I recently attended my family reunion in Detroit, Michigan, which was my first since childhood. I met family members whom I had not seen in years and some I had never seen. As I mingled and attempted to reacquaint with those relatives I knew and get acquainted with those I were meeting for the first time, I realized that I have all sorts of characters in my family. I mean, many of us do not resemble each other in appearance or mannerism. However, we have come from far and near to be with one another because we are family. We are connected by blood however distance those ties might be. The names that bind us cause us to want to know and wish the best for each other. Likewise, that kind of relationship should be true for our spiritual family.[Read more…]
Our identity consists of with whom and what we associate, as well as what and in whom we believe. Our beliefs drive our value system, which determines our actions and responses to our circumstances. The book of James talks about the relationship between faith and works. We are saved by grace through our faith and not by works (Eph 2:8). However, James tells us that faith without works is dead. In other words, if you have faith, you will have works. Your works are an outward manifestation of your faith. Therefore, as Christians, or as Paul would say, Saints, we must walk daily by faith. Our value system must be based on the right beliefs.
Our worldview is how we view the world, which is influenced greatly by our beliefs or value system. According to the American Scientific Affiliation:
“A worldview is a view of the world, used for living in the world. A world view is a mental model of reality — a comprehensive framework of ideas & attitudes about the world, ourselves, and life, a system of beliefs, a system of personally customized theories about the world and how it works.”
Our value system and worldview are all intertwined. Together they influence our responses to circumstances and our interpretation of situations, scriptures and world events. Therefore, to be effective, Christians must have what is referred to as a Biblical Worldview.[Read more…]
In 2006, the Archbishop of Canterbury addressed the 9th meeting of the World Council of Churches and outlined what it means to identify oneself as a Christian (Dr. Rowan Williams). On this blog, we have stated we all should know our identity and it is not in a name only. We have also suggested we must be true to our identity. However, to be true and to hold on to our identity, we must know to what we are being true and holding on. In the Archbishop’s speech, he asked how you would respond if asked to identify yourself. So, I thought it would be good to start our own discussion by asking that same question: if you as a Christian is called on to identify yourself, how would you respond?
“Christian identity is to belong in a place that Jesus defines for us. By living in that place, we come in some degree to share his identity, to bear his name and to be in the same relationships he has with God and with the world.”
When we were born into this world, we naturally identified with Satan because we inherited the nature of Adam. Upon accepting Jesus as our Lord and Savior, however, we inherited the nature of Jesus. Very few, however, seems to make the transformation from the old to our new identity.
If, as the above quote states, Jesus has designated a place for Christians, should not we strive to be in that place? Romans 12:1 tells us that we are to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. Nevertheless, many proclaimed Christians find it easier to continue identifying with Satan instead of working to be transformed in compliance with their new identity.
Transformation, however, is a process we have difficulties understanding. We discussed the process in the book, “Am I a Sinner, Too?” We also thought it would be insightful to refer to George Barna’s research. In his book titled “Maximum Faith,” he identifies and lists ten stops on the transformation journey. He also notes the percentage of the population that is at each stop, which lend support to the statement we made earlier that only a few experience total or near total transformation. [Read more…]
“Whose Daddy is You”
When I was in the seventh grade, I found myself walking to school because I was not feeling well that morning and my mother kept me home. Now, just so you will understand, to stay home, there had to be signs, physical evidence that you were not well. Just saying I do not feel good was not sufficient to miss school. In any case, that day approximately 10:00 AM I felt better and wanted to go on to school. I told my mother I was feeling better and I thought I could walk to school, which was approximately a mile from the house. The road between home and school is a major road even though there is not much traffic on it. The point here is that there were no sidewalks. I had to pass a number of houses and watch for dogs. I got to one house where a man was standing out in front. He looked at me and then asked, “Whose daddy is you?” At that time, that was a strange question for me and I said to myself, “cannot he see I am a young boy. I am nobody daddy.” Therefore, I did not answer, assuming he was drunk or mentally challenged, I walked faster and closer to the other side.
Since becoming an adult, I have thought about that encounter a number of times, wondering why such a question. Now, as I look back on that scene, I realize that he was really asking me who was my daddy. He was trying to identify me. He knew he did not know me but suspected he knew my father and if he knew my father, then he would know to whom I belonged, which would give him some sense of who I am. John describes such an encounter between the Pharisees and Jesus. [Read more…]