Sunday, August 27, 2017

Approaching #Jesus Like A Child #JesusFollowers

When we were just children, and attended Sunday School with pure hearts and wide eyes, we accepted God, and the one God anointed, with a childlike faith.

We believed that God was good, and we thanked him for our food.

We believed that he sent out Jesus to preach goodness, mercy, justice and love.

We believed the teachings of Jesus were good, and that we should follow them.

Among those teachings, we accepted that we should do to others what we would wish to have done to us, and that turning the other cheek - rather than fighting back in anger, was the most pure and best way to handle conflict.

We accepted his teaching that being selfish was wrong, and to serve others - even before ourselves - is our mission here in this life.

Going the extra mile, feeding the hungry, housing the homeless, comforting the sick, were all simple, clear teachings of our Master.

It was obvious to us as children that we were called to be servants of others, and that we would be rewarded with Heaven - closeness to God forever - if we obeyed God's will for our lives, which was purely exemplified by Jesus' life.

And we believed  that the best way to show that we are followers of Jesus by showing love towards others.

Now, we must sit back today and ask: What happened to that faith?

Jesus calls us to become like little children in our faith.  He says: "Whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it." (Mark 10:15) and, elsewhere, he says, "Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven." (Matt. 18:3)

This means that we are called by Jesus to be pure, hopeful, faithful, and loving, because that's how children, who have not been tainted by life's cynicism, are in their purity.

It also means we are called to ACT, and our actions are important to Jesus, and to the God Who called him.

This command of Jesus is confusing to those who are raised in churches to believe that we are born "evil" or thoroughly impure and unable to obey God.

This doctrine leads to a complete misunderstanding of his teaching, with some believing that we must simply accept Jesus WHEN we are children, and need never seek to obey Jesus at all, because we are unable to do so (the flawed King James Biblical translation leads directly to this confusion.)

Another misunderstanding is to believe that this childlike faith in God is a call to be CHILDISH in our faith. This leads to some to say that a starry-eyed belief in man-made doctrines about God that cannot be understood - and are not based on anything Jesus said or taught - are "childlike."

The book of Proverbs asks, "How long will scoffers delight in their scoffing and fools hate knowledge?" (Prov. 1:22) And Jesus never called us to be fools for him. Instead, God's chosen one tells us to love God with all our minds and understanding.

The teachings of Jesus can be understood by a child, and are MEANT to be this easily understood.

We are called to simply and completely follow the teachings of Jesus, the one God chose to be our example in all things. He taught us the way to enter God's Kingdom, God's ideal way for all humanity to live together, and the way we can live with God forever after our earthly lives end, if God judges us worthy of entry.

All other teachings of men seem to be mere corruptions of God's simple plan, and Jesus' simple, childlike teachings.

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