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Dalit Christian? It is an Oxymoron!


caste 2Casteism is a kind of Exploitation. The Caste system is based on a mythological account of a creation of man.

Manu Smriti 1.31. “But for the sake of the prosperity of the worlds he(god) caused the Brahmana, the Kshatriya, the Vaisya, and the Sudra to proceed from his mouth, his arms, his thighs, and his feet.”

It is a derogatory and condescending to call someone a Dalit or a Dalit Christian.  This idea of “Dalit Christian” is borne out of a pervasive influence of Hindu culture. We must reject and refute this repulsive teaching.  There are two inherent problems with this notion of classification or grouping.

  1. First It denies Genesis account of the creation of man. God created Adam the first man in His own image.

Genesis 1:27 So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.  

We are all descendants of Adam therefore, we all are of one race and one caste. We all human beings are either “Brahamins” or all “Dalits”. If Dalit means low, untouchable, depraved race then according to Romans 3:23 all humans are depraved and fallen short of the glory of God. It is an attack on our Fundamental doctrine of creation. Therefore, we must oppose and reject this repugnant classification of mankind.

2. Second this classification of Christians discredits what Christ has accomplished through his death and resurrection. It undermines and belittles our glorious status in Christ Jesus. It is an assault on our doctrine of Salvation. We must militantly defeat and dismiss this abhorrent unbiblical categorization of Christians.

When we become Christian irrespective of our background then God changes our status Galatians 3:26-29. No longer we are “Dalit” or “Depraved” humans but on the contrary, we are now (in Christ)
1. A New creation 1 Cor. 5:17
2. The Children of God John1:12
3  A Royal Priesthood I Peter 2:9
4. The special people of God 1Peter 2:9-10
5. Saints I Cor. 1:2; Eph. 1:1; Col 1:2

Christmas Thoughts: What are your seeking this Christmas?


300 gifts.pngPeople have different expectations during Christmas. Some of you have been waiting for this season so that you can do lots of shopping. Some of you have been waiting to take a vacation and go some place nice and have some fun. Some of you have been waiting to visit your loved ones. Some of you can’t wait to get a special gift from your friend or family. For some, it is just a holiday season which comes and goes every year. Some of you are seeking a new job, new house, new computer, new phone, new books, or new clothes. The malls and shopping centers are now full with people seeking something for themselves and for their loved ones. I heard news about a mother who bought 300 gifts for her children (see the picture above), and when people criticized her, she tried to justify her desire to give those gifts. It is a very sad thing that she will be raising her children who will not appreciate the true meaning of Christmas. She is seeking to gratify herself. People are no longer seeking JESUS the real reason for Christmas Season.

We read the Christmas story of the wise men who came to Jerusalem. They were seeking the King of the Jews. You might have seen written on signboards or plaques, “Wise men still seek Jesus” or “Wise men still seek the King of the Jews”.

What you seek tells a whole lot about you! 

“Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east and are come to worship him.” Mathew 2:1-2

There are few problems with our celebrations which have plagued our society and culture today. Christmas has become a self-seeking, self-gratifying festival. We are told, advised, and encouraged to treat ourselves well because we deserve it. Even Christians are deceived to think the same way. We often justify our indulgences and celebrations because of the traditions of old passed to us by our fathers. Our traditions and celebrations are not much different from the world. Additionally, we are doing our best not to break the materialistic traditions of Christmas, at the same time trying to pass along the traditions of old to the new generation. However, Paul warns us that “People will become of lover of themselves rather  than lovers of God”

“But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves……… lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! II Timothy 3:1-5

Let me encourage you to seek JESUS this Christmas.Here are Scripture passages to meditate this Christmas, which in essence will help you Seek rightly:

  • The LORD looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God.  Psalm 14:2, Psalm 53:2
  • There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. Romans 3:11
  • Now set your heart and your soul to seek the LORD your God; I Chronicle 22:19
  • The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts. Psalm 10:4
  • But if from thence thou shalt seek the LORD thy God, thou shalt find him if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul. Deuteronomy 4:29
  • And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes. Daniel 9:3

JESUS himself came on that Christmas night to seek us. The purpose of Christ’s First Coming is clearly told in the Scriptures,

“For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” Luke 19:10

These are Twelve things we are exhorted and encourage to Seek

  1. But Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness;  Mathew 6:33, Luke 12:31
  2. Seek the LORD and his strength, Seek his face continually   I Chronicle 22:19
  3. Seek for all the commandments of the LORD. I Chronicle 28:8
  4. Seek the law of the LORD, and to do it, and to teach. Ezra 7:10
  5. Seek ye out of the book of the LORD, and read: no one of these shall fail” Isaiah 34:16
  6. Seek good and not evil, That you may liveAmos 5:14
  7. Seek righteousness, Zephaniah 2:3
  8. Seek meekness: it may be ye shall be hidden in the day of the LORD’S anger. Zephaniah 2:3
  9. Seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life: Romans 2:7
  10. Seek peace, and pursue it. Psalm 34:14
  11. Seek judgment. Isaiah 1:17
  12. If ye then be risen with Christ, Seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Colossians 3:1

But without faith, it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. Hebrews 11:6

What are you seeking during Christmas as you wait for Christ’s Second coming? Will he find you seeking Him in faith? Luke 18:8

 

 

#Christmas Thought: Are you willing to be ridiculed this Christmas?


not-afraid-christmas-treeDuring Christmas we always go to see the lights in different places of our town. There are some houses where one can see nativity scenes displayed in the yards. I have noticed Joseph standing behind Mary. And they both are beholding the baby (Jesus) placed in the  manger. Often after seeing that, my mind has always wandered to the time past and I had wondered about Joseph, who remained silent and never questioned. He kept doing whatever he was told  to do and remained obedient and even remained righteous and pure in his relationship with Mary till the birth of Jesus. I believe he was still trying to make sense of  all these things in his mind. It was beyond his  comprehension!  But Joseph remained submissive to the will of God. The nativity scene is  a beautiful picture of two ordinary people who were  willing to risk and give up their social standing. I am amazed and inspired by their willingness to be scrutinized and ridiculed by  their friends and their community. 

Remember Joseph was going to put her away secretly after he came to know that Mary is with child. Who told him? How did he come to know.? We do not know, but it seems it became evident after three months of pregnancy. It was obvious that few people came to know about Mary and the news reached to him. I believe when he heard the news, he was both shocked and heartbroken. He must be tormented by hundred of thoughts, things and questions in his mind after hearing this ridiculous bad news. But he remained calm under these circumstances. He must be asking, “Why all this happened to me?’ His dreams of being happily married to Mary shattered.

“Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly. “ Mathew 1:18-19

Joseph came to know  about the pregnancy of Mary after three months because Mary went to her cousin’s place soon after she received the message from the Angel, Gabriel. Luke 1:56  He was thinking of what could have transpired in the three months while she was at her cousin’s place. He must deliberating what are his options and what is the best way to deal with this situation. He remained thoughtful and concerned about Mary and her future.

“But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.”. Mathew 1:20

“Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took to him his wife.” Mathew 1:24

Again, this was not an easy thing for him. It was a shameful and sinful thing for a young woman to be impregnated before lawful marriage in that culture. The culture in which he was living, would have stoned Mary to death. Unlike today’s culture in the west, where hundreds of babies  are born out of wedlock, but no one cares or dares to ask question to young people.  Many don’t  think it is a wrong thing or sin! 

He found out that it was a  God’s plan for him and Mary. The angel told him “don’t be afraid”. Joseph was willing to be submissive to the heavenly voice of the Angel.  He must have told his parents, relatives and friends that he will not give up on Mary and will take her as his wife. He was going to do one big ridiculous thing which was unheard of in that culture. We do not know  the Bible describes him, that “he was a just man”. There are handful men in the NT who are called “ just or righteous. He was the first “just man of New testament”  we read  about in Mathew 1:19. He did exactly what just man must be willing to do for the sake of Christ. He was willing to be ridiculed and scorned by his friends, family members and neighbors.

Are you willing to be ridiculed by your friends, relatives, and countrymen? Christmas is hijacked by postmodern culture. People don’t want to say “ Merry Christmas!” but “ Happy Holiday!” People want to sing “Santa Baby, ” “ twelve days of Christmas” Rudolf the red nose deer” etc. 

  • Please say “Merry Christmas” to everyone.
  • Play Christmas Hymns and songs.
  • Hang Star or  a Cross in your window or in your yard.
  • Make Christ known and be known for your faith.

Don’t be afraid, let the world ridicule you. Let them say whatever they want to say about you and your faith.

Be willing to be ridiculed this Christmas!

Peter forewarns Christians  in his epistle  that in the last days they will be mocked for their belief in Christ’s Second Coming!

“… knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, 4 and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.” 2 Peter 3:3-4

Don’t be afraid! Be willing to be ridiculed for your Faith!! Don’t give up, Jesus is coming again soon!

Christmas thought: Have you started playing Christmas music?


Gloria

We at our home have started playing Christmas songs. There is something about Christmas time and music. It feels you with excitement and joy. I have always wondered what was it likeon that night while shepherds were in the field, there shone around them glory of the Lord and the angel shared good news of Jesus birth. Later we read there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying ( singing),

“ Glory of God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”

I believe this was one of the most melodious music fell into the ears of Shepherd. Shepherds in the middle-east/ east have always played music (pipe or flute )or sang songs while grazing flocks. It must have been a treat for weary shepherds to hear heavenly music with the message of hope and joy.

Think about the message of the music and songs. Share and sing Christmas songs/hymns of hope, joy and peace with your family, friends, and even with foes! People need to hear music of hope and joy in the midst of fear and despair.

At Jesus’ Second coming, we know one of the musical instruments that will be sounded. This will be a very different sound/music.

“For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.” I Thessalonians 4:16

Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. Mathew 24:30-31

Enjoy your Christmas music and Anticipate the trumpet sound at any moment. Christ is coming soon! And then we will be singing a new song and play new music (Revelation 5:9-14 ) only if we have truly accepted the message of angels’s Christmas music as did the shepherds.

“Worthy is the Lamb who was slain,
to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might
and honor and glory and blessing!”

Reflection on James 1:27


Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.

We have often asked to ourselves and others what is the right religion? What should we be doing to please God? Does this verse give us warrant to become active in social work? I hope shedding some light on this portion of the Scripture may help you to evaluate your religion.

We must understand that James is writing to the Jewish Churches who are scattered in all different places. He is also trying to help them to see the difference between unproductive religion and productive religion. He is giving them picture of false religion and pure religion which is accepted by God. They must have brought with them in their Church their old religion and practices.

Pure religion – On the word here rendered “religion” (θρησκεία thrēskeia). BDAG says, “it is the expression of devotion to transcendent beings.” Here James is emphasizing external actions and patterns of behavior of follower of Christ. Most commentators will agree that this word refers to the outward, to the external expression of belief. It is outworking of one’s Faith. Faith without works is dead..” We must understand even though we are talking about outer behavior, practice or work, but we are not called to do these outward things out of impure and selfish reasons. This should be the inevitable result of the one’s internal pure religion. The phrase “pure religion” means that which is genuine and sincere, or which is free from any improper mixture.

Undefiled (ἀμίαντος) carries the further idea of a religion free from selfish do-good motives.Andtherefore undefiled religion is what is not selfish and a religion which does not promote one’s own interest. And this is not what one feels about his or her own religion but what is pure and undefiled before God and the Father.

This genuine religion has two elements.

1. First it is not selfish but benevolent. (External Element)

First, the verb to look after or oversee ἐπισκέπτεσθαι (episkeptomai) is a compound verb in which the prepositional prefix epi- places an emphasis on the act of looking. Here, then, it is proper to translate this verb not merely as “visit” (KJV, RSV, NASB) but as “look after” (NIV). It is the same verb used by Matthew in Mt 25:36, 43. it is just not feeling but it is moving with compassion in a tangible way. A Christian is moved with compassion and gives out all what he can liberally, sacrificially and cheerfully. One is not merely giving money but also is actively involved in taking care of the fatherless and widows with his own hands. You are also called to do not for you own glory and praise. We can be tempted to do it and want our name or our loved one’s name on a plaque. How often our giving and our service is merely for applause.

2. Secondly it is not stained but blameless. (Internal Element)

The second thing, we must give our attention to is to this Greek word Unspotted (ἄσπιλον).(“unspotted,” literally, “without spot or stain”) refers to what is morally (spiritually) untainted, i.e. morally unblemished (pure) – “free from censure, irreproachable, free from vice, unsullied” (K. Wuest). The pure religion also demands purity. It is a call to live holy. We should keep ourselves “without reproach”. That is, religion will keep us from the maxims, vices, and corruptions which prevail in the world, and make us holy. James has used word “world” five times in his epistle but on all occasion it is used in negative sense. This means he was exhorting us that there are things in the world that can defile us.What are some of things that can taint or stain us?

a. By world: culture, community, and company (II Corinthians 6:12,Proverbs 12:26 ,Psalm 1:1)
b. By Flesh: Our tongue (v 26), our heart ( Jeremiah 17:9) and our corrupt mind ( I Timothy 6:5) and our lust and greed (Colossians 3:5)This is by no means a exhaustive list.

• Evaluate the motives behind the social work. John 12:6

• New Testament tells us who these widows are, see I Timothy 5:5-10

• Acts 6 is another example of taking care of poor and needy within the church.

• James does not open up a social organization for widows and for orphans. He is speaking to these Christians in their churches, and he is reminding them of their duties. It is Churches’ responsibilities.

• This passage does not give us any basis for social agenda, which has become increasingly popular among evangelicals.

• Many social religious organizations and the leaders of such organization using religion as a “cloak of covetousness” (I Thessalonians 2:5), “whose god is their belly, and who set their mind on earthly things”( Philippians 3:18) and those who suppose that godliness (Religion) is a means of gain. ( I Timothy 6:5)

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