Christians are suposed to be the salt of the earth:  something that acts as a flavouring agent, preservative, and even as a medicine. Salt is also used in the Old Testament as something used in a biding covenant.

However, most Christians have somehow misunderstood the statement in the New Testament that we are not of this world, and have isolated themsleves into ghettos of belivers. Unfortunately, they are keeping the salt away from the world.

We ought to get actively involved in teaching, writing, counseling, and other activities through which we can act as a preservative and medicine. Only then can we say confidently that we are the salt of the earth -- and not salt of the church, too much of which is harmful for the church anyway.

Look around. Think of ways in which you can really be the salt of the earth.

Johnson C. Philip
Man is basically selfish. Though there are numerous philanthropists around the world, they are only an insignificant minority when one takes the total population into account. Thus one can safely say in general that mankind is selfish.

Look at the way selfish people cut you off in traffic. Look at the way people try to jump queues, get unmerited favor, and get privileges that they do not deserve. Go to countries where public facilities do not match between the demand-supply chain and you will see selfishness on its peak. Look at the world. You will see hundreds of wars ethnic strifes and warlords who have only one aim -- plunder the innocent and helpless.

Christianity is just the opposite. Instead of exploiting the helpless, the all-powerful God allowed Lord Jesus to die on their behalf so that they could be made rich. But the world has so much possessed the mind of Christians that now many so-called Christians have started defining God not as the "generous-giver" but as the selfish tyrant who is trying to selfishly create a kingdom of privileged unto Himself.

My reference is specifically to an aberrant teaching that is gradually rising its head among Christians that there is no need to preach the gospel and that there is no need to invite sinners to the free gift of salvation.

According to this new teaching, Christ did not die for the whole world. They claim that Christ died only for a select elite and that the non-elite cannot come to salvation because Christ did not die for them. Thus, according to them, telling common people that Christ died for them is wrong because the common people are not part of this selected elite.

It needs a lot of selfishness and depravity to reduce God's love for the "entire mankind" to a love for the "select elite", yet some have risen to say "Let us make God in our image, who is as selfish as we are".

Every Christian feels that Sunday Schools are vital for the Christian community, but many claim that their Sunday Schools failed to impart them anything substantial. This brings us to the question about planning our Sunday Schools.

Are our Sunday Schools well planned or Ill planned? I mean do the teachers ever sit together to reflect upon what they ought to teach, why they ought to teach, and how they ought to teach. Or do most of them simply memorize and vomit in the class what their grandfather once taught in the same church.

Surely Sunday School is and important place where a person's world-view is formed at a very early stage. but the question is, are our Sunday Schools a place where a Biblical world-view is imparted or a place where Bible-based stories are taught MECHANICALLY?

Do our Sunday School teachers meet occasionally to discuss, plan, and pray for the issues related to communicative divine viewpoint to the present generation, or do do they keep mechanically parroting stories without corresponding world-view lessons?

Yesterday there was a Bible class and this is what one of them argued:

1. Adam and Even had children only after they sinned. Thus childbearing is the result of sin. If man were still innocent, children would be born not of parents but in some other way.

2. Psalms says that "In sin did my mother conceive me". Thus it is obvious that*****is a sinful act.

The summary of what this brother said was that*****is sinful, and child-bearing is a punishment God inflicted upon man as a result of human sin. He then went on to say that he got this teaching from a prominent Brethren pulpit teacher. Obviously, prominent people are able to push a lot of teachings upon people because we are no longer Bereans.

Both the above teachings are totally contrary to the Bible. What do YOU say?
Some times back there was a discussion in a certain church in which I was also invited to participate. The discussion was about whether the church can do a certain thing, even if it offends the neighbors. I mentioned two things:

1. We as God's children are bound to love our neighbors and should not do anything that offends them, such as blasing our sound systems.

2. We need to obey all government laws related to sound pollution, parking, and other laws that are applicable to a church.

Almost everyone obeyed and there was a consensus that nothing should be done in that church building that is offensive to the neighbors or which are contrary to government regulation.

At that time a man jumped up and in a very crude and loud manner said "This is our church. The neighbors have no say even if we blast our sound system and produce intolerable sound. What is more, the government is nobody to interfere in anything related to this building. This buildig belongs to God, not to the government". Everyone thought that this brothers crude mannerisms in the name of Christianity were a mark of spiritual commitment. With that there was pandemonium and the meeting dissolved in anarchy. 

I feel that this kind of crude, insensitive, behavior towards our neighbors and this kind of anti-government stand has hurt us too much already.

What do YOU say?

Christ Is The Only Mediator
(Foundations Of The Brethren Doctrinal Stand)

Dr. Johnson C. Philip & Dr. Saneesh Cherian

Seeking the help of a mediator is human nature -- particularly when one seeks the favour of a person very high above us. A mediator is also sought when two parties are at odds with each others. Both the above cases apply to man's spiritual life.

When man tries to approach God, the finite one is trying to approach the infinite one, and the mortal one is trying to reach the eternal one. What is more, it is also a case where a sinner is trying to approach the most holy God who cannot have anything with sin, inequity, or unrighteousness. Every human being knows about this chasm between him and God, and -- rightly --  feels inadequate for this task. The problem is that he prefers to invent or manufacture mediators instead of looking for the mediator that God has provided.

From the moment man decided in Eden to act upon his own desires, instead of divine commands, he has been living with rebellion steeped deep in his heart. Doing what is wrong is closer to his heart than doing what is right. Thus instead of looking for the Mediator that God has provided, or even inquiring if God has provided a solution, mankind has been "manufacturing" mediators unto himself.  Most of these mediators were of pagan origin in Old Testament, but the rebellion has reached greater intensities in the Church age.

Church is the first age in which God's written word is available as a whole unit to mankind. What is more, increasing sophistication of writing materials has made it possible for common man to have easy access to the Bible. If the average Christian uses this access, he would immediately discover both God's method for access to Him, and also the Mediator through whom such access is available. The ONLY Mediator through whom such access is possible to God.

The Scripture says:

  • There is  one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus. (1Tim 2:5 )
  • But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises. ( Hebrews 8:6)
  • And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance. ( Hebrews 9:15) 
  • And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel. (Hebrews 12:24)

God's word is very clear that only one person has the credentials to function as a mediator between God and man and that is Christ Jesus. The Scriptures quoted above are so clear that one does not require any explanation to realize that other than Lord Jesus, there is no mediator between God and man. Couple that with Acts 4:12 which says, "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved" and it becomes clear that our Lord Jesus is the only one Saviour and Mediator in the Universe.

The above fact is offensive to the average human mind because of his sin nature and rebellion against God. He wants a mediator who is human, but he dislikes the idea of someone who is also God. That is why Christendom has invented numerous mediators in the last two millennia who are totally human. These include numerous people whom the churches have declared as "Saints". Worse, these churches directly and indirectly encourage their followers to pray to these human saints to pray for them. In other words, these humans are supposed to mediate between man and God which is a terrible fallacy as well as a heresy.

The chief among the mediators invented by man is Mary who is labeled as the "Mother of God" by them, instead of correctly being labeled as the "Mother of Jesus". Things  have become so bad that in 1935 Mary was labeled a co-redemptrix along with Lord Jesus Christ. Thus for them the work of redemption is done not only by the God-Man Jesus Christ, but also by the human mother of Jesus. This demonstrates the fact that when humans formulate doctrines on the basis of considerations outside the Bible, they will always devalue God and would elevate human to the level of the divine.

The Scripture is very clear: there is only one redeemer and one Mediator, and that is Jesus Christ. All other mediators are man-made and are not mediators at all. In fact all of them need salvation exactly the way we need it through Lord Jesus Christ. Let us keep this in mind, and give reverence only to the one single Mediator between man and God.

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