding the secrets of God’s Kingdom. The parable, actually, makes it impossible for those in this world to understand the mysteries of God’s Kingdom.
Mark 4: 10.And when he was alone, they that were about him with the twelve asked of him the parable. 11. And he said unto them, Unto you, it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables: 12. That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them. – Bible Offline
What drives people away from the truth is physical comfort. By shunning what gives pain to the physical body, the majority of Christians lose out on God’s Kingdom. What enhances comfort in physical flesh has got nothing to do with God’s Kingdom. This ought to be the basic truth in Christianity. To His disciples, Jesus stated the following:
Matthew 10: 37.He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38. And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. 39. He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it. 40. He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me. 41. He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward, and he that receiveth a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward. 42. And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward Bible Offline
There is a reward for those supporting God’s true servants. But notice carefully that in verse 39, one has to be willing to lose everything, for the sake of God’s Kingdom. Anything short of that commitment is misplaced, in so far as God’s Kingdom is concerned. What sustains the physical body is sinful. The invitation to God’s Kingdom requires forsaking the physical body. This assertion cannot be acceptable to millions, who assume to be “Christians.”
Luke 14: 25. And there went great multitudes with him: and he turned, and said unto them, 26. If any man comes to me and hates not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. 27. And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple. 28. For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? 29. Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him, 30. Saying, This man began to build and was not able to finish. 31.
Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand? 32. Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an ambassage, and desireth conditions of peace. 33. So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple. 34. Salt is good: but if the salt has lost its savour, wherewith shall it be seasoned? 35. It is neither fit for the land nor yet for the dunghill, but men cast it out. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear. – Bible Offline
To God’s true servants, the most depressing thing could be that it is impossible to attract huge followers towards accepting the truth, as compared to those leading towards falsehoods. A true Christian cannot be mistaken for a popular and acceptable leader in the environment. Truthful Christians can only be regarded as controversial, rather than regarded as truthful, to which true Christians are expected to be committed.
The only sign that describes true Christianity is persecution from those of this world. The worldly people feel comfortable as long as they interact with those of their own. But they, certainly, cannot feel comfortable when encountering those who are not of this world. The greatest tragedy is to abandon verifiable Scriptures, in order to adopt what is worldly acceptable, but not scripturally verifiable.
John 15: 18. If the world hates you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. 19. If ye were of the world, the world would love its own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. 20. Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. 21. But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me. – Bible Offline
One cannot be a friend of those of this world and be God’s friend, at the same time. The two are premised on diametrically opposite conditions. The greatest joy for a true Christian emanates from being treated badly by those of this world. A true Christian takes pleasure in being persecuted, rather than being treated well by those of this world.
Matthew 5: 10. Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. 12. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you. – Bible Offline
Admittedly, I almost succumbed to misery, after being rejected by those of my own fellowship—before this truth was revealed to me. However, I became glad after realizing that it was not for me to determine who was spiritually connected to me, on matters of Christianity. My duty was simply to project what I considered to be emanating from the teachings of Jesus. This is as Jesus was also persecuted by those of His own fellowship.
The duty of a true Christian is not to worry about what other people say or do. But a Christian’s duty is worrying about failure to conform to Jesus’ teachings. Sadly, such an undertaking has always been misconstrued as rebellion, according to the conditions of this world. Those with good intentions to stand for God’s truth have often succumbed to schisms, unable to confront those in leadership. However, erring leaders would be as common as any other person is common, in this world.
A true Christian is unflinching, and determined to stand on behalf of Jesus. He is unapologetic when confronting those considered to be violating God’s word. That determination would be as well good for those in leadership and their followers. God is not a respecter of personalities. This is what makes Christianity, a deadly undertaking. A true Christian is ruthless when asserting what one considers to be truthful. But, at the same time, being willing to ruthlessly discard whatever would be proven to be erroneous.
Truthful people carry the responsibility of Jesus, as long as quoting what Jesus taught. The business of articulating God’s truth was never intended for cowards. This is different from nurturing an idea to eventually usurp power from those in leadership. It is all about projecting Jesus as the sole authority in Christianity.
Matthew 23: 8. But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren. 9. And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven. 10. Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ. 11. But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant. 12. And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be based; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted. – Bible Offline
It is impossible to entertain schisms in Christianity, as can be observed in the above Scripture. It has to be the untruthful ones who should leave Christianity, rather than the truthful ones. Jesus maintained a similar stance. He resolutely remained a Jew, without succumbing to parting ways with those masquerading as Jewish, until they killed Him. Jesus maintained His resolve to preach in their Synagogues, maintaining that He was a true Jew, who stood for the truth.
Jesus was never apologetic, as to avoid statements that were considered offensive to those Jewish liars. Any Christian who assumes that it is impossible to duplicate the behaviour of Jesus would be wasting his/her time assuming being Christian. That person would be deceiving him/herself, regardless of how much he/she entertains being regarded as one.
There are three gradient scales, determining the behaviour of humanity—namely: Illusion, reality and delusion. Illusion can be regarded as superior, among the three, followed by reality, where delusion would be the worst. Perhaps the best illustration of this condition is projected in the story of the twelve Israelites, sent to spy on Canaan. The story is recorded in the Book of Numbers (Chapters 13 & 14).
The two lads, Caleb and Joshua can be regarded as having been illusionary. They saw what the other ten spies could not see. The viewpoint of the two lads was not real to their colleagues—hence befitting being considered illusionary. Anything that is not real to other people can be described as an illusion. However, it may be possible that the person concerned may be erroneous in his/her illusion. But it is always advisable to trust one’s own conviction, more than being attracted to other people’s convictions, characterized by delusion.
The report by the other ten spies was real—-based on what was observable by physical eyes. The gigantic Canaanites’ were real in the eyes of those reporters. There was no hallucination in projecting that reality. Nevertheless, in their report, those ten spies even exaggerated by comparing themselves to grasshoppers.
This invited a manipulative agreement with the entire Israelites, who forgot about God who had miraculously delivered them from Egypt. God condemned that group, and passed a decree that they would not enter the Promised Land. The reality about the giants, seen in Canaan was with the ten spies. The rest of the Israelites simply succumbed to delusion—coming from the viewpoints of those ten spies—thereby denouncing Joshua and Caleb’s accounts.
Had God not intervened, the two lads could have been killed—at the mercy of that delusional mob, driven by false information. It is safer to be wrong, based on one’s own viewpoint, rather than being wrong, based on other people’s falsehoods. Caleb and Joshua demonstrated the value of trusting their own conviction, rather than succumbing to the viewpoint of other people. Their illusion paid off—as recorded in that passage of Scripture.
Martin Luther’s recalcitrant behaviour against the Catholic authorities may have earned him heroism, in this world. But this befits only what is approved of this world, rather than what God approves. Traditionally, Martin Luther is recorded as having been excommunicated by the Catholics. But, if standing on God’s authority, Martin Luther could not have accepted that ex-communication verdict. He would have told those pretenders that they had no authority to excommunicate him, according to Scriptural references.
Agreeably, that would have attracted his jail or possible execution. That development would have been the greatest prize in his Christian career, rather than succumbing to forming his Lutheran Church group. The formation of his Christian group was a forerunner of an avalanche of protestant movements, thereby fragmenting God’s Church. Pardon me for using Martin Luther as an example. My denunciation of schism is applicable to all other schisms in Christianity, having emerged throughout the ages.
Another consideration of factors, affecting the human mind is in the past, present and future. The highly normal people think about the future, so as not to waste time thinking about past and present-time events. It is the delusional people who spend time obsessed with historical events, as to be unable to consider present and future events. Their reasoning is influenced by history, more than the prevailing realities. The past events can be where one finds psychotics—-unable to come to the present time.
Those psychotics fall into the band of delusional people of this world. Those said to be influenced by what is real are mostly controlled by what goes on in the present time. Such people may not be stuck in the past, like the delusional ones, but they hardly think about the future. I suppose this is where one finds the bulk supporters of the current rulers in Zimbabwe.
These people are only interested in wealth accumulation but without any consideration for the future. Their main worry is feeding their stomachs, today; but they are unaware of what the future holds for them and their grandchildren. This is where one finds the so-called Makorokoza or artisanal miners, who appear unaware of the consequences of land degradation. This includes those randomly felling trees for firewood across the country.
It takes only the futurists to worry about the consequences of land degradation. Such people can be viewed as illusionary, especially when existing among those concerned only about the present. The futurists can be regarded as bearing the future hope of any country. These are the people who need support and encouragement. There is no future in the minds of the psychotics who live in the past. Just as there cannot be any future hope among those obsessed only with present-time survival.
Truth demands confrontation, rather than avoiding it. Those willing to confront the truth are willing to die for it, as opposed to those conforming to falsehoods. What brings comfort and safety to the physical body condemns the spiritual body. Only the wise are concerned about their spiritual condition, rather than about physical survival. The Israelites sought to protect their physical bodies, only to lose those same physical bodies, in the process.
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