Saturday, January 19, 2019

Taking Another Look at Christianity

by Robert C. Frank

Christianity is based on information contained in the Bible. While the Bible often appears to be a book primarily about “judgement and forgiveness,” it is also a book about “creation,” the continual improvement of human life. In the Old Testament, the Ten Commandments seem to focus on obeying God’s instructions, but they are also about creating better relationships with God and other people. 

On a sports team, members often obey the coach’s instructions because the coach has the authority to remove them from the team, but the coach’s instructions are intended to make the members better players. In the creation view of Christianity, God’s Commandments are obeyed not just because God is the ultimate authority but because it will achieve the goal of better lives for everyone. 

 From the standpoint of creation, the Bible is the story of God’s continual efforts to create an improved civilization on earth and Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit have fundamental roles in that process. Christians are considered God’s assistants with the creation of civilization and are being aided by the teachings of Jesus Christ, the unifying work of the Holy Spirit and science. Science seems to be a gift from God that made it possible for humans to learn to read, have their own copy of the Bible, and spread the gospel around the world. 

 “Continuing creation” and “judgement and forgiveness” are both part of the teachings in the Bible, but our understanding of God’s plan depends upon where the emphasis is placed. In the early history of the Hebrew people, the emphasis was placed on “judgement and forgiveness.” In the later history of the world, God’s plan seems more understandable if the emphasis is placed on the “continuing creation” of civilization.