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Don’t be afraid to behave as a Christian

Once at a church a man asked me, “Are you conservative or liberal?” That question troubled me, because I had never thought if I was conservative or liberal on neither religious nor political issues.
So, I asked him, “Was Jesus liberal or conservative?” But for Jesus even such an argument itself may be nonsense.
Jesus behaved as a free man from the Jewish laws and traditions, even the Sabbath, saying, “The Sabbath was made for the good man; man was not made for the Sabbath.” (Mark 2:27). On the other hand, we also know that Jesus preserved many Jewish customs, saying, “Do not think that I have come to do away with the Law of Moses and the teaching of the prophets.” (Matthew 5:17)
Christians are people who try to follow the example of Christ. They first pay attention to the weakest of the weak, for example the unborn child, or people who are socially weak. Christians are angry for injustice in their societies, but they do not condemn any other people. They put the judgement in God’s hand. They hold to total non-violence (Matthew 5:38-42).
To realize those ideas effectively Christians are liberated from the restraint of the law of humans, but they are tied up with the law of Christ which is a much higher ideal than human law.
Now, we think that we are doing something good for God and Christ, but sometimes it is actually only our convictions or self-satisfaction.
For example, when Jesus told about his death to people, Peter took Jesus aside and told him to stop talking like that. Peter said to him, “God would never let this happen to you, Lord.” (Matthew 16:22) Why did Peter say that? There are some possibilities. Peter was simply worried about Jesus’ life. But, it probably came from Peter’s misunderstanding of Jesus. Peter had expected Jesus to have earthly power. So he wondered and was troubled how Jesus would build His Kingdom if he died.
And Peter’s more serious problem seems that he actually worried about himself. If Jesus did not succeed in His work Peter would not be able to obtain the high position in Jesus’ kingdom. Moreover, because he was a disciple of Jesus the authorities would persecute him.
As Jesus was liberal we Christians have to be liberal. However, Jesus was not liberal in order to enjoy his luxurious life, but to live in poverty and thoroughly serve God, to search for the one lost sheep, to defend the socially weak people, and above all he was liberal in order to offer his life for salvation of humans’ souls. As Jesus was conservative, we Christians also have to be conservative. However, Jesus was conservative only to practice faithfully the will of God the Father. Jesus never compromised the human centered ideas.
Good Christians are not a kind of people who merely preserve the traditional devotions such as offering daily prayers, reading the Bible or even attending Sunday worship service, but they are the people who are ready to respond to God’s call always, and who are practicing the will of God in their daily lives. Good Christians are not a kind of people who merely are satisfied with their own salvation, but they eagerly desire to be saved along with other people.
It is not always true that we do not know what we do. Rather, basically, we know what we should do. In most cases, we are just afraid to behave as Christians. Even in this country if we Christians try to put Jesus’ teachings into practice faithfully, we will immediately face the contradiction of our society, just as Jeremiah did. Jeremiah said to God, “Lord, when I talk about you to people, everyone makes fun of me. When I trust in you they laugh at me. When I criticize injustice in our society, people threaten me. Lord, I try my best to hold your message in, but can no longer keep it back.” (Jeremiah 21:7-9)
It is the fact that we sometimes are getting tired of living as Christians. Nevertheless, it is also true that Christians who pray to God with those words will feel God’s power in their hearts, and say to God the same words as Jeremiah, “Almighty God, I have told you my complaints, so let me watch your powerful deed.” (Jeremiah 20:12)

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