‘Muslims turning to Christ – a global phenomenon’ (June) was a marvellous revelation. Too often we, the comfortable Western Christians, lose sight of what the great commission really entails: Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and the ends of the earth. We seem to forget that we too were once enemies – of God and Christians, his followers.
The story of Akbar al-Masih is particularly touching. Here is a man who anticipated the story of Jesus would contain Koranic vengeance but instead discovered Christian forgiveness.
I must share your article with those in my Christian community. God is chasing the sons of Ishmael into our paths. What would he have us do? Jesus the Jew is bringing peace to avowed enemies.
NO MORE SHAME
Thank you for the editorial in the June issue, ‘When it comes to paternity doubts, Welby is in good company’. I read it several times.
I had never really considered how Jesus was probably the victim of unkind whispers regarding who his father was. At least he had the consolation of knowing the truth that there was nothing ‘scandalous’ for him to hide.
For many people, having a shameful past is something they know all too well and have to live with. But as Justin Brierley writes, ‘The history of Christianity is filled with…saints who were once sinners. And let’s face it, most of us [are] a mixture of the two for the whole of our lives.’
Your editorial would be an encouragement to them as it was to me, knowing that we have a God who forgives the darkest moments of our past if we are willing to make a new start with him.
At a recent Bible study in my church, some people were revealing their disgust at certain members of our society. I reminded them of a line in a song ‘To God be the Glory’ we often sing, ‘The vilest offender who truly believes, that moment from Jesus a pardon receives’. How do we know that some members of our congregation were not once like that but are now changed by the grace of God?
I appreciated your final paragraph: ‘Like Welby, I’m glad that those who follow the scandalous Jesus aren’t defined by a dodgy past, but by the hopeful future they’ve inherited from the true Father of all.’
JESUS VS THE BIBLE
I’ve read Premier Christianity for a number of years and always enjoy it but May’s edition was exceptional. I loved the whole thing! Robert Keay’s article ‘Jesus vs the Bible’ was the best short article I’ve ever read. He took a big, timely, difficult subject and explained it clearly before shedding new light on it in a concise, constructive way. I also want to applaud Jamie Cutteridge for his brilliant article on instant gratification. The Real Life article on Micha Jazz, and Jeff Lucas’ description of how God commands us to have fun were also highlights. Well done and keep it up!
In Robert Keay’s interesting article he approvingly quotes Stan Guthrie as saying ‘Sure, Christians understand that Jesus the incarnate Word fulfills the written Word. But if all scripture is God-breathed, then in principle Jesus’ inscripturated statements are no more God’s word to us than are those from Peter, Paul, and Mary – or Ezekiel.’
There is, of course, one glaring difference between Jesus and anybody else. If the incarnation happened then it is the most important event in history. This is God – the creator of all – showing us what he looks like. All reality revolves around the incarnation; a fact the earliest Christians were very keen to articulate. Later Christians articulated this with a different word: Trinity. Anyone who hasn’t grasped this cannot be said to have understood what it means for Jesus to be the incarnate word, and they certainly should not be drafted in support of any discussion purporting to discuss the meaning of Jesus’ statements ‘in principle’.
Stephen Backhouse, St Mellitus College
@Nlesterbush Great to see the ever-bold @Christianitymag tackling the sensitive issue of Transgender (& helpfully providing terms!) Then I turn over (I start backwards) & see an article ‘sex as worship’ – a contender for best ever issue!
@Peridot288 Moving testimony from Shahla in @Christianitymag it’s never easy to follow Jesus, but be assured that he is always here with us
@MrsVsTreasures Many Christians mistakenly confuse Wicca with Satanism. A belated thank you to @Christianitymag for explaining they are not the same. Bravo!
@Lorrainep115 @Christianitymag June article on Transgender issues spot on. As mum to trans son really need this.
@Grace_and_Love Loving the new issue of @Christianitymag Especially the article on transgender and the interview with @Sarcasticluther @UnbelievableJB
I was sitting on the tube in London yesterday during my commute, when I suddenly recalled an article in your magazine regarding evangelism (‘Mind the gap’, May). I’d only glanced at the article as I have never felt that I am an evangelist, and I struggle to speak to strangers about Jesus. But as I sat on the train looking around me, I really wanted to do something to touch the lives of the people sitting so close to me, but I didn’t know where to start.
I looked back at the article today, and found some of the suggestions very helpful, particularly the encouragement to pray for them and ask God before potentially approaching them.
Thank you for the magazine. It always gives us new perspectives on how we can serve God in our daily lives, as well as keeping abreast of broader topics that are impacting the Christian community in the current day.
I am writing in response to Martin Trench’s letter in the May issue regarding witches. I have come to faith after being a practicing witch. Contrary to what Martin suggests, no witch would ever enter a church to curse it. One of the basic laws of Wicca is the law of three, which states that whatever you send out comes back to you threefold.
I find my pagan and Wiccan friends are delighted about my conversion back to Christianity and are open-minded about it. Unfortunately the Church is not in the least bit open-minded about my previous beliefs. These are ignorant comments being made by people who have not researched the facts.
Email Premier Christianity at firstname.lastname@example.org putting ‘feedback’ in the subject line We reserve the right to edit letters for style and length. The views expressed do not necessarily represent those of the publisher.
I like to keep up with the latest trends. I bought a CD recently, for example, although I took it back when I discovered that I could get no sound out of it other than a horrid scratching noise. I couldn’t even get the needle on my record player to find any of its tiny grooves. It must have been faulty.
I was delighted, therefore, to see a return to the old-fashioned tradition of street preaching in an article in your most recent issue. I did notice that one person seemed to be giving out hugs and fruit. I don’t recall the Lord Almighty welcoming people into the kingdom of heaven because of a good cuddle or a penchant for pineapple, but I am willing to let it go on the basis that I valued the recognition of this important evangelistic movement. It inspired me, in fact, to get back out on the streets myself last week. It was nice to see I hadn’t lost my touch.
I had no ‘microphones’ or ‘amplification equipment’. I mean, did Moody or Wesley? Precisely. I decided to use the voice with which the Lord had gifted me. I climbed upon my box on the high street, and while loudly pointing at passing individuals, I used my old method of listing the seven things the Lord detests from Proverbs 6. I had just yelled at a distant woman whose eyes were looking particularly haughty, when someone fell over right before my eyes! I’m not usually one for this Holy-Spirit-Toronto-Blessing stuff, but the Lord must have been in it. This chap was certainly shouting his name as he fell.
He then took to worshipping by kneeling over the spot where it happened. He took a picture of it, in fact, which he said he was going to send to the council. They must now be marking the spot where it happened, as when I passed by yesterday, it was roped off and the pavement was being levelled. Perhaps they will erect a statue.
Rev Roger D Votional