Pastor's Corner

13 Feb
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Mid-Week Challenge

What does Matthew 10:34 say? Which things are forbidden according to Christianity? Can you describe the sacraments?  If you struggle with the answers, you are not alone and be thankful you are not seeking religious asylum in Sweden.  

For several years the Swedish Migration Board (the ICE of Sweden) has been using a questionnaire to distinguish “real” Christians from “fake” ones who were seeking asylum from Christian persecution in their home countries.  Many of these people were former Muslims who converted to Christianity and are fleeing their country because of persecution.  Micael Grenholm is the pastor of Mosaik Church in Uppsala, Sweden and decided to investigate this practice.  What he and his friends discovered was the questions these officials are asking are too hard or don’t have anything to do with actual Christianity.  Other question include: "How many parts does the New Testament have?", "What's the difference between the Protestant church and the Orthodox church" as well as the inflammatory "What are your thoughts on the New Testament being very anti-women?"

Micael put the test online calling it “Am I a Christian.”  After a few days over 100,000 people had responded with only 300 of them scoring more than 60% correct answers.  Of course the Swedish government stands by their methods, even after Pastor Grenholm’s research discovered people being deported due to translation problems and incorrect answer keys distributed by the government. 

So how do you think you would do if your citizenship depended on your ability to pass a Christianity test? How about your entrance into Heaven? In the Bible days many of the religious leaders made the test of being a believer so hard that no one could meet the standard. Jesus even berated the leaders for their treatment.  In Matthew 23:13 He tells them: "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the door of the kingdom of heaven in people's faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to.” How sad to break down Christianity into nothing more than a written test. 

So, why is it so hard to determine who is a Christian?  Jesus said it was simple: “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." John 13:35 Maybe it is because of the lack of love we show one another today? Thankfully God does not issue a written test but He does issue a grade at the time of our death and it is pass/fail.  The Bible makes it very clear how one becomes a Christian and how we can demonstrate our connection with Christ.  If the test were given today, how would you do?      

If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. Anyone who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved.  Romans 10:9-10 & 13

Serving the Savior

Bro. Jonathan

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