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Viewpoint from Rev Chris Shreeve 21/06/2013

chris shreeveReverend Chris Shreeve
Methodist Minister in Martham,
as part of the East Norfolk Methodist Circuit

 
Jesus, the most free man to walk upon the earth, said, "If you hold to my teachings, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free" (John 8. 31b, 32)
 
As a born-again Christian, having had the privilege of living and working in a number of countries during my life so far, it has long been a concern of mine about the lack of freedom in how we live our lives as Christians in this developed country
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We expect every country to offer the same rights and freedoms we celebrate.  Yet so many in our own country are in dreadful slavery to career, to work, and to debt, besides struggling with false standards, impossible expectations, disorders and addictions, trivial and critical, as individuals and communities chase the elusive, ever-changing dream that makes our nation a beacon of freedom and light to oppressed people everywhere. I see too many Christians caught up by these cultural demands, finding themselves entrapped rather than free
 
Dove rightThe recent murder of Gunner Rigby in London, and violence in many countries across the world, demonstrates how groups with one viewpoint undertake atrocious spectacles against those of a differing belief, because they seem to be saying that the only way to know their truth is to force it into people’s minds and lives, rather than the gentle invitation in Jesus’ words about holding to his standards, and the truth making us free
 
Following the standards of Jesus may be ‘old fashioned’ and ‘out of date’ for many people. Jesus gave his followers two simple statements as the core of his teachings – ‘to love God with all we have and are, and to love our neighbour as ourselves.’  Impossible?  Don’t let yourself get trodden down or put upon?  Well, that viewpoint is opposite to Jesus’ way – after all, he was betrayed by a friend, surrendered himself to an illegal authority; was falsely condemned to death and crucified, and then buried in a borrowed grave.  His way appears pretty useless on that reporting ... but on the third day, his grave was found opened and empty; he was seen by many over a period of weeks, and his followers found courage to live that life of love he called for.  Love alone will change our world for good and bring the freedom we need


Article printed from www.networkyarmouth.co.uk at 03:42 on 30 October 2020