I have found it quite disheartening in the past (and more so in recent times) coming across comments placed on various websites complaining about how Christianity as a religion was “imposed on us black folks by our “colonial masters and missionaries””. And because the bible is not our culture we have no business peddling it. On another tangent, we have started a bible study group here at my centre and I am so excited about it. We read a book in the Old Testament on a weekly basis and then come together and discuss it. You don’t have to be “saved” to join in. So one of the members lives with a fabulous agnostic lady who when she saw her reading her bible asked her this question: “Will people living in the remotest part of the world, who have grown up in a completely different religion be doomed (by default of location), since they have no chance of hearing about the Christian message”? She a little confused came to me with the question, and thus I had to relay this.
And so I started: 🙂
Bit of History – From Noah to Abraham:
If we were to follow the creation concept instead of evolution then we will remember a man named Noah (Genesis 6:9). After the fall of Adam the earth had become corrupted, and the only inclination of man’s heart was evil and this grieved God (Gen. 6:6). But we find that because this man Noah was a righteous man and blameless among the people of his time, he found favour in the eyes of God (Genesis 6:8). Following his obedience to do what God commanded him (Gen. 6:22), the Lord sent the Flood, and only he and his family were left to re-populate the earth (Gen. 9:1). And from his son Ham came the people of Canaan, Ethiopians, Somalis, Nubians, Egyptians, philistines, Libyans; from Japheth came the now Europeans, Indians & Iranians, Medes and Persia, Afghans and Kurds; and from Shem the Semitic people, the Assyrians, Aram, Syria, Arphaxad and all the others. And because Ham had revealed the nakedness of their father to Japheth and Shem, Ham (the last son of Noah) the father of the Canaanites and Co. (see Gen. 9:22), was cursed to be a slave to Shem (see Gen. 9:26). And following the tower of Babel fiasco, the people were scattered to different parts of the earth and their tongues confused – Gen. 11:8-9. Now Abraham, who was a native of the Ur of Chaldeans, a descendant of Arphaxad, the father of the people of Israel and others was yet another outstanding man among the people of his time. But because God had promised Noah not to use water to cut off the earth again (Gen.9:11), instead of erasing mankind yet again (since they have still not learnt from the Flood experience, and still could no longer be trusted for the reason of its corruption), God made a new promise to Abraham, which involved where the salvation of the world had to come from above; and because of Abraham’s distinction, his line was chosen through which the promise was to be fulfilled (Gen. 12:2-3).
And thus the Jewish Religion was born!
Now true to His promise, through Abraham’s line, the Lord Jesus came to us (though he wasn’t of human decent, but had to come as human as a substitute for our humanity and as a perfect sacrifice).
Why as a man?
Then I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the scroll and to loose its seals?” And no one in heaven or on the earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll, or to look at it. So I wept much, because no one was found worthy to open and read the scroll, or to look at it – Revelation 5:2-4. Our accuser the fallen angel Lucifer famously known as Satan, Devil, who we gave over the keys to the ruler ship of this earth has been keeping a record of all our wrong doing and has been using it against us on a constant basis (Revelations 12:10). One of the many tasks of his job has been to represent us in heaven – Job 1:6-7. In order for Jesus to represent us in heaven, he had to pay a price. In the book of the Jewish Law, whenever someone did something wrong, they had to sacrifice a lamb. You see the life of a creature is in the blood and only it’s blood can makes atonement for one’s life – (Leviticus 17:11). So Jesus had to come as a man to show that it is possible to live without sin, as the priest who makes the sacrifice and as the lamb to be sacrificed. So that in the end, there will be no human contamination (Leviticus 16:16); and since it was man who gave his authority over the earth, He as a man came and collected it back. And after presenting himself in heaven, received the verdict from his watchers; Satan (Lucifer), His Father and everyone in heaven and under heaven that He was worthy to act as our Judge and high-priest. And through the death and resurrection of Christ, the message of victory, salvation and another chance to be born again was born and we were told to go tell ALL about this wonderful news – Mathew 28:18-19.
How the thrust of the Gospel went to the gentiles!!
“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing! – Mathew 23:37-38. The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief cornerstone. This was the LORD’s doing, And it is marvellous in our eyes’? “Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken from you and given to a nation bearing the fruits of it…… Now when the chief priests and Pharisees heard His parables, they perceived that He was speaking of them – Mathew 21:33-45. Now the originals the princes (the Jewish majority) (Matthew 22:3-10; Luke 14:16-24) were not too keen on the message of Christ and what He stood for, and their rejection gave us the opportunity to come in. And following the stoning of Stephen in Acts 7 (a point that marks when the thrust of the gospel was given over to us non-Jews (called Gentiles)); the message of Christ went further than the gates of Jerusalem. So now – There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise – Galatians 3:28-29. Wow Thank God for second chances!!
My rounding up: And since we are now co-heirs, to the promises made to Abraham, then this promise is no longer to one people but to ALL. It is no longer about the Jewish religion or the white man’s religion, but it is also our religion 🙂. Yours and mine!!
So even though during the Middle Ages, the reformation came with death penalties (i.e. if you don’t follow our religion we will burn you alive), that does not mean that it was the way God wanted it. He is not a forceful God. He alone chooses what to do to us and for us, not we deciding how it should be. So if I have been told to tell you the message of Christ, and I have done so, it is up to you to accept or reject it – I am not imposing it on you, just doing what I was told to do. And so in answering V’s question, the people in the remotest of villages will never loose out, because they have been inscribed in the palm of God’s hands, and thus can never be forgotten. The message of Christ will undoubtedly reach them, just as it did you and I. It is then up to them to accept it. It’s even funny how we all laughed together as we told V to start packing her luggage to go over to those places she had mentioned to give them the message we had just shared :). She laughed too.
Paul reminded us before his return to Jerusalem ………I have done what God told me to do, so I am free of your blood (Acts 20:25-27). A time will come when we will all give account of the people we have met in our journeys through life. And I for one don’t want to be among those that get blamed for not telling P and Q. I apologies if my message makes you uncomfortable, it’s just that I’m only doing what I was told to do :).
So back to the original comments, it’s not about culture or tradition but the message that was brought to us. The message they were told to go into the world and tell. The message I and my fellow believers have been told to tell, the message of the love of Christ. I just thought you ought to know. And if I have offended you by my message I am sorry. I just love God way too much not to do the simple things He has asked me to do. If I can be every ones biggest fans why can’t I at least champion God’s biggest CAUSE? HIS LOVE FOR YOU!!