INTRODUCTION

By James Stytle, Crawfordsville, IN

I am a Christian. I try to follow the teachings of Jesus, as I understand them. I follow a man who preached love. Jesus told the rich to give up their wealth; He did not preach the Gospel of Prosperity. Jesus told his followers to practice nonresistance; He did not preach the conquest of His enemies. Jesus told his followers to love their neighbors; He did not preach hatred for those that were different. Jesus made it clear that it is not our place to judge others. We are to love like He loved.

I am not perfect, and I think that is okay. I strive to do what is right, and I consistently fail. That just means that I am human, not divine. I believe that we will be judged based on our desires and efforts, not our accomplishments. I also believe that we will be judged as individuals. I will be judged based on my situation, which may be very different from my neighbor’s situation. Maybe that is why we are not to judge each other; we do not truly know each other’s situations.  I am a Christian.


FAITH

Reblogged from James Stytle: http://sett.com/thinkingoutloud/faith
The photograph is a sunrise over Indiana on 16 September 2017.

Chapter eleven of The Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Hebrews teaches that faith is how we understand and believe what we cannot see. Faith is how we understand that God spoke the world into existence. Faith is what gives us the strength and resolve to understand and follow God’s will. Abel had faith to offer his best to God. Abel’s first instinct would be to keep the entire harvest for himself, but it was reasonable to return a portion to God, who made the harvest possible. Faith enabled Noah to have the courage and strength to build the ark. There was no precedent for a flood, but in light of the revelations from God, it was reasonable for Noah to prepare by building the ark. Abraham ventured into unknown territory due to his faith. People tend to remain in the familiar, but it was reasonable for Abraham to seek the inheritance promised to him by God. Faith enabled Sarah to conceive a child in old age. A woman of Sarah’s age would not expect to conceive a child, but Sarah had experience of God doing what He said he would do. Abraham was willing to sacrifice Isaac due to faith. Isaac was the child through which Abraham’s lineage would be established, but Abraham knew that God could do all things, so it was reasonable to follow God’s instructions. Faith enabled Moses to turn from the wealth and comfort of nobility to help his own people. He considered the rewards of following God to be of greater value, so it was reasonable to turn away from wealth and comfort to follow God. Throughout time, people have been strengthened and guided by faith, even in the face of violent persecution. Faith enables people to understand what is not immediately apparent and to see what is truly the best course to take.

What are your thoughts?

Share them online at: http://sett.com/thinkingoutloud/faith

Faith – Thinking Out Loud
James Stytle
http://sett.com/thinkingoutloud/faith

Photo of James Stytle
James Stytle
Public Information and Outreach Community of Christ» Contributor

husband, father, stepfather, grandfather, son, brother, uncle, lawyer, Freemason, soldier, Esperantist, magician, past master of Montgomery Lodge #50, past president of Montgomery County Bar Association, Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee (Chairman 2006-2009 / Vice-chairman 2009-2012)