As discussed in previous articles, but still important to bear repeating, relationships come in all shapes and sizes and the majority are not sexual in nature. Today represents the most important relationship of all for many Christians around the world. Easter represents Jesus’ resurrection from death. This article will examine this very important relationship to many and how it relates to other personal relationships as well as what can be taken away from this relationship when applying beliefs to behavior and vice versa.
A Christian will exclaim that the sovereignty that Christ possesses was validated with His resurrection and defeat of death. The Bible, the Holy Book of Christians, lays out a plan for life for all who follow Jesus as their spiritual Leader and Father. The importance of this relationship becomes more clear when one learns that the only way to heaven is through Jesus thus the importance of not only believing in Him but following His guide for life.
For a Christian, this is the relationship unto which all other relationships flow. Therefore a believer must understand the teachings of Jesus and apply them to his or her life. It is fairly cut and dry in the sense that while there is room for interpretation according to some, the plan and guide are laid out by Jesus and His apostles. Basically what it seems to say is that a Christian should live as Jesus did.
In the Bible, Jesus constantly exclaimed that you should love your neighbor, love your enemy, do not judge others, among other teachings. While it is debatable, Jesus referred to the (one in the same or two separate) great commandment as to love God with all your soul, heart, and mind with the next part being, love your neighbor. When looking at Jesus’ life you see that He spent a lot of time with those who were not Christians, healed a soldier, healed on the Sabbath, and condemned the leaders of the Church for what He described as adhering to man made laws of the Church rather than what was given by God.
This all occurred over 2000 years ago and debate over religion existed before this and still exists. Take for example the current debate over same-sex marriage. Many Christians do not believe this should occur because they believe the Bible says it should not. Basically they believe the Bible says you should not be gay. This article does not place an opinion on the issue of same-sex marriage or the interpretation of Leviticus but rather approaches this from the outside looking in. Jesus spoke about loving God and each other, not judging, and forgiveness. When speaking about judgment He stated, ‘Quit looking at the speck of sawdust in another’s eye while ignoring the big piece of wood in yours’. Also, He stated that, ‘He that has not sinned throw the first stone’ in regards to the potential stoning of someone.
When looking at the debate over marriage, it is hard not to notice those that presume to speak the teachings of the Bible but only seem to pull out the sections that benefit them. Jesus said to hate sin but love the sinner. It does not particularly seem that the Great Commandment is being observed and practiced as intended. In fact it seems as if this is rarely applied in most aspects of life. In my interpretation, it appears that Jesus does not want us to judge others because we are all alike. We all sin but some sin differently. Is it ok to lie or steal or lust or be jealous or put other things before God? Well from the layperson’s point of view, according to the Bible it is not but also according to the Bible nobody is perfect and all will sin. Is it ok to judge someone for being gay when the person doing the judging lies on a regular basis?
A central message of the Bible is that Christians should spread the word of God and help non-Christians become Christians. If a person was on the outside looking in, having never read the Bible or attended church, would he or she see the Christian recruiter as one who is in congruence with the teachings of Jesus? A main part of any relationship is not the words spoken but the actions performed. How one perceives this article may reveal much about where he or she stands. That is a personal issue for that reader but it is encouraged that you examine yourself and remember what you find. The article is not about judging anyone. It is actually more about asking questions. It does appear that the Bible is not a la carte where you can take some of this and put some of that back. It is not about being perfect but rather realizing that you are not and more importantly remembering that no one else is either.