Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Blessed Are Those Who See God in the Continuing Creation of Civilization

by Robert C. Frank

Just as the invisible gravity can be seen when objects fall to earth, our invisible God can be seen in the advancement of civilization. The whole purpose of God's Ten Commandments was to get the ancient Hebrews to work together peaceably and improve their civilization. The teachings of Jesus Christ and his death and resurrection played vital roles in the improvement of civilization, but human concerns related to the link between forgiveness and eternal life produced conflicts that slowed the advancement of civilization. The work of the Holy Spirit in the production of the Bible and worldwide Christian Church made major contributions to the progress of civilization.

If God is still creating civilization, it is fair to ask, what would that perfect civilization be like that is the goal of creation? It seems to me that a perfect civilization would be like a perfect human team. (1) Everyone would have a different function, but is considered equally important. (2) Everyone would be happy with what they are doing because it fits their skills and they understand how they contribute to the team effort (4) Everyone would understand the importance of the other team members, enjoy being with them, and respect their contribution. (5) Everyone would understand the goal of the team effort. As a result, they would all live happily together in peace and harmony as a perfect civilization. 

Today with the aid of science, the more than two billion followers of Jesus in the world are continuing to create better lives for all people. While we can’t see God, we can see how God is continuing to create that better civilization. We are all needed to serve as God's assistants on Christ’s Team.

Friday, June 16, 2017

What is Christianity's Goal?

by Robert C. Frank

Eternal life is often thought of as Christianity’s goal, but the large number of lingering questions about life after death have led to confusion, conflict, and division. Therefore, wisdom suggests that Christians need a more unifying goal that concentrates on life in this current world and leaves decisions about life after death to God. Teamwork and outreach can be improved if a goal more appropriate for Christian effort in our current civilization is sought.

It is universally accepted by Christians that God is the creator of all human beings and they live on a beautiful blue and green planet that God provided. It is also accepted by Christians that the death and resurrection of Jesus have come to symbolize the assurance of God’s forgiveness of all humans when they request it. That permits them to lead more peaceful lives with each other. Information about the life of Jesus confirms that he was the ultimate servant leader who consistently healed and cared for people with a variety of problems and backgrounds. He taught his followers to love God and each other. In the world today, Christian mission programs are helping people everywhere live more healthy and peaceful lives.

A summary of the preceding paragraph suggests that a possible goal for Christianity could be to help all people on earth live better lives. 

That goal would be understandable to everyone, both Christians and non-Christians. It has already been a goal of Christianity for a long time, but not explicitly stated as Christianity’s goal. 

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Assistant Coaches Are Needed for Christ's Team

by Robert C. Frank

Christ’s Team, consisting of all the followers of Jesus, is perhaps the largest team on earth. Christ is its coach, but it is always in need of assistant coaches. Assistant coaches for Christ’s Team are Pastors and Priests. Assistant coaches are mentors who teach by example and provide inspiration and encouragement. Like Jesus Christ, they are servant leaders who train others to become servant leaders. 

Christianity appears to be in the early stages of a 21st century reformation. Current teachings and traditions are undergoing unusual scrutiny and that is challenging the faith of the followers of Jesus. In earlier periods, the focus of Christianity was concerned with how to achieve life after death. Christianity, however, has always helped people lead better current lives, so recently the emphasis has been shifted to that part of its teachings, leaving decisions about life after death to God. This will gradually produce a new Christianity that will blossom and grow like the mustard tree mentioned in one of Jesus’ parables.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

The Lord is My Coach

by Robert C. Frank

The 23rd Psalm is a beautiful and very popular psalm even though it was written for an ancient civilization. The following is an effort to rewrite it to make it fit more comfortably in our rapidly changing civilization. The italicized statement is from the original and the bold one is from the suggested version. 

 The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. 
The Lord is my coach, everything will go well. 

 He makes me lie down in green pastures; 
He invites me to come to him when I am anxious; 

He leads me beside still waters; he restores my soul. 
He encourages me, lifting my spirit, and inspiring me. 

He leads me in right paths for his name’s sake. 
He teaches me; guiding me in my daily activities.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Lent: A Time for Christians to Refocus

by Robert C. Frank

Lent is traditionally a time for penitence, but repentance without redirection becomes hollow, so it is also a time for refocusing our lives. There are certain activities that are practiced to solidify our Christian faith. Lent is a time to examine them carefully to see how well we are doing. In the paragraphs that follow we will discuss some of them and try to understand why they are so important.

Prayer is experiencing the presence of God. There are many forms of prayer, but it is often most meaningful when in an atmosphere of silence. The following is a list of possible opportunities for people who lead busy lives. (1) When lying in bed in the morning after waking is a good time to express gratitude for the loving people in our lives. (2) Before meals. (3) Every time we need to wait for someone or something during the day. (4) Upon going to bed at night. The Lord’s Prayer is a beautiful prayer.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Understanding the Relationship Between Love and Teamwork

by Robert C. Frank

Love and teamwork are closely related, but understanding that relationship is vital. Love makes teamwork possible and teamwork makes love functional. Love brings people together, but teamwork is required for them to stay together. Love can come naturally, but teamwork must be learned.

To help us understand this relationship, consider the case of the simplest of all human relations, that between two people, a husband and wife. When they were originally introduced and spent time together they were attracted to each other and had a desire to be together. That attraction is what we call love. After they get married, they find that something else is needed to preserve the relationship and that is teamwork. They must find a way to make their lives fit together smoothly. That will require study, learning, and practice. As a result of their love a husband and wife can conceive a new human life in a few pleasant moments, but bringing that child successfully to adulthood will require teamwork.