Revival : An outpouring of God’s Favour!

“Then we will not turn away from you; revive us, and we will call on your name”. (Psalm 80:18)

Revival is the heartbeat of God; Revival is the lifeline to the world. It proceeds from the heart of God to the heart of man. God breathed into man and made him a living being, and he is still breathing in to the lost conditions of humanity to bring it to life. Revival is in God’s agenda all the time, even in our times! The river still flows to fill the thirsty land.

1.What is Revival?

Revival is one of the many other words which we use more than we understood. The Cambridge calls it ‘to come or bring something back to life, health, existence, or use’. Miriam Webster means it as ‘renewed attention to or interest in something’. In the Biblical languages of Hebrew and Greek, the word Revival has far more correlation to the spirit of the word. In Hebrew the word ‘Chayah’, which means ‘to live or ‘cause to Live’ is used. In Greek among the word ‘anazao’ (to live again) is used for Revival. Though some would prefer ‘restoration’ as the closer word, my personal preference would be ‘resurrection’ in this case. I would also like to call revival as the great comeback’ or ‘back to God’. In definition ‘Revival is the return to where we belong, to God and to his purposes’. It’s important to know that when we understand Revival, it should be from the perspective of the ‘state of being lost’ and ‘what triggers the comeback’. Any Revival starts with an individual, then community, and then multitudes according to God’s choice. It can happen at different places at different times in different magnitude as the Lord has purposed it. So when we talk about Revival, its not just the mass movements, but also those small moves of God at a particular moment in a particular region. Usually large moves are visible which is convenient to infer upon, otherwise we must value every move of God. Like every raindrop contributes to the flood, every big move has a small origin. Every move of God matters, and everyone in the move matters in Revival!

Do it again Lord!

In 1940 Dr. J. Edwin Orr took a group of Wheaton College students to study abroad in England. One of their stops included the Epworth Rectory. The rectory now serves as a Methodist museum, but it was the home of John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist movement. In one of the bedrooms, there are two impressions where it is believed that John Wesley regularly knelt in prayer. As the students were getting back on the bus, Dr. Orr noticed that one student was missing. Going back upstairs, Dr. Orr found a young Billy Graham kneeling in those kneeholes and praying, “O Lord, do it again!” .

Nothing captured my attention in this familiar story than the prayer in the end “O Lord, do it again!”. One reason is obvious that ‘Prayer is the pathway to any Revival’, because no Revival is possible without prayer. Prayer proceeds from the heart of God and poured in to the heart of a willing man where the seeds of Revival are sown. Second is the righteousness found in that prayer, because no Revival is possible through human will or efforts, it originates from God and his will. Revival is the act of God, where he uses what he chooses. It carries his complete sovereign authority. And this inspired prayer of Rev. Billy emphasizes that foundational message.

God, the Author

“But the LORD God called to the man, “Where are you?” Genesis 3:9

I consider this verse as the first Revival sermon of the Bible! After the fall through disobedience, the first family was filled with guilt and hid themselves from God’s presence. All man could do was hide himself from God’s presence in guilt, and what God did was search for the lost and the fallen man. We can see a contrast on how God and man reacted to the fall. I think this incident clearly tells who the Author of Revival is. It is the one who searched for the lost. No man can initiate revival by his own strength, goodness or burden. Revival begins when God initiates in his own perfect will. Then what is man’s role in Revival? Is he just a spectator or a participant? The answer is, he is a participant. God invites people to participate in this mission, in this God movement (Missio dei). I believe understanding Revival from this perspective of God being the originator is the most basic knowledge of any who seek Revival in our times.

The First of many Revivals

“Seth also had a son and he named him Enosh. At that time people began to call on the name of the LORD”. Genesis 4:26.

Is Enosh the first Revivalist? I do not know. But I know this; in his time the world has seen the first revival. I always get fascinated about the depth of some ‘not so popular verses’’ but it does give enormous meaning. if we are willing to give it, its value! ‘At the time people began to call on the name of the Lord’. After the first family was evicted from the Garden of Eden, the result of sin became evident by the series of events that was occurring in the first family. Murder, adultery and Idolatry were visible to see and they were completely lost, and then came a new hope in the time of Enosh where God turned an entire generation to call on his name and commune with him. God chose that generation for a specific purpose, and we can see that this pattern is seen through revival in Biblical times as well times after. There is a generation God chooses for revival to come in to maturity or become its beneficiaries to a great extent. There is a reason why I call it maturity; I believe revival doesn’t happen in a day; it’s a process in which God includes every generation. It is like a farmer who sows the seed in a season and works everyday on it till the day the crops are matured for the Harvest in a different season. It’s also like cooking a delicious meal where we prepare all the ingredients separately and cook it together till a certain point where we can say the meal is cooked. God not only chooses the time but also chooses the person or people through whom Revival becomes a reality. He not only prepares a generation, he also prepares a person or a group to carry forward the revival. A good example is Moses, in his time people were crying out to God for deliverance, but in the meantime God was preparing a person through whom he decided to fulfill his good purpose. A person who is not personally revived cannot revive others. It was not an accident that Moses was in the Egyptian palace, in the wilderness, and in the house of Midian priest. He was shaped as a Leader of people, Shepherd of God’s household and Priest of the most high in these places. God shapes every vessel to fulfill the purpose for which it was made. God doesn’t choose anybody, his plans are always specific. Every Revival that followed from David, Josiah, Nehemiah, John the Baptist, Apostles to the ones outside the Biblical times such as the Franciscan Friar movement, the Reformation,the Great awakenings in England and America, Welsh, Azusa street, Korean and many others throughout history followed a specific pattern and had a specific impact in a specific time. Every revival inspired the subsequent others, it was like the effect of a domino or a wildfire but it all fulfilled God’s purpose in their own special way.

2. Revival, the process:

“Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. Hewas waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him”. Luke 2:25.

Is there a process for Revival, or does it occurs suddenly? I often tell people that God doesn’t do anything without preparation. If there is a preparation there is a process. God doesn’t wake up one day and decide to bring Revival. He is continuously working towards Revival. And as I earlier told, it is the heartbeat of God. Jesus in John 4: 37 &38 makes this clear “Thus the saying ‘One sows and another reaps’ is true. I sent you to reap what you have not worked for. Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labor.” The Revival in the time of Apostles did not begin with them; God chose that generation to reap what was already sown. God always kept a Remnant who sought the Revival and an unbroken chain of influence always could be traced back to God in the beginning, even if it was not visible (1Kings 19:18). Simeon, at the Jerusalem temple was one such person who was eager waiting and praying for the consolation of Israel. So how does this Revival get built up? What is the seed Jesus was talking about?

a) Seed of Faithful Prayer:

Prayer is the desire of the heart; it is just the smoke of the fire within. God’s children of many generations faithfully looked forward to the seasons of Revival in prayer. Their hearts were grieved when they saw the lost condition of their people and cried out to God continuously, the prophets of Israel motivated the people to look forward to the days of Revival. When Jesus spoke about the day of his promise he said this, “Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing my day; he saw it and was glad.”. The deliverance during Moses time didn’t come suddenly; it was the result of faithful prayers of many unknown people for many years and centuries. Those faithful prayers give the fruit of visible Revival in God’s time.

b) Seed of Consecration:

The process of Revival involves the consecrated living of the chosen remnant. The faith of one generation affects the other. God raised prophets in the time of crisis to warn the flock of dangers of sin. The consecrated life of Daniel and his friends, the cry of Ezekiel for Holiness from the exile and Ezra seeking commitment of consecration from the people of Judah are all the seeds of Revival. They say small droplets become an ocean, all the commitment of Individuals and families to walk in the ways of the Lord in the previous generations were seeds planted for the future Revival. The family of the righteous Zechariah brought forth the Revivalist named John the Baptist. I believe every season of Revival has its plant watered through time to grow and bear fruit, it’s in this undeterred commitment it blossoms. God works through this process of making his plans known through his consecrated people.

c) Obedience to the call:

The obedience to God’s call through generations is important for Revival. Abraham’s obedience to the call, Ruth’s obedience to her call, Isaiah obedience to his call and Jeremiah’s obedience to his call is important to the consummation of Revival. I picked out these names, because in their time they didn’t see the large outcome of Revival but they still obeyed what was given to them hoping for the future awakening among their people. The obedience of Mary and Joseph was important to see the greatest of all Revivals, the revival in Jesus times which impacted the whole earth.

The plant gives fruit in its season, but it still grows. In the same way Revival is a process towards a great outpour.

3.God’s Community:

“They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them”. Acts 2:3.

Revival always begins with God’s community. It starts with the people of his pasture before it impacts others. Especially it begins with repentance and realization of God’s children, the disciples realized of their mistakes and repented and then God used them for Revival.

He always raised up a leader to influence God’s children towards Revival. Revival is the overflow of what happens within the community of the faithful. In the Old Testament we see kings like Jehoshaphat, Hezekiah, and Josiah influence as leaders to bring Revival, then Exilic leaders like Zerubbabel, Nehemiah and Ezra, the prophets Haggai and Zechariah they all took the responsibility to revive God’s community for a specific task. Even in the times of Esther the revival among God’s people influenced the entire kingdom. Jesus was clear about his ministry, he said ‘I came to the lost sheep of Israel’, it was not meant that he didn’t care for others. He was clear where Revival must start, that’s among the chosen. He also laid the pattern for it to his disciples as he said that you will be a witness to me in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and to the ends of the earth. A leader is prepared, and then a community is prepared to see a mighty move of God’s spirit. A good example modern day Revival is of John Wesley and the Holy club at the Oxford University, that particular community was prepared to influence in Britain, USA and the rest of the world.

It’s also important to talk about how God influences a revival in his community. He moves their heart and stirs up the spirit. In the book of Haggai we see God stirred up Zerubbabel and Joshua to build the temple, during the Exodus for the work of the tent of the meeting, God stirred up the people and prompted their spirit (Exodus 35:21), and everyone whose hearts were stirred joined the mission. A great example is the Apostles whom God used to bring great Revival both among the Jews and the Gentiles, they had to wait for the Holy Spirit to be poured, to empower them for the task. And across generations in the Church age, Revival always occurred when God moved the hearts and stirred up the spirit of God’s faithful.

Even in our times God will first prepare the Church to influence the world. Holy Spirit will express itself only through the body of Christ which is the Church, and the Church must give itself to the movement of the Holy Spirit. God will not bring revival apart from his community which is the church, but he may not need everybody. He needs those who can grasp the heart of God towards Revival. Those who are willing to catch that fire!!

4. Signs of Revival in the Church:

There will be visible signs in the Church during Revival. In the Early church age or the apostolic age, we could see these signs being evident in the Church. The same signs existed in the times of Moses, Ezra, during great awakenings and other Revivals across the world.

A) A thirst for Prayer, Fellowship and knowing God’s word:

They devoted themselves to the apostles teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Acts 2:42

Whether it’s an individual or a community, the first and foremost signs of Revival is Prayer. We can see the apostles and the early church devoted themselves to prayer, fellowship and teaching. If this is found in great Zeal then it means God is going to use that particular community for revival. It would not be just prayers; it will be passionate, zealous with tears and deep groaning in the spirit. They will not consider anything greater than being at the Lord’s presence and pray. It will not be just fellowships but a community filled with care, desire and goodwill for each other, they hardly could be without each other. It will not be just hearing a short sermon, they will forget every other needs and just sit in God’s presence to hear God’s word and know him through it. It seeks an understanding of God and his wisdom. During the Great Awakening in America, they say Rev. George Whitfield used to preach for hours together and people would not move a bit, such was the thirst, they heard till they were satisfied.

B) A great desire for Holiness and Unity:

All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Acts 2: 44, 45.

The signs of Revival within the Church will see a great desire for Holiness and Unity. In the Apostolic age we can see the believers were united in spirit, they not only came to have fellowship, they had one mind in everything they did. One of the evidence was that they had everything in common and had the same attitude. There is also a great desire for Holiness; God’s community will seek to please the Lord in Everything. The Church would be truly light and salt, that’s why when Ananias and Sapphira lied about the offering the Lord struck them down, because the Community was filled with such consecration, a lie in the presence of the Lord was severely condemned.

C) Equipped and Empowered with Spiritual fruits and gifts:

The apostles performed many signs and wonders among the people. And all the believers used to meet together in Solomon’s Colonnade. Acts 5:12.

During the Revival the Church will see itself being equipped and empowered with the Holy Spirit, with manifestations of both Gifts and Fruits growing among the brethren, the Church would be equipped for the Lord’s service in powerful ways. There were signs and wonders, miracles and healing, preaching and teaching, serving and administering, prophecy and encouragement in the Revival during Apostolic age. They were also filled with fruits which was evident of their fellowship and unity. So during Revival the Church will see being equipped in full measure.

D) Sacrifice and Martyrdom:

As Stephen was being stoned to death, he called out, “Lord Jesus, please welcome me!” Acts 7:59.

One of the signs of the revived community is sacrificial giving, when the tabernacle was built during the times of Moses people gave freely and willingly, even in Apostles time they sold everything and put their money at the Apostles feet. The sacrifice of the community will be evident, and also there will be great zeal for the Lord that God’s community will not hesitate to give their lives for the Lord. Stephen and James were killed, Peter and the church was persecuted. Many Revivals in the history has seen great sacrifices by the community of God’s people.

E) Burden for the Lost:

The twelve apostles called the whole group of followers together and said, “We should not give up preaching God’s message in order to serve at tables. Acts 6:2.

The signs of Revival would also include great burden for the lost and the ones who are astray, the Community will not remain self satisfied with it but wants to reach out, it will be filled with great burden for those who are lost. After Stephens’s martyrdom the Church was scattered and wherever they went they preached God’s word. There will be desire to spread out and to seek those who are far off. Nehemiah a man of Revival could not hold his burden at the citadels of Susa, he went to Jerusalem. All Revival movements in a particular have always paved way for mission movements across the nation and the globe.

5. Impacts of Revival in the World:

These men who have turned the world upside down have now come here… Acts 17:6

Revival begins among God’s community but its actual target is the world. Why God sends Revival among his people? It is to impact and transform the world around. As Abraham was called to be a blessing to all nations, the community of God, the Church too is called to be a blessing to the world. Since the Holy Spirit is the source of Revival in God’s community, I want to explain this based on His functions.

And when he comes, he will convict the world of its sin, and of God’s righteousness, and of the coming judgment. John 16:8.

The Revival which was surged in by the spirit among God’s community will influence the Church to impact the world through its characters. Three fundamental characteristics of the Holy Spirit are given here. He will convict the world of Sin, of God’s Righteousness, and the coming Judgment, and I categorize it as Reconciliation, Reformation and Reign.

A) Convict the world of sin (Repentance or Reconciliation):

“With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.”Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day”. Acts 2:40, 41.

The proclamation of the message of the Gospel provides the greatest impact of revival in the world. The witnessing to the risen savior personally and in multitudes have caused greatest transformation and offered hope to millions and millions throughout centuries. Revival impacts the world by convicting the people of their sins. There will be a great cry of deliverance, and people will repent from sinful ways and turn to the Lord. In the times of Jonah, the people of Nineveh were so deeply convicted of their sins; People came to John the Baptist and confessed their sins. Many Revival movements ended up in great number of people repent from their sins and accepted the message of the Gospel, the open air meetings in the times of Revival had brought thousands to the truth, it caught like fire across the world. As the result of repentance of their sins and acceptance of the message, the church will be planted. Revival movements always ended in Church planting where new communities of faith were established in large numbers and leaders were raised among new believers. Repentance and Reconciliation with God will also bring healing in to human relationships, families will be built up, and communities which are divided will be healed. We could see in the Apostolic Revival in the early Church age, the Jews and Greeks who were poles apart and had such animosity reconciled to be a community of faithful through the Church. The Azusa street Revival in 1906 at Los Angeles brought both White and Black community in large numbers and there was healing and goodwill. This is evident in all the Revivals.

B) God’s Righteousness (Reformation):

But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream! Amos 5:24

Rev. Martin Luther King and Rev. Billy Graham

Revivals not only cause spiritual awakening, and the proclamation of the message. It also seeks righteousness and justice in the society. God’s righteousness demands justice in our societies. Revival movements have impacted a great deal in bringing social justice in the world. The ministry of Christ was filled with inspiration to serve the poor and sought justice in the society, the Apostles served the poor and the first Jerusalem Council requested Apostle. Paul to remember the poor which was one of the fundamental doctrines of the Church, the prophets of the old sought justice in communities, even the tenants of Mosaic Law was filled with justice. Any Spiritual revival always accompanied Social transformation. The revivals during Jesus and the When Rev. Billy Graham was preaching to thousands calling them to repentance, Rev. Martin luther jr. was seeking justice in societies in America. Revival causes awareness to social justice and righteousness in societies. Schools, hospitals among the poor and other reform centers are all fruits and symbols of Revival. A Revived community full of Spirit cannot tolerate social evils. Revival brings reformation and enables the world to see the truth in righteousness. In the times of John Wesley movement, on the other side of the world, Missionary William Carey was striving to abolish Sati in India, and worked towards equality and social justice in Indian Societies. Reformation works towards everything which makes people lives better, it inspires the society to be more holistic in every area of life. It benefits the world for good, the places where revival took place we could see development; it inspires people to make best use of God given resources.

C) Coming Judgment (Reign):

I will shake all nations, and what is desired by all nations will come, and I will fill this house with glory,’ says the LORD Almighty. Haggai 2:6

Revival prepares the world for the coming of the Lord, especially for the Righteous reign of Christ. The coming judgment symbolizes the sovereign authority of Christ ,there is no power beside him. Revival shows the power of the Almighty in turning mass multitudes of people towards him, which always shakes and puts world powers in to fear. First and foremost the satanic forces and powers trembles about Revival, during Revival the power of God’s spirit will bring deliverance to many under satanic oppressions, Witchcrafts, occults and all chains of pagan spiritism will be broken by God’s power. This was visible in all Revivals, especially during the times of Jesus and in the ministry of the Apostles there was deliverance and healing in the lives of people in large magnitudes. Revival also shakes the powers of the world. One of the most powerful rulers in the history of the world, Nebuchadnezzar was shown a Dream by God, what he saw was a Rock which came rolling and shattered the big statue which represented all the kingdoms of the world. It is nothing but the revelation of the Kingdom of God and Christ which will end dominion of all kingdoms and break the dominion of satan once and for all. We can see in Revival history that world powers were shaken during the mighty outpour. In the times of Moses , the powers of Pharaoh was broken, and all the Canaanite kings were dismissed. In Jesus time, John the Baptist created fear in the hearts of the powerful rulers, Herod was terrified by the announcement of Christ’s arrival. The great Roman powers could not stop the surge of the Gospel but surrendered, this has happened all through the Revival history, we know what happened during reformation, and the changes it brought in the modern Europe. The fears of Communist China and Russia, to even let Bible in their countries once,show how much of trembling the Gospel and God’s Revival can cause to earthly powers. Many brave men and women of God lost their lives to the fear of these world powers, but God’s kingdom marches on and will not be stopped. This is what Revival does in our world; it shakes the world powers and prepares the world to the Dominion of Christ.

6.The Market Place Revival:

I want to end this with a fascinating story of Revival in the Market place, it is to show how God can turn a time of crisis in to an opportunity for a heavy spiritual downpour which not only impacted lives but also revived the economy. When I read this I was reminded about the Revival in the times of Haggai where a community which was going through a deep spiritual economic crisis was revived spiritually and was blessed abundantly in the work of their hands. When God promised His people, ‘From this day I will bless you’. Haggai 2:19.

This is a record of something God did 150 years ago in New York City. It illustrates how God has started every harvest time in history through the concerted prayer of his people. Toward the middle of the 19th century the glow of earlier religious awakenings had faded. America was prosperous and felt little need to call on God.
But in the 1850s, secular and religious conditions combined to bring about a crash. The third great panic in American history swept the giddy structure of speculative wealth away. Thousands of merchants were forced to the wall as banks failed, and railroads went into bankruptcy. Factories were shut down and vast numbers were thrown out of employment. New York City alone had 30,000 idle men. In October 1857, the hearts of people were thoroughly weaned from speculation and uncertain gain, while hunger and despair stared them in the face. On 1st July, 1857, a quiet and zealous business man named Jeremiah Lanphier took up an appointment as a City Missionary in down-town New York. Lanphier was appointed by the North Church of the Dutch Reformed denomination.

This church was suffering from depletion of membership due to the removal of the population from the down-town to the better residential quarters, and the new City Missionary was engaged to make diligent visitation in the immediate neighborhood with a view to enlisting church attendance among the floating population of the lower city. The Dutch Consistory felt that it had appointed an ideal layman for the task in hand, and so it was. Burdened so by the need, Jeremiah Lanphier decided to invite others to join him in the noonday prayer-meeting, to be held on Wednesdays once a week. He therefore distributed a handbill…

This meeting is intended to give merchants, mechanics, clerks, strangers, and business men generally an opportunity to stop and call upon God amid the perplexities incident to their respective avocations. It will continue for one hour; but it is also designed for those who may find it inconvenient to remain more than five or ten minutes, as well as for those who can spare the whole hour.

Accordingly at twelve noon, 23rd September, 1857 the door was opened and the faithful Lanphier took his seat to await the response to his invitation …. Five minutes went by. No one appeared. The missionary paced the room in a conflict of fear and faith. Ten minutes elapsed. Still no one came. Fifteen minutes passed. Lanphier was yet alone. Twenty minutes; twenty-five; thirty; and then at 12.30 p.m., a step was heard on the stairs, and the first person appeared, then another, and another, and another, until six people were present and the prayer meeting began. On the following Wednesday, October 7th, there were forty intercessors.
Thus in the first week of October 1857, it was decided to hold a meeting daily instead of weekly.Within six months, ten thousand business men were gathering daily for prayer in New York, and within two years, a million converts were added to the American churches.
Undoubtedly the greatest revival in New York’s colourful history was sweeping the city, and it was of such an order to make the whole nation curious. There was no fanaticism, no hysteria, simply an incredible movement of the people to pray. (Used the narration from the

9.A Call for Revival:

We are living times where people are losing hope in the systems of the world; there is a sense of hopelessness everywhere. In such times as these, God has always acted and has sent forth his special grace and favour. God is willing to move powerfully even in our times, if we choose to believe, and has the willingness to surrender. The question is, are we willing to join his move, his movement, like those of previous times had done? Are we willing to catch the fire? Are we going to get drenched in the rain? This Revival is going to be unique, may be the culmination of all that we saw before, and may be much more special. I could call it ‘The Great Revival; of the Lord, but it requires selfless submission, there can be sacrifices involved like never before, it would require faith and resilience, and a deep conviction to give it all, come what may! Our hearts need to be broken, our knees have to be strengthened, and eyes have to be filled with tears for the world filled with hopelessness. Yet, the promise is greater and the road to it is eternal, as the word says, ‘Those who sow in tears will reap with joy’, Are we ready take the path along with God which leads to the Revival of our times?

10.Prayer of Surrender

God I pray and yearn for your move once again in our world, I receive the call of yours to join the mighty move of your spirit in the times we are living in. I surrender and pledge myself for this great cause. Sanctify me, prepare me, equip me and use me along with all those you have chosen in your foreknowledge. I yield myself in to your guiding hands. ‘Do it again, Lord!’ Amen.

I see a generation
Rising up to take their place
With selfless faith, with selfless faith
I see a near revival
Stirring as we pray and seek
We’re on our knees, we’re on our knees
Hosanna, Hosanna
Hosanna in the highest
Hosanna, Hosanna
Hosanna in the highest

‘Democracy’ : What’s the hype around it?

“Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God. Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor”. 1 Peter 2 :16-17.

“In a democracy the government is of the people, by the people, and for the people”.

‘Democracy’, our modern world is shaped by this ancient Greek idea, but with its own twists and tales. First of all what made me write this ? it’s certainly because the world needs it, but more importantly to analyze how a person who believes in ‘Christocracy’ can still value it, and the reason to stand for it. Especially how both Christocray ( I define it personally as the consummation of very rule of Christ on this earth, the consolidation of all earthly powers in his hand, where all are truly free, the reign which is to come), and Democracy which is working together in a subtle way now will become more evident in the future.

We live in a very advanced world, we have come a long way. If we as humans do really have a bit of positive feeling about all the mordern day achievements with all its subordinate chaos, we should certainly give a certain amount of credit to this idea called ‘democracy’. Democratization of the world is one of the biggest aspirations the world has indulged itself in. Democracy is such a strong idea, because it originates from the human spirit, which has the strong desire for freedom, the freedom to choose. The choice to decide who to rule over them.

Britanica expositions Democracy this way,

“Democracy, literally, rule by the people. The term is derived from the Greek dēmokratia, which was coined from dēmos (“people”) and kratos (“rule or power”) in the middle of the 5th century BCE to denote the political systems then existing in some Greek city-states, notably Athens.

One of my favourite leaders Abraham Lincoln quotes democracy as this,

“In a democracy the government is of the people, by the people, and for the people”.

Over the years Democracy had been manipulated, misused misrepresented and misinterpreted. It has in many places have become ‘of the powerful, by the powerful, and for the powerful’. Nevertheless, the need for democracy have always become much clearer than ever, with all its flaws, it had been the more practical human institution that have formulated the inclusion of more people to unite across their differences to determine their destiny. It had certainly contributed to the freedom and aspirations of many. I want to put it in a funnier way ‘It makes people take responsibility over their own decisions’. I would say Democracy is a mirage, good mirage. Its there, but when we close in we see that it’s actually not there and is again visible at a much longer distance. Democracy has elasticity, it extends as much as people wants to stretch it to fit them.

Politics and Democracy:

When we talk about democracy we cannot leave out the other important word ‘Politics’. Politics is vital to any democracy, it had been the heartbeat of democracies around the world, miriam-webster observes politics as this,

“the art or science concerned with winning and holding control over a government”

“Competition between competing interest groups or individuals for power and leadership (as in a government)”

The power consolidation in the history for centuries depended on wars. Tribes, kingdoms and Empires set out to consolidate their power to rule over people through their military strategies. Then trade and philosophy played a major role in influencing a region. But the next big power consolidation happened through politics. Political discourse in a democracy is the pathway to power, the discourse generally circles around identity, policy, ideology and special interests. Identity of language, culture, religion, ethnicity, race and political affliations have shaped democracy for centuries. The internal and external challenges to a nation have contributed to the strengthening or weakening of a democracy. So the power consolidation through political engagement have always rested on consensus building and forming a majoritarian opinion. The problem always been to democracy is that most of the times that majoritarian opinion is not formed on truths or facts but on feelings and emotions. It was formed mostly on identity rather than on standards, values and policies. There is no controlled measure in a democracy to consensus building or forming a majoritarian opinion, and that’s where the weakness or the strength of a democracy lies. The rule of law comes to an extent, but it cannot entirely influence since it can lead to weakening a democracy. A good democracy requires informed people who has the ability seek the truth, and transformed people who are able to stand for the truth. It is in this space free press, welfare organizations and political parties come in to make the people informed by laying out perspectives.

The Cornerstones of democracy include freedom of assembly and speech, inclusiveness and equality, membership, consent, voting, right to life and minority rights. Yet, I would say democracy is much more than that, it is culmination of human spirit that desires better life and opportunities for all its people. The need differs from people to people and region to region, but the goal is the same, which is to make all lives better.

Rule of people Vs Rule of Law :

The origins of a democracy always lies in Autocracy. It can be a controversial statement, because as much as democracy is about gaining power by the help of people, it is also giving up the power as ordered by the same people. Here I talk about the origins of a democracy, because it just didn’t burst in to the scene in a day, it had to come through a lineage of Autocracy and autocratic systems either inspired by a Global change or through people’s demand and its imprints and impacts are seen in a democracy. The power lies somewhere on the top and it has to be distributed fairly in a democracy. Every world democracy had been the foster child of an autocratic legacy. When I say Autocracy it can be a person, a group, a monarch, a philosophical front or a system. Democracy begins when those in power is willing to give up the power, if they don’t it ends a democracy most of the times.

In a democracy (generally across the world there is a representative democracy) the rule of Law was given and the people’s representatives have the power to alter the course of the Law or even the Law. There is always a tension between the rule of the Law and the rule of the People. Law is to govern the people, the constitution is supreme and it demands accountability, and the judiciary is the protector of the constitution, and the elected legislative must uphold it. The Law shapes the conscience of the people towards an higher standard and also develop a collective consciousness, and in a democracy the people has the power to alter the Law through their representatives based on the need. So the consciousness of people too can shape the Law.

I want to explain it through the game of Cricket. Cricket has two teams like many sport playing against each other. There would be three umpires, the refree is the final decision maker, he is like the rule of Law or Judiciary or a supreme court. The two teams are two parties representing their two sets of audiences, both were trying to win but have to play according to the rule of the game. The rule gives meaning and common standard to the game. If there is an appeal, the refree takes the call. If the players find certain rule being not fair to them, they appeal to the conscience of the refree to make necessary changes.

Rights in a Democracy:

‘Rights’ are like life to any democracy, the rights of people is sacred and supreme in a democracy, it validates the power vested upon people and the rule of people. There are fundamental rights which holds a democracy together, and there are other subordinate rights which keeps the democracy effective. Every section has their demands and rights, but it must appeal to conscience of the constitution, legislative and the judiciary. If any institutions of democracy unjustly denies the rights of an individual or a section, then it gives alarm bells to a failing democracy. Especially the rights of the weakest, marginalized and the afflicted is important in upholding a democracy.

Recently the treatment of Fr. Stanswamy have revealed the condition of democracy in India, the powerful voice of the very least in our society was subjected to unfair treatment,

Fr. Stanlisaus Lourdeswamy, a Jesuit priest and missionary to the tribals of Jharkand. Wikipedia observes him to be the oldest person to be accused of terrorism in India. At the age of 84, on July 5th 2021, the Jesuit priest noted for his activism for the rights of the Adivasis, surviving Parkinson’s and Covid together, succumbed to ill health under judicial custody. In October 2018 he was arrested under UAPA act by the NIA, citing involvement in the Bhima Koregoan violence.

Democracy truly works when every section of the society is included in the process of nation building and building a better future of all it’s people. But when we cut off the strings and disengage the voices who connects the most marginalized to be accessible to their God given dignity, we are losing a battle without even fighting. The powerful must use their power to protect and empower those who are without any access to their basic rights, I think that’s where the mission of Democracy lies. There are many unresolved issues in world democracies pertaining to rights, that becomes grievences and many are fighting it politically, legally and through activism for the rights.

Electoral Systems:

There are huge questions recently about the electoral mishaps in many democratic countries across the world, which is certainly a concern because free and fair elections are the foundations of a democracy. The people have rights to vote and select it’s government. There is a time period to govern and a time to elect a new government based on the performance and need. It is the power vested on people to hold the powerful accountable, and political parties and leaders put their best case forward for their people to elect them. Strengthening democratic institutions like that of Election bodies is pivotal to the effective functioning of a democracy. Eventhough elections are the bedrock for a democracy, it is also influenced by people’s everyday choices and responsibilities.

The Role of Military in a Democracy:

Its just astonishing to many, especially to many progressive minds to know the role of weapons and military to protect a democracy, yet we cannot deny the importance of safeguarding the rights of its people from external threats through an organized military. Democracy thrives and flourishes through dialogue and respect to build bridges and solve the conflicts with others and also other nations, but the lust for power and a desire for disorder have forced even the matured democracies to rely upon heavy weapons to make sure they guard their sovereignty as well as their democracy.

Democracy and Secularism:

Democracy generally works well with secularism. The state without being associated officially to any particular religion can give so much security and protection to people from multiple beliefs and faiths. It also promotes religious freedom in many ways. The church and the state debate is a deep one, because many democracies which has a majority of its people from a particular faith has the dilemma to conclude, whether the state can function without its association to a particular faith. Especially in Europe, but the consequences of many mishaps in the past makes them think if it’s a necessity. Secularism or not, every democracy must ensure total religious freedom within the merits of the Law, and protect the rights of every group. This builds trusts in a democracy. In countries where the Church and the state seperation is very sensitive because of its tradition and necessity. It becomes more important for that nation to build the space of trust and goodwill towards other communities and protect their rights legally.

Its a Holy duty of the church to value democracy, and the democratic duty of the state to uphold the values of Christ in its public life!

Governance: Facilitating service

Democracy works when everybody works. It is not just the responsibility of the pillars of democracy, but every single person for whom those pillars were raised. People can live without a democratic government, but they may not participate in the Governance. Democracy invites everybody to participate in the governance of a nation or a country. It must work at all levels. The role of governments in a democracy is not just to be authoritative but to become facilitative. Effective governance must lead to erasing out divides and enhancing reconciliation between communities. It must be there to bridge inequalities by channeling resources to the needs. It must be there to make people’s lives better by providing better opportunities. Service to people must be the core value of any democracy.

The Biblical View: Free will, the seed of democracy?

Democracy as an idea can be traced back to Greece, but it’s seeds can be found at the Garden of Eden. Though the Law was in place through the word of God’s command, God had given the first man free will to choose, to make a decision. This right to choose extends itself in human spirit to desire a human institution of Governance where people make their choices. We can see all through the scriptures that God warning the people with consequences about their choices, yet upholding the free will that he gave them the right to choose whether good or bad. Democracy is basically, a right of choice, which people exercise to give power. God gave mankind authority to have dominion, eventhough he is Lord over all he has not taken away that right from him until an appointed time, he looks at the world and all the choices people make whether which pleases him or displeases him, he appeals through the Gospel of his son, and puts his best case forward for people to follow him. And also many times he uses his presidential authority to change things, to recourse the world towards the direction of truth. In any democracy the goal is truth. Nothing motivates a democracy than a real and raw truth.

To the community of Israel, the chosen people, God was their Lord and King, but God also raised leaders to lead them. Yet, the God chosen leaders were also acknowledged by the majority of the community, as he did signs and wonders through them. We can see Moses, Aaron and Joshua, eventhough God chose them, people also acknowledged it.

“But how can I bear your problems and your burdens and your disputes all by myself? Choose some wise, understanding and respected men from each of your tribes, and I will set them over you.” Deuteronomy 1:12&13.

We can see Moses handing over the responsibility to choose their leaders by themselves. In the case of David eventhough he was anointed by Prophet. Samuel, he was made King through the consensus with the twelve tribes of Israel (2 Samuel 5). So even in such a theocratic era, there was room for consensus building among the community of Israel. Even God’s plan was denied in two places when the majoritarian opinion was against the will of God when they chose to disobey. When they were about to enter the land of Canaan two tribes agreed to enter, but the other ten were not willing. In the other case, the children of Israel demanded a King like other Nations.

Peace and Freedom:

“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom”. 2 Corinthians 3:17.

The objective of any democracy is peace and freedom based on the truth. When Jesus was on earth, he exhibited the values that constitutes and strengthens the democracy. He helped the poor and the needy, he healed the sick, he spoke for the rights of the marginalized, women and the poor. He gave his voice to justice and truth. He spoke of freedom and liberty, but he also died under the law. I just want to mention two significant events in the life of Jesus.

First, is the moment he was baptized and began his ministry, the heavens opened and the Spirit of God descended upon him in the form of a dove. And a voice appeared and said ‘This is my beloved son in whom I’m well pleased’ (Matthew 3:13-17).

Now, why the spirit of God should come in the form of a dove. Just think about all the images across the world where dove is predominantly used. Either it is used to denote freedom, or to denote peace. Democracy stands for both peace and freedom, if there is no peace and freedom democracy cannot function properly. Again, the dove rested on Jesus, who is the truth. So peace and freedom is possible when it rests on truth.

The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free..” Luke 4:18.

The mission of the Spirit of God and the spirit of the Gospel has values of democracy embeded in it. This is what democracy stands for, but democracy can contribute to it, it is Christocracy or the spirit of Christ which can bring in real peace and freedom and transform the world. But democracy is certainly an aspect in Christocracy. It is the reason, eventhough it is termed as a ‘Greek Idea’, wherever the Gospel is preached and accepted there democracy has been established. There are many nations where there is no visible democracy, the spirit of God had brought peace and freedom in Christ in the hearts of people, though they cannot openly celebrate religious festivals or gather together for worship.

A democracy dies if it doesn’t value truth, Jesus Christ is the absolute truth, but there are other truth’s that is coherent with the Gospel embeded in the values of democracy. Many times people don’t accept the truth, because they have already decided what they want, they cling on to what’s comfortable. Seeking the truth is fundamental for an healthy democracy, and also accepting even when its difficult strengthens a democracy. In every human being is in built the need for freedom and peace, especially the curiosity to seek the truth. Democracy gives space for everyone to journey towards it.

Second, when Jesus was crucified to death. Is Jesus a victim of absence of religious freedom, yes, but he was willing to give himself to the truth. He was on a mission to set all men free. But I’m going to tell how he allowed the will of the people who cried crucify, crucify. He fell to a majoritarian opinion, but in the absence of truth. The death of democracy too happens when there is an overwhelming majoritarian consensus, but still an absence of truth. It is the reason why in a democracy majority and minority can be used to do welfare, but not defining the truth, I would say,

“Majority should not be defined by its numbers, so is “Minority”.” Majority” should be defined by where truth is, where good is , where love is and where Justice is. “Minority” should be defined by where lies are, where Evil is , where hate lives and where injustice thrives.”

In safeguarding democracy its important for truth to stand, even if it has to stands alone. Pontius Pilate, knowing the truth bypassed it, the rule of the law was used for selfish reasons and not to uphold the truth. So, if we keep bypassing the truth, then freedom and peace would become a bygone reality. Democracy fails without freedom and peace because of the lack of truth. Jesus will never fail, even if democracy does, because he is the truth, and the prince of peace, its the reason why he sets all men free. When human spirit fails, his spirit will give the strength and stand through the test, his spirit will give life to every human endeavor to make people lives better, which includes democracy. Christocracy will cover democracy, and democracy will pave way to Christocracy in the end. Where there is total peace and freedom.

The Apostolic Explosion:

In the midst of persecution and lack o religious liberty, the Apostles prayed, preached, worshipped and communed. The courage and boldness through which they preached was from the spirit they received. They opened up free spaces everywhere through their Gospel. The Gospel is the torch bearer of democracy across the world. Wherever the Gospel was not proclaimed, the democracy dwindled without favour, and history teaches us that. The Gospel was accompanied by signs and wonders, the miracles in peoples lives have proclaimed freedom for many. When that lame man was delivered to enter the temple and worship, I believe he found the same freedom the Israelites got, when they came out of Egypt. The Gospel still transforms the world, and its lovely to know that it stands with and promotes democracy powerfully.

There are also nations in the world where Christians can’t even be open about their faith, they gather together in secret places, they live their faith behind closed doors. God knows them and understands their pain and helplessness, and I believe one day those chains oppression will be broken down to be able to declare the faith openly. I believe there is beauty in both, in places where faith is tested severely, it does become more genuine. When the disciples were behind the closed doors fearing persecution, Jesus still visited them and declared peace unto them! He is with every brother and sister who are struggling to live out their faith openly in different parts of the world.

Christocracy: What’s in store?

Finally, Since Christ rules in our hearts, and since we have tasted real freedom through him, it’s our duty to stand with democracy. Anybody who believes in Christocracy must stand for democracy. The rule of the people will become truly become fruitful under the rule of Christ. He is the mediator, a true representative of mankind to the heavenly throne. Any Democracy must lead people towards their true representative, who is Christ, to see the full capacity of what it can offer. The spirit of Jesus pours out to fill every soul to seek freedom and peace for all.

There are areas with regards to certain rights you can disagree, but its benefits in many other areas are useful to humanity. Christ can call the stones to worship him, he can do without any human help, but he always chooses to stand with what is right, he stands as one among us. He can do without us, but he still does through us. For four hundred years the Israelites were in Egypt, they were in bondage, but when they cried out, God sent them a deliverer. The Bible declares that before the second coming of Christ, people would suffer a lot without freedom and peace. There would be a Autocratic Totalitarian Government under a deadly ruler who is going to control the humanity. At that time justice, human rights, freedom of belief, democracy and everything that stands for liberty will be at stake. I see a huge cry among all the people of the world for freedom of such oppression, it is when Christ will appear, the true form of Christocracy will be revealed, the era of true freedom and peace will begin. Democracy is not the perfect solution to all human problems, but Christocracy is, but God always worked through our imperfections to give us good solutions.

The hype around democracy is the need of the hour, as many governments across the world confirming themselves to become an autocratic status, and as many leaders desire dictatorship than diplomacy denying fundamental rights to their citizens. Democracy is about people, and if people come together for the good of others, then it stands the test and serves the world for the better.

Worthy is the Lamb
Seated on the throne
Crown You now with many crowns
You reign victorious
High and lifted up
Jesus Son of God
The Darling of Heaven crucified
Worthy is the Lamb
Worthy is the Lamb
Worthy is the Lamb
Worthy is the Lamb
Worthy is the Lamb
Seated on the throne
Crown You now with many crowns
You reign victorious

“Christian faith is the root of all democracy, the highest fact in the rights of men.”
— Novalis

Caste System : The Dividing Wall of Hostility

“For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility” Ephesians 2:14.

Recently I participated in a conversation with regards to the Indian Caste System with a Christian’s approach to it. I was glad that a bold open conversation is possible on difficult issues if only we add vision, truth, empathy and grace to channelize it properly.

Especially, in the past few years of me writing through this space on various issues relating to the concerns of the society, and also the events of the world, presenting my perspective in the light of God’s truth found in the Scriptures. I found that it requires more and more grace from God to handle such volatile and sensitive topics, but I also realized that it is more important to present the truth in its reality, so that even if it makes people and myself uncomfortable in that process , it would only benefit everyone in the longer run.

I had written a bit about the issue of caste with a theological perspective on oppression that is exhibited in various ways across the world in my article on ‘Liberation Theology’, I found the need of writing an article specifically addressing this caste issue after my recent conversation on ‘Random Thoughts’.

(Find the article on liberation theology here —–>

Post World War 2, at the Yalta conference three nations of the allied forces UK, US and USSR that defeated the Nazi rule divided Germany among themselves with West Germany going to the UK, US,French, and East Germany to communist Russia. The capital Berlin too was divided in to two, and a wall was built to separate these two countries. From its construction in August 1961 until its demolition on November 9, 1989, the Berlin Wall did more than separate West Germany from the East, also known as the DDR(German Democratic Republic). It symbolised a deep-rooted hatred, an insurmountable division between people that directly led to the deaths of at least 139 people who dared to try and cross it. The wall wasn’t just a physical barrier – it was there to intimidate people into submission. East Berliners who wanted to move to west for better opportunities scaling the wall as so many had given their lives to do . On November 9, 1989 the wall was demolished and in 1991 both East and West Germany was unified as one Nation. After its momentous demolition its ruins became a symbol of hope and a warning to people of the future. A small message scrawled on its remains reads: ‘None but those who have lived it can understand the real meaning of this wall. What really scares us is how easy it is to lose our freedom.’

Every hostile walls that divides and oppresses us must be put away to offer hope.Caste System is one such dividing wall which has denied hope to many. A change is possible when each one take a decisive step of conviction towards hope and freedom.

Caste System- An Introduction:

The caste system is followed in Indian subcontinent and by many Indians for many centuries, it is an unique system of social order with a static hierarchial framework based on people’s birth, occupation and ethnicty. It is fundamentally a social order based on a religious philosophy and a religous text forming an organized belief system influencing the culture and the society for a long period of time.

In the system, the society is divided up into four classes based on the principle of “varna,” which literally means “color”: the Brahmins (the priestly class); the Kshatriyas (the ruling, administrative and warrior class); the Vaishyas (the class of artisans, tradesmen, farmers and merchants); and the Shudras (manual workers). There are also people who fall outside the system, including tribal people and the Dalits, previously known as “untouchables,” although the term is somewhat contentious.

The concept of “jati,” meaning “birth,” also underlies the caste system and causes its differentiation into thousands of sub-groups based on lineage or kinship that are difficult to define.

E. Blunt defines it as this – “Caste is an endogamous group bearing a common name, membership of which is hereditary, imposing on its members certain restrictions in the matter of social intercourse, either following a common traditional occupation claiming a common origin & generally regarded as forming a single homogenous community.

Characteristics of the Caste System :

The characteristics of caste system is very evident wherever it is observed, pursued and followed,

Based on birth : Birth is the determinant factor of caste system. Once born in a caste he has to remain the same. Status, position prestige is fixed according to his caste. i.e. A scribed. The castes are divided into sub-caste.

Endogamy & Exogamy : In a caste system there is restriction on marriage. Westermarck observes- “Restriction on marriage Endogamy & Exogamy are the essence of the caste system. “Endogamy their one’s own caste or sub-caste. Exogamy –same caste but not same clean i.e. Gotra.

Social Hierarchy: Social heirarchy with a distinct discrimination is found in the caste system. Brahmin is high & sudra have the inferior position & prestige. Prof. Bhurey – Sanskritisation in this the lower caste people can initiate the upper caste. De-Sanskritisation – Upper caste can initiate the lower caste.

Occupational restriction & hereditary occupation : Occupation is fixed by your caste. A black smith son will always be a black smith.

Economic disparity – The higher caste people are generally economically better off & the lower caste people work harder & yet they get little benefit i.e. they are poorer.

There are also other characteristics such as access to power, education and rights which is submerged in caste system. The consolidated characteristic of the caste system is its impression of inequality.

(Source for the italicized passage:

Text or Context:

Since the basic structure of Caste system evolves out of a particular text, does it mean that everyone follow it word by word to keep the system alive and active? Definitely not. The truth is many who follow it actually don’t know anything about the text or the idea that acts as a basis to it, and many don’t know why they follow it.

Every text will have a context, and every context can influene a text. We exactly don’t know whether the text or the context came first in originating the system. Certainly there would have been a need, but was it beneficial to all, did it begin for a common welfare?

In the caste system, the need for it becomes the context. Especially over the years from its origins, it has conditioned in to people and people groups as a tradition and belief system based on which they function, through which their feelings are oriented.

Moreover, the need for ‘I’dentity that is found in human beings, to associate and attach themselves with something beyond themselves, gives them a sense of pupose. But the problem in this idea is, it doesn’t give everyone the equal dignity, a fair share. It is framed in such away that one’s dignity is proportional to someone’s indignity, that someone’s glory is at the cost of somebody else’s shame.

Whether the origins of this system is text or a context, this system has penetrated in to people’s lifestyles for centuries, and have influenced their thought process for many seasons, and have afftected people’s personal decisions since its inception. The bigger issue is to deal with the implications it has left in the society, and the patterns that affect the functions of people’s behaviour and as a follower of Christ what would be our response and approach to such issues that is making an impact on people’s lives.

The order of caste system : A societal Need or a Societal Greed ?

“Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters”. Genesis 1:2

In the creation of the universe, we can see that there is disorder in earth before the Word and the Spirit of God intervened. Then God brings an order to it, the purpose of the creative order is to bring life and meaning. So in the process of creation, the power and authority from God brought in that order. It is the ‘Spiritual order’ that brought life to earth, making it sustainable and functionable through that order. The creation of mankind is an important aspect of that order, where he was given certain authority to bring in order, through the wisdom God had granted him. The order is visible in the pages of the Bible.

There is no question of the need for an order, because it brings purpose, responsibility, growth, direction, discipline and accountability to any situation. If we look at the world societies we find many different orders like the old ethnical slavery to the class system. The bigger question is what does the order stand for, what is it trying to achieve and where does it lead people?

Any ‘Good Order’ should be an ‘Order of life’, where it inspires to make human life better and more meaningful. Any order which doesn’t add value to life is not going to be a good order. There are other areas where we can analyze an order on how good it is. It is whether the existing order is an Order of Truth, Order of Justice, Order of Relevance, Order of Service, Order of Love, Order of Welfare, Order of Growth etc. The ‘Order of Life’ is dependent on many such orders. If any existing order or a system fails to promote these standards that makes it vibrant, it doesn’t make it a good order. One cannot logically deny any order, but that order should mean ‘good’.

The Caste System doesn’t represent a societal need, but reflects a societal greed. In it there is an investment of Pride, an attitude of static supremacy which can deny hope to many.

There is a systematic accumulation of power, wealth, resources and knowledge based on the system over the years, and not an equivalent distribution happens in that order, benefitting few and leaving out many. This creates frustration in the system, and creates multiple problems based out of it. It forms an oppressive order, and when we question deep the conceptualization of it based on its functionality, we can see that it never originted in the first place to serve the need of the many, but the greed of the few. Any good order must look at the need of the many instead of the greed of the few. So the caste system fails on the basis of its conception and formation itself. It is an unwise, irrelevant, and unempathetic social order created in order to hold the power and vision within a certain group of people, forming a upper crust of privilege, then the average, and deeming everything else as garbage.

Investment of Pride and Fear:

“Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall”. Proverbs 16:18.

Especially the closed hierarchical order of Caste system, has an investment of pride and fear. Pride and Fear usually goes well together, if Pride works at the top then fear at the bottom, and both strengthens one another. Pride is the seed of destruction, this static order for the privileged, thrives on the pride of those in power, and the fear of the under and the poor. This makes the entire system corrupt, and causes the fall of a society. A haughty spirit is invested within the society in the name of caste system, giving birth to an oppresive and unjust order instead of creative and welfare order. Insecurity runs deep at all levels, causing men to fear one another.

Behind every text there is a spirit, if we test the spirit of the text behind the caste system. It is a spirit of pride, that only thinks about ‘Self’, hence framing it as a static heirarchial ‘Working’ model that governs the life and mindset of people for years. Its a tool of control to benefit a certain section. The Spirit behind the text causes pride and fear that chains people to it, forming a tradition of oppression. Any Spirit that endorses ‘pride’ is not of the Spirit of truth. It stands directly against the truth that is found in the scriptures.

The Hierarchy: What does it do?

Any society will have levels of functioning based on many reasons, one of the implications of caste system is its clear categorization of who to stay on the top and who to stay in the bottom of the hierarchy based on their birth, ethnicity and profession. It makes them slaves to the particular category and divides the society. It stays as their identity all through their life. Though the modern day constitutional democracy doesn’t encourage it, the society still largely functions on it, because of their consciences and identity which are tied to it.

In this hierarchy, the vision, power and wealth stays at the top, and manpower for the work lies at the bottom. The manpower crisis is a universal crisis across the world, even now it is one of the main crisis in developed countries, in ancient civilizations too manpower was fundamental for big projects, slavery is a means to the workforce or that viable man power. The powerful doesn’t empower the powerless, but make them more weak so that they will be under their control, in order to carry out their vision. In the Bible, The Israelites became slaves in Egypt and became their workforce. The reason Pharaoh didn’t want to leave them is that he loses potential manpower. So he oppresses them with his power so that they will stay within their control. Till a greater authority and a mightier hand delivered them.

We exactly don’t know the need of evolution of such system, even if we can visualize that it would have connected the society well with its supply chain order, yet it certainly is not characterized well. So opportunities for dream and vision of their own was denied to many groups in the name of a system that is religious in nature. The whole system was controlled in the name of God, that made it more complex. Those who were under oppression through this system believed they were created by God to live that way, the slavery they underwent, the discrimination they faced, the oppression and the denial of dignity they endured was because of their ‘Fate’, morever another reason was given for their misery is their ‘sin’. That their sin is permanent, the curse is permanent, and there is no way out of it. So people in every category live with that identity as the absolute reality. In some cases many gods were created to strengthen the control of the system.

The hierarchy also has a cultural implication on it. The Indian subcontinent is a home to many ethnic groups, though many claim to be indigenous, the migration of people groups over the years has multi- cultural imprint here, so the heirarchy has different food culture, family culture, faith culture and language orientation at different levels.

This hierarchial system does have an economic impact too. It has left the sudras and the untouchables economically dependent on the higher section, hence becoming vulnerable for exploitation. The oppressive nature of this system is evident by the widespread poverty among those who are at the bottom.

Knowledge too is associated with this hierarchy , access for knowledge is denied outside their work need or skill set, because knowledge leads to power,organization and everything. So truths were hidden too keep the system active, as well truths were dictated from the highest order, which denied rationality and reasoning for many at the bottom. In continuation to denial of knowledge, it also lead to denial of justice in the society. It also is tied to a specific language that made it more complex.

Since it is a static and closed hierarchy, it protects the identity of people at different levels, making it easy and comfortable for those at the top, and making life difficult for those at the bottom. It is caged and gauged for everyone. There is a systematic punishment associated with the hierarchy, mostly endured by those at the bottom with no accountability from the people at the top.

The Biblical view :

“But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things–and the things that are not–to nullify the things that are”. 1 Corinthians 1:27, 28.

The Bible too has an order seen right from the creation so as to organize accountability and employ growth in the society. It is a ‘Spiritual Order’ with God being the supreme authority from whom every power proceeds from. This also can be called a ‘Faith Order’ for a very specific reason.

God called Abraham and blessed him, a nomad without resting place became the friend of God in faith. He had fellowship and received the covenant from God. His descendants became the chosen people. ‘A Nobody becoming Somebody by the grace of God’, is the story of the Bible. ‘A marginalized becoming empowered by the power of God’ is a Bblical value. God’s choice was always the least, that’s the principle on which the spiritual order functions.

Even when the Israelites became slaves in Egypt, God again intervened to raise them up. But he made it clear that they are not special, but God chose them for a specific purpose, and that they too had to endure punishment from him like other Nations,

“The LORD did not set his affection on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples”. Deuteronomy 7:7.

It is a ‘Faith Order’, because the trust in the grace of God is supreme. Faith through obedience became the fundamental of this order to access God. After they came out of Egypt they were organized according to the tribes that came out of the sons of Jacob. It is not a static hierarchical oppressive order but a organization of families in to larger groups in order to function effectively. Even the march towards the promised Land was organized in such a way based on courage, character and the need. A specific group ‘Levi’ was chosen as priests, the priestly order helped in worship which involved many rituals, and Judah probably lead the march. The move towards the core of the order is based on faith, holiness and obedience, and the move away from the core of the order is because of sin, unbelief and disobedience. Hence it is not a hierachial pyramid model as in caste system, but a orbital model.

The settlement too was based on their faith, courage and obedience. We can see that Caleb and Joshua believed at kadesh Barnea, that God can give them what was promised. So naturally when they settled in Canaan, the tribe of Ephraim and Judah which the leaders Joshua and Caleb belonged to got the core portion of the land. The levites, eventhough had a priestly which was given to them to help in worship and sacrifices were not the sole proprietors of the spiritual life of people. God raised prophets in the community to remind them of their ways, even the priests and kings were corrected by the prophets, who belonged to different tribes. The levites dwelled among all the tribes which paved way for mutual accountability. And all tribes were united based on mutual respect and faith in one God. In a way the positioning of the levites is to organize worship and also importantly fellowship and peace within the communities.

Especially after they settled, God raised judges through his Spirit who belonged to different tribes on different occasions based on the need, of their courageous faith and for different other reasons. In every season God raised leaders from different backgrounds to carry out his purposes. Some were mighty, others were weak and ordinary. When he chose Gideon, he says ‘I’m the least of all’. He also raised woman leaders like Deborah and Jael.

It was not in God’s plan to raise a King among Israel, because God was their Supreme and Everlasting king. And more importantly God knew that a king can oppress his people. A static order will be created and it can lead to oppression. But since the people demanded a king, God warned them through Prophet samuel, but obliged to their persistent demand, but it resulted in tragedy, since the subsequent unrighteous kings brought in oppression in to the community, later they became captives of foreign kings. But even when the first king Saul was chosen, he belonged to the smallest of clan in Benjamin, and a Shepherd boy who was least in his family to replace him when Saul didn’t walk according to the ways of God.

The New Testament projects Jesus Christ as the Eternal Priest, King, Prophet and Saviour whose core mission was for the least. Jesus represents the fact that God has the sovereign control of that order.

“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ Matthew 25:40.

So the Biblical social order is entirely different than the caste system. The Spirit and intention behind the Biblical order was not oppression but liberation found in God. It demands justice and accountability at all levels. Its ambition is hope to those who are the least.

The Spiritual order found in the Bible, represented through human faith is not without its flaws. Since the spiritual order needs human involvement. Those who engage with it must orient themselves to the spirit of the order. If ‘Self’ becomes the motivation and not the spirit, and a desire for control at any cost becomes the principle, then the system breaks down and doesn’t serve the purpose. Even in the scripture, we find that oppression had taken place in the Name of God. The order which was formed to serve and lift people became a tool of oppression by those who were in power.

Every now and then God raised people,the voices of truth and justice to remind of the disintegration of the order from its original stature losing its purpose. In the times of Jesus, he was straight forward in his approach about the religious order and their failure to maintain the spirit of the order. The order which was originated for the least and lost, became the order of the privileged and the powerful which divided and oppressed people. Jesus sought the order to reclaim its spirit to serve the community once again. He also demonstrated God’s love for all humanity and opened up the truth to Go in to all the world.

The Scripture doesn’t endorse a closed system but an open system under the authority of God.

Spiritual Order: The Reforming model

“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free”. Luke 4:18.

The Intention, goal and the Spirit behind the Spiritual order is found in the above verse. It is like the Vision statement for the ‘Spiritual Order’ or ‘Faith order’ or the ‘Life order’, as we call it. This is the spirit upon which the order found in the Bible must function. If it doesn’t, it needs reformation.

A good order then is a ‘Reformative Order’. The Bible is a reformative book since it has laid out in open, both the disintegration of the order and the periods of reformation to make the order to comeback to its originality. The New Testament completing the Old Testament testifies the reformative natue of the book. It is the reason why it still reforms any system.

When any order which had lost its purpose in the course of time, if it give iself to reformation must possess these characteristics. It should be an order of relevance, order of truth, order of Justice, order of service, order of welfare, order of love and order of growth, most importantly it should be an order for the least. In ‘I’dentity there is an ‘I’, and in ‘we’lfare there is a ‘We’. A common Welfare should be the identity of the order. A goal of Welfare for all, reforms any identity.

The Remfoming model will always orient any order towards the ‘Truth’. It encourages any system to analyze itself to seek the truth. Wherever there is oppression we can see that there is a deep lack of truth. A Spiritual order will always journey towards the truth in faith, even when its difficult. This can reform any oppressive order found either in the society or in the families.

The origins of the Spiritual order is not pride but humility and service which doesn’t destroy but build. It is not represented in ‘Pleasing Self ‘, but to become a ‘Pleasing Sacrifice’

Jesus emphasized us to treat others, in the way we expect us to be treated. Jesus said ‘ just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Matthew 20 : 28. The ‘Spirit of the Son’ , can reform any order or the system to become an order of truth and relevance to serve the least.



Spirit (intent) —–> Script (content) —–> System (order) —–> Society (Impact)

Reformation happens when there is transformation at the spirit of the order. Any order which is open for reformation stays relevant and useful. It will benefit the least. Any order which is rigid and repulsive to reformation becomes irrelevant and oppressive.

Caste System and Reformation:

There were many social movements initiated by influential individuals to reform the society by opening up the system in india. Even the constitution of India aims to protect the vulnerable and laws were framed to weaken the system of oppression. But unless the Spirit of people is transfored it will still remain a distant dream.

Especially the Church should be conscious of this, instead of strengthening the system by our choices decisions based on it. We must weaken the oppressive system by transforming ourselves in accordance to the Spirit of Christ.

“For God does not show favoritism”. Romans 2:11.

How can we approach caste system as Christians?

We must apply careful consideration, and as Christians we must make any order or system reformative. Since the foundation of caste system is Pride and as it generates oppression in the society, we who believe in the order of liberation must reject it fundamentally. Casteistic mentality is a ‘dividing wall of hostility’, which Christians need to break by the grace of God.

Here are some reasons why we must reject it,

1. Scriptural Authority:

As Believers, we believe in the scriptural authority over every of our life’s choices. We receive inspiration from the word to direct our paths in this world. But casteism is not found in the Bible, actually its against the Bible principle. Bible doesn’t endorse casteism. The Bible endorses a liberative spiritual order. In any multi- cultural, multi-ethnic, and multi-lingual plural society, discrimination will be present at different levels, and it causes a common pain all across the world. Casteism is a unique hierarchical system which has penetrated in to people’s identity and lifestyles breeding it’s own culture and sub-culture in people groups for centuries, for example racism in America involves discrimination, but there is no textual basis to it, but casteism has a textual basis forming a systematic oppression, and that text is not the Bible ! So caste system can be rejected on the scriptural Basis.

2. Moral Validity:

If we look at the damage caused by the caste system, we can see it becomes a cause for many evils in the society. It doesn’t take the society towards a higher morality . Instead it causes deep divides. May be as Christians we can say, it doesn’t affect us, but when see the society it has caused much divide and brokenness. It should bother us, we should take a personal responsibility and intercede as well consciously work towards a higher morality. Caste system causes oppression, poverty, marginalization, discrimination, untouchability, denial of rights, opportunities and justice, discord between communities, murder, strife and so on. It’s a fact that caste system is one of the obstacles for India’s inclusive economic growth. Especially ‘Value’ is very important to Christians. Our morality comes out of the value God gives us, the Bible says ‘We are made in the image of God’, but casteism denies that value and dignity to people. It differentiates people from birth, this crushes the moral standards of the society. Jesus went for that one lost sheep, hence he declared the truth, that everyone is valuable in God’s eyes. Jesus came down and died for us, when we were still sinners showing how much he valued us, he gives us . Caste system denies this basis of morality. We Christians are grace generation , we must value others like Christ valued us.

3. Gospel’s possibility:

Gospel is the lifeline to a believer, it is through the Gospel we were saved. Jesus said “Go in to all the world and preach the Gospel to all creation, and make disciples among all Nations’. It’s a great possibility and wide scope that Jesus was talking about. But casteism in many places has been a stumbling block for the Gospel to reach certain communities. It denies many the truth of the Gospel. Many who love Jesus and have a desire to follow him, and wants to grow in the truth, could not freely express their faith, because of fear of rejection from their community. It denies hope to many . In Jesus time, there were discrimination between Jews and Samaritans, during the Apostle Paul’s times, there were Jews and Gentiles. Both Jesus Christ and Apostle Paul breached these walls of hostility to reach people, knowing the value of the Gospel. We who tasted the Gospel must think about casteism seriously.

4. The Church’s Unity:

“There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in. Christ Jesus”. Galatians 3:28.

The Bible says there neither Jew nor Gentile in the Church of Christ. Especially the vision of the status of heaven found in the heaven has all the tribes and people of this world ( Revelation 7:9). Any order which promotes division in the Church stands directly against the vision of combined worshippers. If that’s the status of heaven, then it must be order of the Church. Fellowship and unity of the Church is constantly threatened by the caste system followed within the Church. If the Church is not found worthy to embrace the Spirit of Christ, what hope does the world have?

In Conclusion, If there was one great Holy wall, it was between God and man, but in his love and grace God broke that wall to offer favour to all men. If that Holy wall can be broken in order to offer hope, these unholy walls must be broken amongst us! The underlying need is that we must be open for God to lead us and his spirit to guide us, and not restrict him within our tiny hostile walls. We must willingly sacrifice our identity attached with it, small pleasures and pride we derive out of it. We must not normalize it, but categorize casteistic mindset as sin. We need to grow in grace, and please God in our approach to casteism. It’s not easy for everyone , but it’s not impossible. With God all things are possible!!!

“Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low; the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain”. Isaiah 40:4.

Religious Freedom : The CRY of a persecuted Church.

‘I fell to the ground and heard a voice say to me, ‘Saul! Saul! Why do you persecute me?’ Acts 22:7

The transformation of Apostle Paul is not just an other conversion, it holds the truth on how personal the Church is to Christ. It carries a lesson that it is indeed hard to kick against the goads, the gates of hell cannot stand against what God had established. This is the testament it had left for centuries in the spirit of history. As the Soldier who crucified Christ confessed that ‘He is the son of God’, the Persecutor- in – Chief became the Propagator- in – Chief. It’s our hope that many Pauls would rise, even if it means the Church is put through danger, even if persecution is the way that somebody could meet Christ. Whether someone likes it or not, the Church and the Gospel is here to stay…

The Church was born out of persecution. As the 19th century French preacher Lacordaire said ‘The Church was born crucified’.

This particular subject was long persistent in my heart, but when I started to tiltle it a week back, and as I began scripting it now, I’m all the more convinced that I’m already too late in many ways. When I say religious Freedom, all it means is freedom of thought, belief and expression, and not about a narrow cultural or symbolical impression. The freedom to know the truth which sets every man free!

“Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32.

Even as we engage with this article ,there are thousands suffering and are in migration because of religious persecution all around the world. The news of government of China’s oppressive moves on Churches, especially the growing tensions in Hongkong and the new control of the Government over the Churches there, as well the ever rising communal divide in India, and challenges Christian community facing through oppressive draconian laws of discrimination and threats of political fringes, then with the usual much closed parts of Middle East and other parts of the Globe that is against religious freedom and the Church. Even now, getting to hear the news that 700 Christians were massacred in Nigeria. These are not just stray incidents, these are signs building up to a much larger agenda that is imminent upon the church.

The days ahead looks seriously challenging in many ways , but it is not new, the Church has lived with this realiity for ages, right from the beginning. The most trusted friend of the Gospel is its opposition and persecution. Even if it’s not new, its good to remind ourselves of this reality, and prepare ourserlves for the challenges ahead!

Twenty two years back on January 23, this same day, Graham Staines, a missionary Doctor from Australia to India was martyred in Manoharpur, Odhisha. Burnt alive along with his sons Philip(10) and Timothy (6). This incident shook the conscience of the Nation. A group of religious fanatics induced by hatred torched the vehicle they were sleeping. A family which came to serve a marginalized tribal community in Odhisha, especially those who were affected with leperosy was meted out with such cruelty. They came to serve in Jesus Name, but for those whom they came for killed them mercilessly. The wife of the missionary and the mother of the two children who were killed. Graciously forgave those killers in public. Thus showing the power of God’s love.

Many like them in the past and in the present are giving themselves to be the object of ridicule and hate for the sake of Christ and his Gospel. It is through such sacrifice, we can boldly say…His truth will march on… till the end!!

“Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds”. John 12:24.

The early Church theologian Tertullian, said this,

“The blood of the martyr is the seed of the Church”.

Everytime we lose something for the sake of the Kingdom, we receive it hundred fold.

Jesus said, “Truly I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or farms, for My sake and for the gospel’s sake, but that he will receive a hundred times as much now in the present age, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and farms, along with persecutions; and in the age to come, eternal life. Mark 10:29-30.

Why Religious Freedom important?

Religious freedom is a fundamental freedom of ‘belief’. Every freedom as humans we relate come from the freedom of belief. Our culture,expressions, choices, perspectives everything comes out of a certain belief. As much as religious freedom is a vital to welfare, growth and health of a society, it is the most attacked freedom of all, everywhere across the world. It is important to understand the need of religious freedom first of all.

From the time of Egyptians, Greeks and Romans to modern day democratic republics, this still remains controversial and not much spoken, still it remains in the spirit of the letter and not in practice acoss many groups in the world. It is important to stress upon religious freedom, the fundamental human freedom.

“The Religion then of every man must be left to the conviction and conscience of every man; and it is the right of every man to exercise it as these may dictate. This right is in its nature an unalienable right. It is unalienable, because the opinions of men, depending only on the evidence contemplated by their own minds cannot follow the dictates of other men: It is unalienable also, because what is here a right towards men, is a duty towards the Creator. It is the duty of every man to render to the Creator such homage and such only as he believes to be acceptable to him.”

– James Madison

“The constitutional freedom of religion is the most inalienable and sacred of all human rights”.

-Thomas Jefferson

“Where freedom of religion has been attacked, the attack has come from sources opposed to democracy. Where democracy has been overthrown, the spirit of free worship has disappeared. And where religion and democracy have vanished, good faith and reason in international affairs have given way to strident ambition and brute force”.

Franklin D. Roosevelt

Religious freedom and Democracy are so uniquely tied with each other, that if someone or a nation believes in democracy will always cherish Religious freedom. Religious freedom is the cornerstone for any democracy. Since Religious Freedom ascertains the fundamental freedom of belief and thought.

Obstacles to Religious Freedom:

One of the main obstacles to religious freedom is ‘fear’. The fear of losing control. Since religion and belief forms the core identity of any region or a nation. The systems and order are formed through a majoritarian opinion. And Religious freedom can disturb that majoritarian opinion, which in turn can destroy the existing order.

There is an example in the Bible, in Acts 19 where Paul preaches at Ephesus there was an opposition by a Silversmith named Demetrius, these are his words,

There is danger not only that our trade will lose its good name, but also that the temple of the great goddess Artemis will be discredited; and the goddess herself, who is worshiped throughout the province of Asia and the world, will be robbed of her divine majesty.” Acts 19:27.

The fear of losing control lead to a riot and Paul had to retreat from his preaching. Here the freedom of expression of belief and thought is curtailed because they knew it will jeopardize certain social order.

All across the world where Religious freedom is curtailed, comes from the places of power. Though the common people in Ephesus were willing to hear the words of Paul, Demetrius who had commercial control of that region instigates common people to riot against Paul.

“But the Jews incited the devout women of prominence and the leading men of the city, and instigated a persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and drove them out of their district”. Acts 13:50.

Then the other case is when Paul was charged with creating disharmony in the society, hence legally prosecuting him, because of the fear of losing control.

“But while Gallio was proconsul of Achaia, the Jews with one accord rose up against Paul and brought him before the judgment seat”. Acts 18:12.

The fear of losing control or fear of losing identity are the main obstacles to religious freedom. It comes out of an anxiety about something which threatens the existing order, pattern,comfort or norm.

Christianity and Religious Freedom :

“Blessed are you when people hate you and when they exclude you and revile you and spurn your name as evil, on account of the Son of Man! Luke 6:22.

We who are in Christ are the children of everlasting freedom, and we must value religious freedom, than any other in this world. Since crucifixion of Christ was due to denial of speaking the truth. Jesus was falsely accused, he was denied religious liberty and freedom of belief and propogation in his time. The Apostles and the Church became the victim of the establishment, they were denied their freedom to proclaim the Gospel, they were killed, insulted, persecuted and threatened. Throughout the centuries the Church and the Gospel has faced persecution all across the world. Wherever the Gospel went, and wherever it was proclaimed it was met with opposition.

Even now it’s still the case, it is observed in a BBC article of 2019 that,

The persecution of Christians in parts of the world is at near “genocide” levels, according to a report ordered by Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt.

Open Doors observe that 340 million christians are persecuted worldwide!

The Church eventhough looks like the most prominent community in the world, it is the most persecuted community across the world. It has opened freedom and paved way for democracies, hence regional authorities fear its impact and react. Hence the rights of the Gospel and its freedom has been challenged and curtailed in many ways. Even Christian service has been facing severe restrictions in many parts of the world, as it empowers people.

Especially Jesus said Go and Preach the Gospel to all creation. I believe the Gospel and Evangelism tests the freedom of belief in every place. Wherever in the world, it tests the presence of freedom in that place. It not only transforms people, and make them a new creation. It also breaks open the doors and chains of captivity leading all men to freedom. Evangelism promotes freedom of belief and expression, it gives a message of hope to someone who is in need of freedom. In a society where people feared to speak the truth, Jesus spoke the truth through his Gospel. When the Apostles were threatened by religious authorities, they were limited inside the upper room, where the Holy Spirit filled them with power, then Peter stood up and proclaimed the Gospel. It opened up a new pathway to freedom, eventhough all faced persecution, and they were scattered, wherever they went, they opened up the communities towards a new higher thought, a new better way and importantly freedom. The Church still remains as the voice of freedom everywhere!!

“The One who breaks open the way will go up before them; they will break through the gate and go out. Their King will pass through before them, the LORD at their head.” Micah 2:13.

And more importantly the message or the Gospel talks about the greatest freedom of all, the FREEDOM OF LOVE, the freedom of love beyond ourselves. Love beyond, discrimination, oppression, rejection, love which is revealed in sacrifice. It talks about loving even the enemies, to show the other cheek, to pray for those who persecute, to do good even to those treat badly. The greatest freedom the Gospel offers is the freedom to love, it scares the forces of darkness and evil which operates in fear and hate.

It was for this expression of God’s love, many sacrificed their own lives. As Christians we must remember that we are the ambassadors of Religious freedom, through our voice, tolerance, service and ultimately Sacrifice!

Bible : Is there a Controversial Contradiction?

When we talk about Religious freedom, does it apply to all ? Or we must talk about religious freedom where Christianity is not an establishment?

I believe we are beacons of religious freedom or freedom of belief everywhere. If Christianity is in majority, I believe we have a greater responsibility to safeguard religious freedom. But the bigger question is, does the scriptures approve of it?

If religious freedom applies to all then how can we protect the exclusivity of truth. Does it mean we accept those religious practices contradictory to the to the truths found in the scriptures. There are many passages in the scriptures which gives us such an intolerant picture about Israel in the Old Testament, those who have been chosen by God. This question would involve a vast thought process, and I don’t know one can give a perfect answer to this to anyone with a humanistic approach. It should be viewed with a contextual and practical approach.

First of all, we must see the scriptures in the light of its history. Even we must view the history of Israel in the context of it’s covenant with God.

The exclusivity of Faith begins with Abraham, when God makes a covenant with him to bless the whole world through him. Abraham lived by the covenant, tested through the covenant, even blessed and punished by the same covenant. So the story of Israel must be greatly viewed in the context of its covenant. They began as nomads leaving their own land, and God promised them a land for their descendants as part of the covenant , then they became slaves in a foreign land, after that they possess their promised land to rule over it, they were divided and they became captives and got scattered, then few came back and rebuilt their important city, then the New Covenant of God directly with all people through Christ.And those intolerant nature towards other beliefs which can be seen against religious freedom was only found in the period of their direct rule in the promised land.

Since they were in covenant, the law trained their conscience to seek the high standards of God in their private and public life. They were different from all other people, their law desired Justice and Mercy, from King to Ordinary people fell under the blessing and punishment of the Law. They only stayed within the boundaries of their promised Land, they didn’t go on capturing many nations like the Assyrians, Babylonians, Greeks and the others. They only defended themselves against those who came against them. The people of the land they occupied had many evils like child sacrifice, homosexuality to other immoralities in the name of their own gods and religion, and God had to be severe in them to protect them from such behaviour. When we look the at the contextual aspect when the chosen people were willing to eat their children and commit various crimes ,and lot’s daughters willing lie down with their father, shows how bad company around could impact their Holiness and how they can acquire practices and patterns God did not intended for them, and they would be punished under the law because of the covenant like any mordern justice system works. It applied to everyone. When as the leader and as a Nation they rejected the fear of God and Justice, he removed them from the land and made them as captives, so they were disciplined under the covenant.

“You have been set apart as holy to the LORD your God, and he has chosen you from all the nations of the earth to be his own special treasure”. Deuteronomy 14:2

Especially the destruction of the high places of other gods and it’s prophets were acts of reformation within their territory and community. There were many people of their own that is Israel, became followers and prophets of other gods which brought severe moral decay to the nation . So the reformation was done within which was sometime severe like many nations even now deal with many insurrections, and it has to be noted that it was not followed outside their provinces. When they were captives in the foreign land, some stood for the right to not worship foreign gods and suffered due to that. So we must consider all these various contexts before coming to a conclusion in this matter.

It’s important to note that when Israelites came out of Egypt because of oppression, the Freedom of worship was quoted to the Pharaoh. God called them to worship him freely.

Elijah @ Mount Carmel : Religious Freedom as ‘Search for Truth

“Then you call on the name of your god, and I will call on the name of the LORD. The god who answers by fire—he is God. Then all the people said, “What you say is good.” 1 Kings 18:24.

Elijah stood for the challenge to openly show the difference between truth and falsehood. He had to reveal to Israel who is the one and true God. He made altars, and the one who answers by fire, consuming the sacrifice was the true God. Right there at Mount Carmel the truth was revealed. Even the same occured when Moses staff consumed the staff of Egyptian magicians, same with Daniel and his friends diet at Nebuchadnezzar’s palace. They put themselves to test. In the New Testament, through many signs and wonders God had confirmed his truth.

We must promote religious freedom, not to encourage falsehood, but people to seek the truth, search for it and find it. There are many nations in the world, especially in North Korea, China, Iran and many parts of the middle east have not given the space for their citizens to have right to choose their belief. They have been denied religious freedom and in that process they were denied the access to the truth of the Gospel. It is the reason we must consider religious freedom as serious option, its not that we accept something else, but open a healthy space for truth to operate. It gives opportunity to everyone. A truth which makes their lives better, and gives the hope of a future.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29: 11.

Thinking about those valuable people in these closed countries, God is entering in to their lives through visions and dreams. Praise God for it, he breaks every man made barriers to promote his truth.

Didn’t the God of all creation patiently waits, and gives time for all people to know him? Hasn’t he accommodated all kinds of people in this earth irrespective of their choices?

Historical Blunder :

How did Christian empires of the past react to religious liberty is also a vital question to ask. How did the Church leadership in Rome react to the protestant reformation in Europe? How were the puritans treated in the so called ‘Christian Kingdom’in Britain, and how were the Jews treated in the evangelical friendly lutheranized Germany? These are tough questions the Church must ask itself. The numerous life killed in the name of God to consolidate earthly power shows how much we the victims of religious freedom must learn, we are those who must value and propagate it around the world. The very reason for which the Apostles sacrificed their own lives, must think all these matters with deep caution and conviction. There is no freedom without sacrifice, and that’s what for Jesus Christ, Apostles and the early church stood forth strongly.

Organic or Organized ?

Coming back to persecution which results because of the lack of religious freedom has to be seen from different dimensions and understood.

In some places it is organic,

Especially when missionary Jim Elliot who went to the Huaorani people of Equador to share the Gospel and live with them. The tribal people reacted in fear about something which is different from them, him and his friends were killed. This sacrifice happens everywhere among an isolated tribe, but once they know, like how the wife of Jim Elliot was able to work among the same people shows its a matter of being accustomed. The missionary movement had opened up to many tribes across the world. And today we see, such hostile tribes were very much open to the Gospel. We see many communities raised among those people, even though there was an initial persecution due to ignorance.

But many are organized by the powerful. I think many persecution around the world are organized to defend the powerul, they use it as a means of control. Persecution happens not only destroying their life, but damaging their public standing, denial of rights, prosecuting them legally through false accusations. The story of Asia Bibi in Pakistan is a very good example, of how an entire system can stand against a single woman’s right to belief . The powerful also organize persecution through fringe groups threatening the peaceful existence of religious minorities as in the case of Graham Staines.

In Lystra, because of a miracle, the people there started worshipping Paul and Barnabas as Hermes and Zeus, but Jews from Iconium instigated the crowd, they started to violently persecute them ( Acts 14: 8-19). So th powerful organize the will of the people or through law to persecute and deny the freedom of belief.

I think religious freedom is practically possible in every level only when those in power and authority gives a conscious space to it legally and promote it freely. In an organized world, the powerful know how to manipulate systems in order to threaten the freedom of thought and belief to those who were powerless. I think the Church does well without the power, we learn to depend the power from high like the early Apostles, even it means suffering at different levels. But a government or a power centre which is sensitive to the vitality of religious freedom can do lot of good to the truth.

Standing for Liberty based on Human cause:

This article focuses on Christian persecution and religious freedom, because there is nobody who foresaw and prepared his disciples than Jesus did. He taught them to react in love when persecuted, to show the other cheek. Thus in love he stands for freedom of belief. As I said, the Gospel is the forerunner for freedom of belief and Religious liberty, to establish and promote non-violent Kingdom based upon the foundation of love, compassion, righteousness and justice. But it doesn’t exclude the standing up for any persecuted community around the world. As I said, we are the beacon of hope, promoting freedom of thought and belief, destroying every forces of oppression. As much as we talk about the persecution of Christians across the world, we must also speak for the Rohingyas in Nepal, Kurds in Syria, Tamils in srilanka. We must stand against strategical oppression and organized violence everywhere. Non-violence and Justice forms the core of the Gospel. Jesus is the truth, and the truth is expressed in a better way, when we stand with the oppressed in whatever way we could.

We must view this as “ The threat to freedom of belief somewhere is a threat to freedom of belief everywhere”.

Media and Religious Freedom:

One of the greatest tools to promote religious freedom and freedom of belief is through Media. There are dark corners of the world, where our feet could not reach, but our voices could be heard. There we offer them hope even in the absence of our presence, by sending these digital messages and kindle their spirit, the freedom of the spirit which cannot be contained by any man made borders or restrictions. As the Bible say “Where the spirit of the Lord is there is freedom.

I was inspired by the Lord to write a devotional blog last year, and God by his grace enabled me to do it to an extent, when I received the viewers history, the hundreds who watched from different parts of the world, didn’t make me as much excited than the few came from Iraq and Nigeria. I thanked God for the media which took the Gospel across.

Who can forget the FEBA Radio in India which carried the Goodnews across the unknown tribes of the land.

As much as media has become an effective tool in the hands of evil and destructive powers. It is important how it can be a tool of hope to someone who are under oppressive regimes, even through all those restrictions, getting a weak signal in its borders, could receive possibly the message of hope for the first time. That can be the power of Gospel which promotes freedom of belief with the truth that can change lives towards a higher hope.

Promoting Religious Freedom the Jesus way!

There are ways in which we can promote Freedom of Belief, it is through creating awareness about these issues, by giving voice, image and a theory to these issues, and also tools and systems to help these cause.

But as these above needs remain. I want to highlight these three ways that Jesus taught us in the issue of persecution, and I believe these are absolutely fundamental.

1.Prayer – Showing mercy in Spirit :

“But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you”. Matthew 5:44.

Prayer is interceding to God to show mercy to those who persecute us. Jesus never told us something which he himself didn’t go through. His was not a mere advice, but a life lesson! He said from the cross ‘Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing. There is power in praying for those who cause us pain for Christ’s sake. I always think of the Early church , It was so immersed in prayer for the persecuted Church leaders, and the Church, I also believe they would have prayed for Paul, who moved with murderous threats against the Church. The more they were persecuted, the more they were persistent in prayer. It gives power to the voice of freedom. It resulted in multitudes turning to the Lord, including Apostle Paul. We show mercy in our spirit when we pray, we reveal the heart of christ. When persecuted Church prays, it is more powerful than any full fledged weapon built army (Acts 4). Prayer still transforms !

2. Preaching – Speaking the truth in Love :

“Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ”. Ephesians 4:15.

Gospel is the most porful advocate for freedom of Belief. The Gospel is filled with God’s sacrificial love, it is the greatest promoter of freedom of belief. The Bible says ‘If the son sets you free, you are free indeed”. John 8:34. It talks about everlasting freedom in Christ. As the Church continued to preach the Gospel in every possible way, we must speak and live the truth in Love. Only the Love of Christ revealed in the Gospel, can be the greatest channel for religious freedom. Since it doesn’t seek to harm anyone. The theology is so deep in the Christian faith, as God in love gave himself for the truth, and that truth which sets all men is revealed only in Love. What a great responsibility God has bestowed upon us that we are chosen to respresent his truth. Lest we become arrogant with it.

“And wherever they do not receive you, when you leave that town shake off the dust from your feet as a testimony against them.” . Luke 9 : 5.

If people doesn’t receive, he asked us to leave them to him, even those who reject. So let’s not condemn anyone, but leave them to God.

3. Patience – Serving in Chains:

“Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted”. Hebrews 12:3.

Patient endurance is our strength, not just tolerating persecution, but accepting it as part of doing God’s will. Apostle. Paul didn’t fear it, but patiently endured as Christ endured the cross. He was falsely accused and was put in prison and in chains. Even then he praised God and patiently waited for the blessed hope. Especially he served while in chains, he wrote the famous prison letters there, he served the local community with the same passion. He writes to his beloved son Timothy,

“You, however, know all about my teaching, my way of life, my purpose, faith, patience, love, endurance, persecutions, sufferings—what kinds of things happened to me in Antioch, Iconium and Lystra, the persecutions I endured.Yet the Lord rescued me from all of them”. 2 Timothy 3:10&11.

What a teaching to follow, our patient endurance in faith will extend the freedom of belief. Apostle. Paul was beheaded for freely expressing the truth about his faith!

“for which I am suffering even to the point of being chained like a criminal. But God’s word is not chained”. 2 Timothy 2:9.

A Soul which is truly free cannot be chained. It utters the truth freely. Nobody can chain the soul. The spirit sets it free by truth. As Apostle Paul, one can live free in any circumstances. If we guard our hearts with patience and truth.

Are we in the threshold of a great human right catastrophe?

“Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me”. Matthew 24:9.

When Jesus spoke about the signs of his second coming, he spoke about a persecution of a very large magnitude. As persecution of those who stand up for the truth, and those who proclaim the truth is on the rise across the world. It is very possible that we are staring at a human right catastrophe at a different level. The more the coming of Christ is near, the more is the tribulation of those who promote Gospel, and the freedom associated with it. As the Gospel gives the freedom to hit the other cheek. Is the Church truly prepared for it? When such times come, would we stand up for what is right. In the coming days the freedom of belief, thought, expression and propagation is not going to be easy. It is imminent on us to carry this beacon of hope in every possible way amidst opposition.

Behold, the Body of Christ

“You will be hated by all because of My name, but it is the one who has endured to the end who will be saved. Matthew 10:22.

When Paul accepted Christ he was prepared by God to undergo suffering for him, and he says in Galatians 6:17 “I bear on my body the marks of Jesus”. The body of Christ on the cross which was broken represents the Church which also called the body of Christ which has to be broken for Christ. Sometimes we underestimate the cost and price we have to pay in following Jesus. Many avoid the message of the cross in the pulpits because people want to hear only motivational talks which can motivate and keep our spirits high, we just want to hear good things and comfortable things. The fact is real motivation comes from the hardest of truth, and the hard truth is suffering for Christ is part and parcel of following Christ. The crucified savior on the cross reminds us that we all need to suffer for the sake of him, and we can never get away from it. Suffering comes in many forms and ways, especially it comes in the form of persecution. From the time of the Apostles to this time the Church has gone through persecution throughout these centuries and many have laid their lives for Christ and is still relevant to all of us. Jesus spoke about that is upon the body of Christ and he explains it like this “For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again”. Matthew 24:21. The cross prepares us to look forward to the destiny, the destiny of suffering for his name. This difficult path also assures us of a greater reward of his glory according to Romans 8:17. As Jesus went through the suffering for a greater purpose the Church should be prepared to face this truth and Christ on the cross serves as a reminder.

More than a religion, Jesus gave himself for a relationship.

Fall to Rise :

Freedom of belief is the cry of the Church. It gives space to truth. I think it’s important we think about it, and prepare ourselves and others about the crisis ahead. Even as we walk by faith, its important to remember the great responsibility we carry. We must keep offering hope through Christ, as the world needs to hear it. Our prayer remains this,Let every persecutor like Paul fall to the ground, only to be raised in Christ. Its a Holy duty of the church to value democracy, and the democratic duty of the state to uphold the values of Christ in its public life.

“Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. But let none of you suffer as a murderer or a thief or an evildoer or as a meddler. Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name”. 1 Peter 4: 12-16.

Gospel of Reconciliation: In the midst of human conflicts.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation:that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation”.   1 Corinthians 5:17-19  .


From the streets of Jerusalem to the palaces across the world, the Gospel of Christ have come a long way. From being a voice that cried out amidst the oppression of the establishment to being the establishment itself, it has truly went through so many changes. From the rule of Empires to modern day democracies it had remained through multiple governing systems. Did the message of the Gospel stay relevant through the times? Does it still appeal to a hurting and broken world?

To some its a myth, to some its just delusion, to some its a tool of control, to some its against logic, to some its just regressive, to some its anti-human rights, to some its just another religious propaganda, to some its still unknown, to some its just a belief, and to some its the truth upon which life exists. It is in the midst of these choices that Gospel in our everyday life is trying to make sense. What is the Gospel’s response to the issues, the world is facing today? to the problems communities go through? to the never ending challenges people of this world part of ? As people who carry the Gospel in to this world, we truly carry a great responsibility. And without God’s help this work is impossible!

‘Gospel’ means ‘Good News’. The word has its roots from the Greek word ‘euangelion’ , what we famously call ‘Evangelism’ in English. Its called Good News because the advent of Lord Jesus Christ has a Message of Hope through Love for all mankind. The message of Jesus Christ offers transformation to a suffering world, and his life and message is termed as the Gospel. Hence the Gospel is God’s solution to humanity which suffers with problems due to its fallen nature, which is evident in all walks of our lives. Gospel is a call given to all men of every differences this world could offer to reconcile, to Belong, and to become a New creation!

Reconciliation with God:

In the Gospel lies God’s desire for reconciliation with all men, and what he  accomplished by sending his Son Jesus to this broken world. According to the Gospel, every human reconciliation hinges on the foundation of this divine reconciliation between God and Man.

Who is a sinner? Isn’t the one who doesn’t belong, the one who is lost, the one who is astray and the one to be reonciled?

“The Son of man, came to seek and save the lost” Luke 19:10.

The Gospel also shares how God reconciled men back to him. So the origins of this good news is from the depths of God’s nature.

“This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth”. 1 Timothy 2: 3 & 4.

It doesn’t stop with that, The Bible also says in the above theme verse from 1 Corinthians 5, that ‘he has committed to us the message of reconciliation’. The Gospel is the message of reconciliation God has committed unto us, it is our foremost job to take this message wherever we go, and whatever we do. It becomes  our primary mission.

Forgiveness: @ The He’art’ of reconciliation :

“For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity”. Ephesians 2:14-16.

Reconciliation cannot take place without forgiveness and kindness. So the heart of the Gospel is forgiveness. It is not a compromise of the truth, but a conviction on which the entire faith is laid out. ‘He did not count people’s sins against them’ ( 1 Corinthians 5 : 19), ‘that he might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross’ (Ephesians 2:16), so both the above mentioned verses points that both reconciliation, the one between God and men, and the one between men and men cannot happen apart from forgiveness. The cross of Christ is the hope of forgiveness of sins, and the only way to perfect reconciliation of all that was lost and torn apart. Jesus said

“And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” John 12:32.

God’s forgiveness offered through the Gospel flows through the humanity, to wipe its traces of enmity to become one new man, one flock under one eternal shepherd, Lord Jesus Christ.

“…..and there shall be one flock and one shepherd”. John 10:16.

Unforgiveness have torn apart individuals, families, communities and world at large. The Gospel offers hope through reconciliation on the grounds of God’s forgiveness, and forgiveness between one another. The kindness of God is revealed through the Gospel. Reconciliation cannot happen on the grounds of revenge, how many times in the history that the so called carriers and guardians of the Gospel resorted to revenge and missed the glorious opportunity of reconciliation. No culture or a person is outside God’s forgiveness. He got the whole world in his hands!

Conflicts out of differences:

Not only enmity, but reconciliation is also relevant to our differences. There are also conflicts out of differences which has evolved through time. We have a world filled with varieties, and to bring together such a vast group of contrasts that exists in the world under one Gospel is an extraordinary task.

We have differences in culture, ethnicity, language, beliefs and values, geography, history to name a few and there are gender differences, age differences and generational differences making this world more complex and robust. These differences often leads to dangerous conflicts, which even leads to enmity. We have seen the world struggle with such conflicts out of differences. It is in this complex premises the Gospel has to travel and reconcile all men to God.

These differences are well explained by Christianity Today magazine on contextualization through the following words of Harvie M. Conn,

We use the term ‘culture’ to refer to the common ideas, feelings, and values that guide community and personal behavior, that organize and regulate what the group thinks, feels, and does about God, the world, and humanity. It explains why the Sawi people of Irian Jaya regard betrayal as a virtue, while the American sees it as a vice. It undergirds the Korean horror at the idea of Westerners’ placing their elderly parents in retirement homes, and Western horror at the idea of the Korean veneration of their ancestors. It is the climate of opinion that encourages an Eskimo to share his wife with a guest and hides the wife of an Iranian fundamentalist Muslim in a body-length veil. The closest New Testament approximation for culture is kosmos (world), but only when it refers to language-bound, organized human life (1 Cor. 14:10) or the sin-contaminated system of values, traditions, and social structures of which we are a part (John 17:11).

Interesting isn’t it? This definition gives the leverage to bring all these differences under one umbrella called ‘Culture’.

Culture and its Context:

Culture is basically the expression of our beliefs, but also influenced by the beliefs of others. History and geography has a role to play in it. The various conquests of empires in the history and the nature of geography have influenced communities across the world to develop a culture. Who can forget the role of trade and commerce in influencing a culture. There is also religion that strongly influences a culture, we can also say many religions birthed out of a particular culture. As culture itself refers to cosmos, it is a deep and vast area, which can only give us ideas but not definite conclusions. The one thing we can definitely say is that a belief is behind a culture, and an identity that comes out of a culture.

Since culture includes every other differences, it’s wise to consolidate it under the broader idea of culture. This includes faith, food habits, lifestyle, social system, family system, language,religious practices, law and so on…

The most important aspect of a culture in the context of the Gospel is the issue of morality found in different culture, and the normalized version of sin in those cultures. Some traditions in culture enrich human life, or just respresnt their identity, but some are sinful which destroys human life or devalues it. This is the major issue many missionary movements faced, they had the challenge of convincing the many tribes across the world, that their habits which evolved out of their culture is sinful. They had to confront head on with some of the issues like cannibalism, child sacrifice, female infanticide,and Sati.

We can also differentiate culture in to local culture ( which is to a particular area or region, essentially tribal) , global culture (which is universal) as well as personal culture ( individual preferences).

Local culture is the culture of a particular region, tribe or a people groups.

I will just give an example of this at the local level , where a young boy who accepted Christ, faces the the fear of rejection from his village community, because of caste system in India, his community doesn’t accept those who follow Jesus since they see him only belong to a particular group of people, though many have an inner desire, they are not able to freely express. In another village, their occupation for generations was liqour making, so both men and women know how to make liquor and they drink liqour like water. It was a struggle to leave behind the occupation and find an alternative one, but slowly and steadily the seeds of the Gospel is changing their lives.

These differences in the culture certainly becomes a conflict, and the Gospel has to make it’s impact through these conflicts. And the result of all the missionary movements is a testament to the fact that the Gospel has made great inroads in many cultures, in eradicating wrong and sinful practices.

The global culture deals with conquests, race and ethnicity. The ever changing world was modified by global power and its influence. Persian, Greeks, Romans and Arabs made several impacts around the world with the spread of their culture, and later the European empires. The Emergence of British empires around the world, also promoted Judeo-Christian law system of governance, and later when democracy became the norm, each Nation imparted and integrated the elements of their own social law in to it. Especially the conflict between the Judeo-Christian law system and Sharia law is visble in various places even now.

Racial issue too is part of a global culture emerged out of migration due to various issues , where the the culture of oppression and discrimination is visible even in many developed countries. There is always the marginalized and the discriminated fighting for their rights. The recent incidents in US and across the world is testament to such conflict.

Religions, models of Government and political system play an important role in the global culture. Atheism too has impact on many cultures. Science and Technology becoming a part of a Global culture, and it plays major role in social and political transactions across the world.

All these issues in global culture brings a lot of conflicts across the globe. In the past as the Jews were against the influence of Greek Hellenist culture, then the Arabs were averse to the Roman culture. Now we have power struggles across the Globe on the basis of culture.

Finally the Personal culture, every local and global culture is part of a personal choice, some have the freedom to make it and some don’t. These are individual or personal preferences, the lifestyle choices of a person. Especially the issues of right to choose in terms of individual freedom. This phenomenon is seen across individuals from different local and global cultures. The issue of Homosexuality, live in relationships, abortion, alcoholism and many other issues creating conflicts everywhere.

In the midst of these cultural conflicts Gospel has to reach such differences and bring people of all backgrounds to reconciliation under one God and Saviour Jesus Christ our Lord. Though it seems challenging, it is not impossible!

Spiritual Gospel vs Social Gospel : Does Contextualization really work?

The bigger question that grappled mission leaders and theologians alike for centuries which still has inconclusive arguments, on whether the Gospel has to adapt different cultures present in the world, or those cultures need to completely adapt to the culture of those who propogate the Gospel.  In the process of this exchange, the institutions of the Gospel had been westernized, easternized, paganized, modernised and Globalized. The standarization of the Gospel is possible, only when its culturally acceptable, spiritually possible, and scripturally relevant. In the name contextualization, which is to make the Gospel adapt to the culture of the recipients, many compromise has been made which diluted the truth, and resulted in spiritual vaccum. So the question travels further towards viewing the ‘One Gospel’ as Spiritual and Social Gospel. I strongly stay away from such hypothesis, it is like saying just because I use the right hand more often, I don’t need the left.

I believe ‘Jesus led a spiritual reformation towards a social transformation’. It not only changes a person, but also a community, and the evils of a society. If the spirituality of the Gospel makes us so immune to the social needs around us, it becomes irrelevant. At the same time, if our Gospel is only society focused and not on unalterable truth or spirit focused. It loses its purpose. We got to hold the two ropes together. I recently heard from someone who worked greatly with the society for many years, feeling very unsatisfied that they were not able to make impact spiritually, which holds everything together. As the spirit holds a person together, the spirituality of the Gospel must hold the society to transformative growth.

We must apply ‘Careful contextualization’ when it comes to this, we cannot completely bulldoze every cultural symbols which has been associated with any society. There would be many healthy good, positive values and traditions that would be present in any culture, and we must embrace it, but any contextualization which disturbs the truth and spirit of the Gospel should be avoided graciously!

The process of contextualization takes these facts about culture into account. It involves “presenting the unchanging truths of the gospel within the unique and changing contexts of cultures and worldviews.” Dan Gilliland offers a full definition of contextualization. He defines contextualization as a tool “to enable, insofar as it is humanly possible, an understanding of what it means that Jesus Christ, the Word, is authentically experienced in each and every human situation.” Such a tool is necessary because “while the human condition and the gospel remain the same, people have different worldviews which in turn impact how they interpret themselves, the world and the things you say.”

Contextualization, then, is simply about sharing the Gospel well. Those who deliberately practice the process of contextualization desire to have an element of intentionality in their Gospel sharing; they desire to share the Gospel in way that is most relevant to the culture they are addressing ( What is Contextualization? Presenting the Gospel in Culturally Relevant Ways, by ED Stetzer)

There is no better way to put this up, the changing culture should not influence the unchanging Gospel. The Gospel has the grace to bend, but its not a conspiracy to mend. The person is more important than his belongings. A diluted Gospel for the sake of contextualization is like killing the chicken because it gives less number of eggs than anticipated.

Contextualization alone does not promote or sufficiently address the need or reconciliation amidst the cultural conflicts. The values of the Gospel and the power of its spirit is the key to transformation. It can just be an effective tool…

The Early Church and the Apostles :

The Spiritual Gospel vs Social Gospel duality should end when we look carefully at how the early Apostolic Church handled the cultural conflicts of their time.

Eventhough Jesus preached his sermons and taught the disciples the truth’s of the Gospel, with the example of culture present around him, He didn’t try to take a comprehensive lecture on contextualization before his ascension, and before sending his disciples to the uttermost parts of this earth. He asked them to wait in Jerusalem, for the promised Holy Spirit. The purpose behind the life, death and resurrection of Christ constitutes the conscience of the Gospel. The Holy Spirit confirms the Gospel of Christ, and convicts a person of his sins in response to the Gospel.

This was said of the Holyspirit by Jesus himself,

“When he comes, he will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment. John 16:8.

The conviction of the Holyspirit leads men to Repentance, so the Gospel of the Apostles and the Early Church was based on the power of the Holy Spirit.

Jesus also said,

“But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come”. John 16:13.

So the Holy Spirit leads us in to all truth, which means it not only lead men to the reconciliation of the Gospel, but also reform a person or a society according to the truths of the Gospel. The Holy Spirit is the agent of reconciliation in the midst of all conflicts. It is the transformative power of the Holy Spirit which the early Church stood upon.

The oneness, acts of kindness, miraculous signs and wonders, sacrificial love became the binding factor or the bridge which connected the gaps which was found between the early Church and the Society.

Even the timeline confirms this, the following Revelation can be interesting and can solidify the role of the Holy Spirit towards reconciliation.

First and foremost, the unction of the Holy Spirit brought the disciples together in the upper room, after that experience in Acts chapter 2, there was another union of the Spirit  in the early Church, found in Acts chapter 4, in between these chapter were preaching and miracles of Apostle Peter. On the day of Pentecost when Apostle Peter stood up to preach, there was a spirit born reconciliation when people from different parts of the world heard their language spoken through the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. After that preaching of Peter many from different cultural backgrounds got convicted of the Gospel and added to the fellowship of the Apostles, which formed the first Church. The language, an important cultural expression and an important conflict of all times was transcended on the day of Pentecost, and were reconciled through the Gospel.

It’s also important to note that the two major groups in Jerusalem, the jews and the greeks found a common place in the Church amids all their cultural conflicts and differences.  The Administrative team under Stephen served the poor Greeks or the Hellenists, whom the Jews usually considered as gentiles. The act of the Holy Spirit was the act of reconciliation. Even though there were conflicts it was dealt with the wisdom of the Spirit, as we read that in the Epistles of Peter and Paul. We cannot negate the Spirit’s role in reconciliation especially through the ministry of the Apostles.

Two examples in Acts is so important to understand the wisdom of the spirit, and they are different, one at the house of Cornelius found in Acts 10, the Roman officer, and the other is the Jerusalem council found in Acts 15.

We cannot just be over confident about the role of the Spirit,  but we must humbly submit ourselves to obedience to the truth and reform of the Spirit. Because it’s not alone the spirit which testifies, but also the Church which is the witness.

“When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father—the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father—he will testify about me.And you also must testify, for you have been with me from the beginning”. John 15:26,27.

In the Cornelius case, Apostle Peter had the vision of different kind of animals and birds, and in the vision God asks him to eat, stating that nothing is unclean.

Food is a basic cultural expression, and it is strongly connected with people of that particular culture, and also many religions are tied with sensitive dietery habits, we must consider not only the food culture present, but also the religion tied with that food culture”. It was a tricky time for the Apostle Peter who was filled with the Holy Spirit, and the leader of the Jerusalem Church, a Jew by birth turned Apostle birthed through the Spirit. The vision was clear, he got a call from the gentile Cornelius, to hear the Gospel. There the Gospel united them, but the Holy Spirit played an important role in spiritual reformation which lead to reconciliation. Even while Peter was preaching the Gospel, the Holy Spirit moved so powerfully and confirmed Christ’s Gospel, and the same day they were water Baptized and were added to the Church. This became the conclusive proof that the spirit of the Gospel transcends every boundary created by cultural conflicts to believe the truth of the Gospel, and become part of the Church. Yet, it required the obedience of Peter, he had to submit to the truth of the Gospel beyond its cultural boundaries.

In the Jerusalem council AD 50, Apostle Paul vehemently advocates for the exclusion of gentiles from the Jewish custom of circumcision. The Church had a very serious and deep discussion on the issue irrespective of their ranks. The biggest decision they had to make whether to ask the believers from non-Jewish background to follow the circumcision ritual. Finally,  they decided not to compel others in to circumcision. They understood that the Gospel of Christ is for all people, and he came for the salvation of everyone. They understood that the spirit of the Gospel is towards reconciliation.

Three decisions were recommended from the Jerusalem Council. 1. To stay away from sexual immorality 2. To avoid the food sacrificed to the idols 3. To help the poor.

Three conclusions can be made out of their final three decisions, First and foremost the spirit of the Gospel always leads to Holiness, so a Holy and righteous life is a priority. Second, is to avoid sinful practices found in different cultures, which doesn’t merge with the purpose of the Gospel, only accept those doesn’t deviate from the truth of the Gospel, third and importantly, to serve those who are in need, poor and marginalized, the culture of the Gospel is to reach out to the lost with the Love of God. These are the standards of reconciliation we can follow today from the example of Jerusalem Council.

Any contextualization to reconcile a particular culture, must uphold the spirit of the Gospel. If it doesn’t, it will not transform any society. The Goal of the Gospel is to renew a person, and not to change every aspect of its culture. Anything that stays as an hindrance to the transformation of a person to God’s standards must be analyzed. So there is no Spiritual vs Social Gospel, there is only ‘one’ Gospel which leads to spiritual reformation that leads to social transformation. The spirituality of the Gospel, includes the needs of the society. The Holy Spirit is the leader of any reconciliation, and we must obey to the prompt of the Spirit.

“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom”. 2 Corinthians 3:17.

The Positives in a Culture :

“But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him”. Luke 10:33.

The Jews didn’t associate themselves with samaritans, now Jesus addresses this issue with the parable. He wanted the jews not to be confined by their own cultural pride, but look at the good of a person from other culture. It’s an example too in how we should see a culture. Jesus also spoke with the Samaritan woman at the well, and made it clear that the salvation is of the Jews. He noticed the good things of others, but also was clear about the boundaries.

There will be lot of good and positive things in a culture, which allign itself with the truth of the Gospel. In Indian culture hospitality is supreme, and respecting the elders is important, these are positives which should be accomodated by the promoters of the Gospel. In our mission to reconciliation we cannot just totally ignore all the good present in the other culture.

Insensitivity to the other culture is also a stumbling block to reconciliation, we must not disrespect the cultural traditions of others and be sensitive, Apostle Paul asks us to share the Gospel with others with Love and respect. Even the faults of a culture should be pointed out with wisdom, Lord Jesus asked wise questions, and Apostle Paul debated in order to bring out the evil in a culture, and presented the truth. They made people think and reason.

To win the people with the Gospel is our priority,  and we must be able to cancel out those stumbling blocks in us and embrace good and acceptable things in a culture. The
Gospel of reconciliation had lost its many opportunities,  because of our own stubbornness and insensitivity towards a particular culture. We must learn from Jesus.

The Other Jesus : Rebellion or Reformation

If the Church has to Reconcile the world to God and to itself through the Gospel. It has to be transformed by the spirit of the Gospel. The Church has to first look within itself, to see whether reconciliation is sought after within the Church.

The Church is not out side the cultures of the world, it’s prone to have differences within. In his first Epistle to Corinthians Apostle Paul while addressing a certain divide between the Jews and Greeks within the Church, says this

“Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God”. 1 Corinthians 1: 22-24

People from each culture will demand something from the Church that symbolizes their identity, but the Church should act by the wisdom of God to please God through reconciliation. Apostle Paul makes this revolutionary, reformatory and reconciliatory statement to the Church at Galatians.

“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus”. Galatians 3:28.

We are one in Christ Jesus. The reconciliation Apostle Paul insisted on Philemon in his letter to him regarding Onesimus, asking him to treat him as his own son, shows how the spirit of the Gospel transcended cultural issues of slavery of those times.

Right from early Church times, the consensus of theological doctrines, and its interpretations through the scriptures has been an important task. The understanding of Biblical truths varied due to beliefs, experiences, necessities and importantly the culture. As Apostle Paul mentions in 1 Corinthians, is Christ divided?

The other Jesus, is how we personalize Jesus according to our own imagination and culture, even in the US political parties use scriptures that are suitable to them, and Jesus becomes customized too. We must stop looking at Jesus through the prism of culture, but look at culture through him and his Gospel.

We cannot categorize the first Schism of the Church in the 9th century, only as a doctrinal issue, but also as a cultural issue. This constant fissure due to cultural and lot of other tensions within the universal and local Church, raises doubts in the minds of people, whether the Church is a worthy agent of the Gospel of Reconciliation. The Church truly inspired by the Holy Spirit can be an agent of reconciliation if it is willing , because many times because of the unwillingness of the Church to respond to the reformation of the Spirit had lead to painful divisions and Brokenness.

When Prophet Jeremiah cried out reformation in God’s house, it was seen as rebellion. When John the Baptist and Jesus Christ cried out for reformation within the community of Israel, it was seen as rebellion. When Martin Luther called out for reformation within the Church, it was considered rebellion. We must first stop seeing reformation as rebellion. Reconciliation happens through reformation of the Holyspirit, the Church which responds to the Call of the Spirit, will always move towards a reconciliation not based on emotions, but based on truth.

The Threshold to Reconciliation:

Is there a limit to reconciliation? Does the Gospel of Reconciliation has limits to its reach? The Gospel embraces everyone, but it does have limits because of people’s hearts, they will reject because of culture, traditions, fear, and for many other reasons. Just think that Jesus himself was not received everywhere within Judea. The Gospel with all the fairness and truth can still be rejected. The Gospel itself doesn’t reject anyone.

How far can the Gospel go to Reconcile men from different background? It can go till the zone where truth remains uncompromised, till the spirit of the Gospel is not grieved. We can derive the standards out of Jerusalem council.

If we could test the threshold of reconciliation…. for example, in the issue of same sex marriages and homosexuality, that many churches find it hard to Reconcile, and many don’t. Its a serious conflict more so in our times. Even the judicial system is finding it a hard ball in many nations , there is a debate on how can we approach a lifestyle individual preferences. Is it a right or an unlawful behaviour. The question is whether the Law desires justice in the society, or morality in the behaviour. I think this issue is certainly critical,in many nations the Law allows it, and the Church is expected to agree to it. So there is a tussle between judiciary and the Church. If the Church doesn’t allow such decisions, does it mean it fails in grace to offer reconciliation? These are conflicts through which the Gospel of reconciliation and love has to travel.

Then comes the categorizing of Sin, does sin have ranks and levels. Jesus treated all sin as serious and dangerous, that’s why he warns that a lust can lead to adultery, and anger can lead to murder. Do we offer reconciliation, based on the category of sin. NO!

The Bible says in 1 John 1:7,

“But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin”.

‘All sins’ means reconciliation is offered through the blood of Jesus, no matter the category of sin. But as forgiveness plays a role in reconciliation from those who stand by and offer the Gospel.  Repentance is the place from which the Gospel of reconciliation is fully received and realized. The fruit of reconciliation is only possible through the seed of Repentance.

Coming back to the issue of Homosexuality, the early Church and Apostle Paul considered it as sexual immorality. It must stay that way, since changing times cannot undermine the spirit of the Gospel. Any sin can be forgiven through Repentance, but not on compromise. Eventhough there can be no category of sins in forgiveness through Repentance. There are sins, which has dangerous consequences.

“Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body”. 1 Corinthians 6:18.

“And so I tell you, every kind of sin and slander can be forgiven, but blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven”. Matthew 12:31.

“I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.” Matthew 19:9.

In the first verse Apostle Paul, talks about the danger of sexual immorality and makes the case of why it is different, Jesus, in the second verse about the danger of blasphemy against the spirit, which can’t even be forgiven, and third is that Jesus solidifies his case against divorce, with one exception, which is sexual immorality.

The effects of sins and its consequences are different, but reconciliation through forgiveness and Repentance is very much available to all, except the blasphemy of the Spirit. It’s because it squanders the truth.

So to conclude the threshold of reconciliation, any reconciliation is possible through the Gospel. But a compromise on truth to accommodate a culture in order to be acceptable, will result in tragedy. Jesus was full of grace and also truth.

Gospel’s response to human conflicts:

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,” Matthew 28:19.

Gospel welcomes all people in to reconciliation. Jesus said ‘ Come to me all who are weary, and I will give you rest’. The Gospel doesn’t marginalize anybody, any people or language groups or any culture. The Gospel is designed in a way, that if it’s not for all, then it’s for none. The Angel’s who were one of the first ones to proclaim the Gospel, said this,

“But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people”. Luke 2:10.

The Gospel is Goodnews which brings joy for all people irrespective of human conflicts. The message offers hope through the sacrifice of Christ, which is relevant to all. The Holyspirit transcends every boundary and man made conflicts to convict and confirm the Gospel. The Spirit of the Gospel is recognizable to any soul, because all were created in the image of God, and the fallen nature is never more glorious than becoming a New creation. Unless we choose fear over faith, unless we are unwilling to acknowledge the truth, unless we resist the Holy Spirit to change and reform not alone the world, but also the Church.

Approaches to Reconciliation:

1. The possibility of the Gospel : We must first understand the possibility of the Gospel and the change it can offer. If the cannbalistic tribes, the viking warriors, the zealous zealots, the classical Hellenists, and the mighty Romans can be transformed by the power of the Gospel. There is no exception of what Gospel can do to any culture or any people who have not tasted the goodness of God in Christ. We must always depend on the Holy Spirit guidance to carry the Gospel and believe in its power of transformation. God’s love is bigger and we must proclaim it louder.

2. Understanding the reason behind the beliefs: We must educate ourselves in the beliefs of the culture whom we are trying to reach. Apostle Paul knew the culture of the Greeks when he addressed them in Athens, he even quoted some of their epicurean and stoic philosophers. The recipients of the Gospel of reconciliation must feel, they have something in common. It comes from learning and understanding a particular culture.

3. Reaching out with care:  Taking the first step to reach out and care for others, is the birth of reconciliation. When there are many reasons to move away from a person, community or culture, the Gospel gives enough reasons to reach out to a culture which is different, resisting and difficult. The fundamental purpose of the Church in the New Testament was to reach out. Reconciliation requires empathy, a culture might be totally against the Gospel, yet we cannot be displeased about it. We are going to reach them with God’s love. The Gospel reached across the world not only through preaching, but also through care and service. It’s not a Gospel of condemnation but of reconciliation. The needs can be physical, emotional or intellectual, but we must try our best to care and meet those needs. Missionaries went to unknown lands, and lived among different culture, just to show care and support, they took efforts to learn their languages, adjusted with their food culture and empathized with them. This is how the Gospel of reconciliation travelled across the earth.

4. Developing systems of Change : Gospel means Good News, and News  is about something which has happened or happening. Through the Gospel, something good happens and happening. The means and methods should be appropriate to make a real change in their lives. Especially, if someone has preferred homosexuality, they need lot of listening and counseling, they have to know that the Gospel understands them, and wants them to be reconciled with God. That assurance can give them an opportunity for change. Systems of change that births out through the spirit of the Gospel is important to
reconciliation. It can be a Church, Hospital, Educational institution, or a care centres, such systems helps to care for people over a period of time, and will create trust among those who need reconciliation. These are systems of change, which grows along with the community.

5. Intercession : Intercessory prayer is vital for breakthrough in any culture or society. Nehemiah considered his people’s sins as his own, and he prayed a prayer of intercession. Many times the lost nature of someone without the hope of the Gospel doesn’t affect us, we don’t empathize and intercede,  because we consider that it was someone else’s fault, and we don’t take responsibility and pray about it, act about it. We must consider the conflicts of our world as our own, and consider the problems and mistakes of others as our own, then we will have the attitude of intercession. The cross of Christ was the place of intercession. Jesus was thirsty for the salvation of all creation, he was filled with passion to Reconcile all men to him, and he interceded on the cross to the father and said ‘Father, for give them’. His intercession offered us reconciliation, he even gave his life for that. If we just keep on complaining and condemning we can’t see change, we can’t taste the fruit of reconciliation. We must start to intercede.

Hope of Reconciliation:

“He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near”. Ephesians 2:17.

The forgiveness offered by Christ on the cross, and the wisdom and power of the Holyspirit is the hope of our reconciliation with God and men. It’s true, that the world is filled with conflicts, but if we are willing to work with God, there is no barrier we cannot breach by the truth of his Gospel, and no culturecan be immune to the Gospel. Its a universal message, and is relevant to every person.

We are called to be peacemakers, and that peace comes only through reconciliation. We have the power through the Gospel to reconcile and heal the conflicts present in the world. Let’s heal the world in Jesus Name!!!

In the end, reconciliation is a spiritual process, which requires more than just a legal framework. It has to happen in the hearts and minds of people.

Nelson Mandela


The Politicized Church in a Polarized World.

“And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth”. Philippians 2:8-10.

We are living in a polarized world, to every truth there is an alternative. Everything works on perspectives and perceptions. Everybody has their own interpretation to their truths, and they defend it vehemently. Many times, the balance is hard to find. In world democracies political polarization has reached it’s extremes in many places, where it thrives on blames and not on true claims. An environment filled with confusion and corruption but less of conviction and cooperation. Instead of truth holding the power, power is holding the truth to its advantage. It is in this intricate system of struggle, the Church exists . The politics of our times has influence on the Church, like all other times in the history. Eventhough the Church is called out of the world (Greek:Ecclesia), we are still in this world. The Church too influences politics in many countries, and for many centuries it was a norm. Since politics works on the consolidation of people’s beliefs and perceptions. The church too has people who have rights in a democracy and it contributes to the power.Their opinion becomes more important when Christians form a majority. Yet, it comes with a responsibility of holding the ideals of Christ in its public life without compromising the fundamentals of truth, justice and mercy. It also comes with its consequences of retaliation by the powers which contradicts those ideals.

As the Church has the calling to be the conscience of the world, it has the accountability to make this world a better place through the Goodnews of Jesus. This combination of politics and the Church should be always approached with caution and great care. In the atmosphere of hate politics spreading like wildfire, the Church has to draw a clear line on where it stands. Truth can divide or can create a difference of opinion, but it can never hate, abuse or victimize people. Truth is best expressed in acts of love, words of care. The Church should always be wise to know where truth lies even if it comes along with a lot of confusion. We as a Church are called to represent Jesus Christ, and we as a Church cannot give up that higher calling for short gains of earthly politics that would take us away from our mission. It is important that the Church walk towards the absolute Truth in Christ without bypassing every other truth that leads to him, and leads out from him. Everybody and anybody can use the Name of Jesus, but the Church has the calling to live the truth for which Jesus lived and died for.

A statement by one of my professor Dr. Jacob Cherian during a class on Pauline Epistles is fresh in my memory. ‘Politics is not a bad word’.

It’s true politics itself is not bad, but bad politics is evil. Politics is inevitable, but at the same time it can become irrelevant. Wherever you find people, there you will find politics. It is the most charismatic activity in the world as it involves power. It can be found in all walks of Life. From eschelons of human power in the form of civil government to corporate offices, homes, and even in Church communities politics is present and leaves its mark powerfully. On a general view eventhough it serves other purposes, I would call Politics as means to power and leadership. It is the power to serve self or others. It is like a knife, the purpose is determined based on whose hand it is. It involves decisions and policies which can be used to reform or restrain people, build or break people, unite or divide people, it can become a help or hell to people.

According to me politics should make people lives better, it has to unite people towards worthy endeavors, it should enable everyone to journey towards the truth and justice, it has to make people wise enough to care for fellowmen, its core beneficiaries should be the ones who are marginalized, oppressed, poor and weak, it should give everyone a chance and opportunity to become the best version of themselves, it has to make humanity more civilized.

As much as we condemn and criticize politics, it has truly revolutionized human civilization, it has distributed power and rights to many people, and has given voice to so many who were once restricted from making an opinion. But it also has caused more harm along with it. Our political systems has impacted our life systems a great deal. The quest for power had opened up different strategies from consolidation of identity based on differences, expression of the human will through creation and innovation, supremacy of their determination in overpowering through physical and mental strength, from creating robust systems of human productivity to influence through culture and religion we have come a long way. Even our politics got reformed over time, from wars of Tribes, Empires, Kings and Rulers to our modern expression of democratic ideals in the form of debates, speech, free press, institutions of democracy and elections. Political means to power has gone through lot of changes, and is still changing. Some changes are good, and some changes puts the world in danger. The Church has the obligation to stand in the side of the good through those changes.

A Bible outlook:

“Therefore, you kings, be wise; be warned, you rulers of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear and celebrate his rule with trembling. Kiss his son, or he will be angry and your way will lead to your destruction,for his wrath can flare up in a moment.Blessed are all who take refuge in him”. Psalm 2:10-12.

Is Nimrod the first political leader? May be! But his politics was clearly against the will of God and his dream got destroyed by the Almighty. People were scattered based on languages, and many Nimrod figures rose against God and his plans in history, and one is going to rise in the End of times!

Politics has evolved through ages. Biblically, political means to power begins when God’s authority is questioned, undermined or not understood. It is the rigorous human activity in finding their own solution to their problems, through finding their own leader to govern them. Scripture clearly establishes that Leadership and the system of Governance is the providence of God. God chose Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses according to his own choice, he attested them with divine wisdom, character, and strength, revealing himself with signs and wonders that he is the one behind the leader. In the Bible we know that the ultimate leadership of the universe belongs to Jesus Christ, the son of God, and God’s non-negotiable design is that every human authority must submit to him, even though no one can get closer to the heart of God like Christ, but God in his grace has called human leadership to carry out his purposes, and his choice of that person is the one who is closer to his heart, who will be willing to do what his heart desires. Many times his choices were bizarre in human eyes, but it is through those unexpected choices God did his work through ages, it brought him glory.

God is the ultimate authority of the universe, and without his knowledge no authority is formed in the world . The way he dealt other nations and their people were different, but how he dealt with the people whom he chose for himself was different. Israel had God as their king through a covenant, and he raised anointed men in his perfect will as their leaders.

“Therefore, say to the Israelites: ‘I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. I will free you from being slaves to them, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment. I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God. Then you will know that I am the Lord your God, who brought you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians”.

Exodus 6:6-7

The leadership crisis found in the book of Judges which lead the Israelites seeking a king was not because of God’s failure to provide them leaders, God raised Judges and the greatest of them was Prophet Samuel, who ruled from Dan to Beershebha, God himself fought their battles, rescued the Ark of Covenant and miraculously protected them from Philistines. Not a single word of Prophet Samuel failed, that was the power of God’s authority. Yet, when his sons didn’t walk in the ways of the Lord, the people panicked and didn’t trust the Lord. They didn’t look back and see how God provided a Prophet like Samuel who through God’s leadership guided Israel when Eli’s sons failed. Instead they demanded a king like other nations.

The people were distracted and they didn’t trust Lord and serve him faithfully, there was a moral crisis found in the society, but they didnt try to address it with God instead they sought human ways as an alternative plan. If they had repented and sought his will, God’s way of governance would have effectively prevailed in Israel, even after Samuel’s warning from God, they still wanted a king, and God gave them a king. God’s willingness to work even through our shortcomings is his grace, and he was faithful to them even through a human King. Remember, in the times of Moses when God wanted to speak to them directly, instead they wanted a mediator? So God in his grace, without giving up his standards still choose to work with us, but we may miss his ultimate plan if we keep comprimising on God’s standards.

Does God’s authority reveals itself through a mordern democratic system of power distribution? Absolutely, his authority is over every human ordained systems with all it’s flaws. Even a theocratic government in the OT was established through a God chosen man, namely a priest or a prophet. Even God chose people like Joshua, and the majority of people unanimously acknowledged that choice. So even when God selects leaders, he still involves people in the process. Israel demanded king against the wish of God, yet God involved himself in that system to carry out his plans for his people. So a democratic model of election and governance is not outside the purview and authority of God. All the Government and political systems in the world, including the democratic model is a man desired plan through which God’s grace works towards his ultimate plan of his redemption.

The Prophetic Voice:

“Then Nathan said to David, “You are the man! This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you from the hand of Saul”.

2 Samuel 12:7

Eventhough God gave them Kings, he raised prophets to continue the ministry of Prophet Samuel, and he kept the Kings accountable not only for the religious order of worship, but especially for the justice of the ordinary people. The prophetic voices of Nathan, Isaiah, Jeremiah, John the Baptist and so on were voices of justice . They raised their voices for God whenever the kings turned away from God’s ways both in worship and Justice.

If we look at King David, he brought the Ark of the Lord to Jerusalem and he laid the vision to build the temple, in his time worship was central to people’s lives, yet when he behaved unjustly, God sent prophet Nathan to question him regarding Uriah and made him accountable in the matters of justice, David was a great king who was sensitive to justice, but still he was willing to be accountable to the voice of God. Jeremiah was a powerful voice of justice advocated for the poor, and pointed out the mistakes at the higher places, John the Baptist was a powerful voice in his generation as he questioned the immorality of Herod, and demanded justice in the realms of power.

“Hear the word of the Lord to you, king of Judah, you who sit on David’s throne—you, your officials and your people who come through these gates. This is what the Lord says: Do what is just and right. Rescue from the hand of the oppressor the one who has been robbed. Do no wrong or violence to the foreigner, the fatherless or the widow, and do not shed innocent blood in this place”.

Jeremiah 22:2-4

Israel’s fundamental political framework was designed to fulfill God’s standard balance of worship and justice, and the prophetic voice of justice found in the scriptures always cried out for this balance, inspired by God!

This balance was spilled all over the Old Testament, the Law and the Prophets demanded this formidable balance of worship and Justice, where both cannot work and make sense without the other when we are under a Moral God. Worship without obedience to be just leads to a false religion. Jesus knew that Law alone won’t be enough, it requires grace to administer Justice. Grace brings humility to humanize the Law. The word which became flesh summed up the Law and the Prophets in this all encompassing profound words…

“He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'”

Luke 10:27

While Love the Lord refers to Worship to God, Love thy Neighbour refers to Justice in society. This balance was required to govern God’s people, and God expected it out of his covenant leadership. But many failed is well known. The prophetic voices underscored that injustices in a society is a sin in a community that worships a Moral God, it required both repentance and reformation. They emphasized worship to God is not complete without justice to people. In the political spectrum of Israel, worship and Justice was so naturally connected in their Law that politics required both to be involved. Many Kings of Judah and Israel who were true worshippers of the living God did justice to society also, like David and Josiah, but the ones disregarded God, failed to render Justice in the society too like Manasseh and Ahab. The problem begins when they didn’t treat leadership as means to honour God and administer justice to people, but treated it as a power to enjoy pleasures, with a self -centered desire for the throne which actually denied justice to the poor, migrants and strangers resulting in hate politics.

In Jesus time the two political sects of the elitist Saduccees and commoners Pharisees, under the leadership of a proxy ruler in Herod with power in the hands of a foreign caesar made the politics more volatile. It is in these hostile conditions Jesus spoke about salvation and Justice. It is important to understand that as much as Jesus was killed due to spiritual reasons, its also important that he was a political criminal, and he was killed by the bad politics of the above stakeholders of his time. Even we can deny Christ in our times with bad hate filled, and unjust politics. Especially since the Sacrifice and the temple played a major role in Judean politics, so its inevitable to see the sacrifice of Christ as the sacrificial lamb, and the that he referred his body as the temple has much bigger statement to make. It is not an image of powerlessness but of power.

In the Apostolic age too, the Church was a victim of bad and dangerous politics. The Church was constantly on the pressure because the powers of the world always feared the power from above. Even the Apostolic movement was a justice movement as much it was a spiritual movement. They preached the Gospel and cared for the poor. As true spirituality encompasses justice.

Throughout history, the Church was faced with hostile world leaders, but there were many who stood for religious freedom and expression of faith. Though it benefited the Church on many occasions still the Church faced many setbacks and controversies with the combination of power in its hands. There were world powers or kings in history who made considerable contributions to the rights, privileges, protection and development of the religious life, its important to know their contributions.

Historical Kings:

It was interesting to understand that the work of the Prophetic voice of justice were limited out of the community of covenant of Israel. Except for few instances in the case of Moses, Isaiah and Jonah. Moses went as a deliverer to Egypt to fulfill God’s promise, but the cry of injustice of oppression was heard by God. Its also important to observe that the sin which brought God’s judgement on nations included injustices in the society. The sin of Egypt was slavery. Yet, the Prophetic voice of Justice was very much expressed within God’s chosen very boldly. It is because God expects justice and truth to prevail in his house first. I have chosen three Kings who were influential in the history and supported the community of God’s chosen or Church a great deal and its consequences.

A) King Cyrus:

Cyrus the Great, also called Cyrus II, (born 590–580 BCE, Media, or Persis [now in Iran]—died c. 529, Asia), conqueror who founded the Achaemenidan empire, centred on Persia and comprising the Near East from the Aegean Sea eastward to the Indus River. In the Bible he is the liberator of the Jews who were captive in Babylonia. In the Biblical record in Ezra 1:1–4, Cyrus is famous for freeing the Jewish captives in Babylonia and allowing them to return to their homeland. Cyrus was also tolerant toward the Babylonians and others. The most important contribution of King Cyrus to God’s chosen was his help reconstruct the Temple in Jerusalem. According to 2 Chronicles 36:23,He was influential in building the second temple which was built under the leadership of Zerubabel. Later the temple refurbished by King Herod, in which Jesus entered as a Child.

King Cyrus is distinct among the three since he is the pre-Christ King and an old testament figure. He is also different in terms of his road to power, it was a military conquest without any religious overtone to his ascension. He is the only foreign King that the scripture calls the ‘Anointed’ or the one chosen to fulfill God’s plans. He is still highly regarded among the Jews. Though he was a pagan King, he was for religious freedom and public worship and acknowledged the religious rights of Jewish people. He valued the Jewish faith community for their contributions.

B) Emperor Constantine:

Constantine the Great (27 Feb c. 272/273 – 22 May 337). Constantine was Roman Emperor (A.D. 306-337). He was the first Roman Emperor to convert to Christianity and played a crucial role in the spread of the religion. With co-Emperor Licinius, he issued the Edict of Milan in 313, which proclaimed tolerance of all religions throughout the empire. He grew in the courts of Emperor Diocletian, his father too was a ruler of Roman province.

Constantine was a great military commander winning major victories over the Franks and Alamanni in 306-08, and later against the Visigoths in 332 and the Sarmatians in 334. This strengthened his political strength as he came to be viewed as someone who could unite the fracturing Roman Empire.On 28 October 312, the forces of Maxentius met Constantine’s forces on the river Tiber. Constantine’s army was outnumbered 2:1. But, legends state that in the night he had a significant dream, where he had a vision of Jesus and was told to use the Christian cross. Constantine made his soldiers go into battle with the sign of Chi-Rho, the first two letters of Christ’s name in Greek (Christian cross) and he made a promise that if successful in battle, he would adopt Christianity.

Emperor Constantine’s conversion was historic, I believe no other Emperor can claim such experience. His ascension to the throne of Rome is seen as a divine providence, since those who belonged to the Christian faith suffered and was persecuted under previous Emperors in Rome. He ensured the rights and privileges of Christians, especially the most mentionable contribution is the convening of Church councils, the first council was at Nicea in A.D 325, where the Scriptures were cannonized. In his reign, Christianity became a state religion, and had special privileges. Christianity from being a persecuted sect became an authorized state religion gaining more powers in the government. He also ensured religious freedom for all religious and ethnic minorities. Under his rule Rome expanded in peace and prosperity.

C) Charlemagne:

Charlemagne, also known as Charles the Great, was the founder of the Carolingian Empire, best known for uniting Western Europe for the first time since the fall of the Roman Empire. Once in power, Charlemagne sought to unite all the Germanic peoples into one kingdom, and convert his subjects to Christianity. In order to carry out this mission, he spent the majority of his reign engaged in military campaigns. He is different from Constantine, because of his approach to religion, he was fierce and converted many through force. In his role as a zealous defender of Christianity, Charlemagne gave money and land to the Christian church and protected the popes. As a way to acknowledge Charlemagne’s power and reinforce his relationship with the church, Pope Leo III crowned Charlemagne emperor of the Romans on December 25, 800, at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.

All three were Military campaigners considered to be favourable to the Biblical faith of Judaism and Christianity. They belonged to different eras, but the Church holds them dear. Except for Charlemagne, the others didn’t use the Church to consolidate his powers. they supported the faith community during a great crisis. Charlemagne used the Church and its influence to gain power over his empire. It is again a perceptional history.

Apart from these there are numerous other rulers and leaders both in Monarchy and Democratic form of governance, who have stood judeo-Christian world view and its values both out of free will and for their political necessities. It is hard to differentiate the intent, but the Church got in to controversies because of these powers which tries to use its role in public life. Hitler is a great example where the Church was blindsided and was pushed to contribute to this wrong power in the name of the Lord.

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Bible endorses King Cyrus alone for his benevolence towards the Jews, the other two are well documented figures in the Church history, and well regarded by the organized Church. Yet, during the age of the Apostles or in other spiritual revivals in history there was no involvement of earthly political or regal powers, instead Spiritual Revivals and consecutive Reformation came out of oppression and persecution fromthe earthly powers. It was the move of the spirit of God through ordinary people brought in transformation, leaders from ordinary backgrounds raised by God to fulfill his purposes. It is seen that the political powers only tried to use these revivals for their gains. There were also few instances where the church claimed that their prayers were answered by God in giving a political leader of their choice to experience refreshing times.

If we have a leader who honours the faith is great, but we can also exist without it, if needed.

The case of ‘President Donald Trump’ :

In recent times, if someone has invoked God and Christianity very vociferously in his politics, it would be the current US president Donald Trump. Many see him as the champion of christian faith and religious freedom in that Nation. There are many who think supporting Donald trump alone can make someone a true Christian. I reject this fallacy of a statement, and I think we are drifting away from our foundations and principle by keeping him or anybody as a benchmark to attest one’s faith in Christ. Anybody who disagree with Donald Trump and his policies is deemed unchristian. I call it blasphemy. Nobody is a Christian based on what someone has done for Christianity, but based on what Jesus did on the cross. Never stretch your political strings to the point of heresy.

Before I present my views, it is important that I state the reasons to comment on the matter of an other nation and its choices, that too being a Christian minister in a third world country like India. The below reasons I found are enough for me to make a comment,

1. If somebody claims to represent for the rights of the Christian faith and helds out a Bible in public life, as part of his political identity, since many Christians see him as a powerful representative of Christian faith, it opens a door for me as a fellow Christian to comment, even if I don’t belong to that particular Nation.

2. Whether we like it or not, the United States is the most powerful Nation in the world with its military and economic bases all around the world (even in the space soon!)with a nuclear button at its disposal that can jeopardize the entire world, its decisions will impact every person on earth. As a Global citizen, I would take the right to comment.

3. As a fellow human being with a shared dream for a better world which God in his love has created.

4. I felt the need to talk about it, before its too late.

The first time I heard that Mr.Donald Trump is going to run for the presidency, I thought it was a joke, since his reputation along the years was not typical that of a leader of the free world. I was working in a social work organization that time, and had volunteers usually from Europe, and there was one who was from the US and I just shared casually about this information of how surprising a choice that would be, and expected a pretty funny nonchalant response, but what I received was a silence with a pretty serious face which was a surprise to me. I couldn’t understand that then, but after some time realized that for many he was a serious candidate with lots of their hopes pinned on him. The election of 2016 in lot of ways an unprecedented election where many in America were disenchanted with both candidates. Both Hillary and Trump had a fair share of controversies, which made them unfit in the eyes of many. Especially the campaign showed the bitterness found among both parties, and I found Trump’s campaign taken democratic civility to a new low, the anger, the abuse, hate and demeaning words used wasn’t acceptable to me no matter whatever the reason may be, it didnt feel right. I was personally all the more surprised when many Christians and Church leaders in America and around the world were very expressive about the support to him. I could understand the underlying reason for their support, some reasons were genuine, but couldn’t accept it at any level. This was my post back then in 2016 before the election, I was from the beginning not comfortable about his approach both in spirit and with regards to my consciousness of history.

To the surprise of many including me, he won the election. Many called it as the answer to their prayers, and hand of God is in the elections. I truly believe as per Romans 13:1 that ‘There is no authority except from God’. At the same time One should also should discern what damage deceptive authorities have done in the Name of God. Every authority has the responsibility of prudence and justice, especially the one’s who claim to be the friend of the Church (Infact, I believe its necessary a leader should be there for everyone). And I didn’t see that in him then and I don’t see it in him now. I prayed everything would be okay after elections, and I felt its important to talk about it now. I think we all need to draw a line somewhere.

The ‘Liberal’ Fear?

The conservatives who identify themselves with the Republican party , it comprises of many who identify with Christianity. Infact many were uncomfortable with the approach of Donald Trump, but willing to eat the tough pill looking at how God used unlikely people to show his people favour. There are many reasons why many Christians went with him, and many voted him with great anxiety. Apart from many being traditionally conservative, some of the policies with respect to abortion laws, same sex marriage laws, banning religion in schools, matters of immigration and many other liberal laws in lot of democrat ruled states and had become federal laws ,directly contradicted what the scriptures stand far. The conservatives felt America was becoming more and more secularized and morally degraded following the trend of liberal Europe, they saw it as a threat to religious freedom, and especially for family and moral values. All the more, they wanted conservative judges in the Supreme Court to make a conservative majority court. These concerns truly reflected in the election. Especially many were insecure because liberalisation could cause a basic change the social fabric of the nation.

Do all these concerns are real and true? Are these concerns genuine? Yes, I would say most of them, and not all of them, some are too imaginary for a democratic,multi-cultural,transactional and Globalized society. Yet, the approach doesn’t validate any of these, it makes things more complicated. Law of any Nation doesn’t make everything alright. It needs deep healing. It comes from empathetic leadership. My concern is whether many are expecting too much from a person who is not able to carry those lofty ideals. I feel most are in confusion or delusion regarding him, but there is nothing concealed. It is very clear about him, I observe.

A Nation or a community which becomes multicultural and diverse has to face the reality of liberalization. It has to accommodate all kinds of people with rights. Yes, it can create a social shift and even moral shift. Especially it has lead to legalization of unnatural sinful practices that no Christian can condone or support. On the other side, liberalization has given many access to their rights and justice. I believe no perfect system of law in the hands of humans can eradicate sin in our societies, it is Jesus through his righteousness and grace can transform. How can we experience religious freedom by tarnishing the soul of our faith? We actually get more trapped!

Donald Trump used this ‘liberal fear’ among the conservatives, and used the Name of God in order to gather his support. Especially during the campaign, all that he said could have easily disturbed a believer in Christ, but many found refuge in the idea that God had used many unlikely, undeserving people for his purposes, and why not Donald Trump? hoping that everything will be fine after. Even I thought that way sometimes, but it may be enough. There is no doubt God can use anybody, one’s even with questionable past,but that doesn’t mean we have to let go of God given reason and discernment, thinking that somehow everything will be okay. We can support anyone, but can’t blindly support bypassing important truths, trying to validate everything that is against God’s righteousness .It is good to remember that somebody else’s wrong cannot make our wrongs right.

I don’t support many liberal ideas and policies, but those voices are important for reform and truth to ultimately find its most balanced space. Morever it is through those voices we can understand the needs of the world and minister with the Gospel.

The Power Tactics:

One of the issues I’m concerned about is his desire for power. Donald trump I feel works on the only principle called ‘Power’, he has shown that for the sake of power he can use any means and methods. If anybody questioned him, he abuses them with mockery and foul words. He keeps himself above everything. He disrespects everyone who doesn’t validate him. Even if it is the honourable John McCain. He dodges and intimidate to get away. I have seen this consistently. Many find it hard to question him, because he targets them with personal abuses even in the matters of public litigation. Those who support him gets high praise and flattery from him.

One Incident that truly shook me, which actually made me to think of writing this in the first place is the way treated the editor Mr.Mark Galli of Christianity today (Magazine initiated by late Rev.Billy Graham) who questioned his intentions and approach in an article.

Mr. Trump could have disregarded and refuted his arguement, but he responded him with a personal slur and belittled him. It is one of the reason many honest and respected voices hesitate to point out his mistakes. Is he above the prophetical voice of justice?

He also constantly emphasises that he is the greatest and no one was great as him in the past, is not only over exaggeration but a lie filled with pride. Mr. Trump retweets a post which refers to him as God. How can we take it easily and brush it aside as joke? Many think many of his statements are joke, and without meaning. I think its a deception, how can matters that can cause serious devastation when it comes out of a leader’s mouth be a joke? Please explain those crude jokes… Many think he is the target of the media, and they portray him that way. Yes, the media can manipulate, but I think its a cover up to things which we can plainly see in him.

We cannot let a generation rise thinking that this is what Christian faith is all about, when we decorate someone who can be arrogant about his power. Just because he sounds favourable to your faith, supporting him in everything will affect the fruits of the faith. Jesus didn’t seek a religious propaganda but he sought a covenantial relationship that leads to personal transformation.

If he shows himself as guardian of christianity and its values, how much of responsibility he carries! When the Church leaders trust him and pray for him, how much carefulness he owes?

I have so much to say about policies, but I leave it there, since it can take away from the purpose of this write up.

But I have some questions to ask,

1. Does God can only use an unlikely leader in Donald Trump? Does it apply to others, even if that person comes from Democratic party?

2. Many say that they didnt elect a Pastor, and we can’t expect him to be nice. Don’t the leadership of a multi cultural and multi ethnical nation is a serious job? Doesn’t it deserve a good example? Will parents allow their children at home speak the way he speaks? Then how it becomes okay for a world leader?

3. Scriptures and Jesus does say not to judge. Does the scripture also encourages to have good judgement? Isn’t the judgement Jesus mentioned was about the powerful condemning the poor unjustly? And if good judgement is bad, then what about the prophets including John the Baptist in the Bible, did they judge and question the powerful?

4. If the Scriptures takes words and fruit seriously, how much we should expect that from someone who claims to be the champion of the Christian faith, and helds out a Bible to say he stands with scriptures? Won’t it misrepresent our faith?

Eventhough I respect some of President Trump choices with regards to his administration including the Vice President and many others, especially the way they honour God’s servants. Especially I thought burying Rev. Billy Graham with Honour was truly noteworthy. I still find the correlation missing in many areas, which makes me to see things with caution. No leader or administration is perfect, but imperfections has limits, especially when it comes to fundamentals it causes more damage. I truly believe God allowed his authority at this point of time, only God know what these things can lead to.

The recent incident of him holding out a Bible in front of St. JOHN’s Chapel suppressing a crowd violently, shows politization of faith to a different level, what does he convey through that? Does it alarm you or excite you when he used the Bible as a prop to consolidate his power? The answer to it can divide the Church, but if it doesn’t bother you, then it means the Church is willing to make the same mistakes which is recorded in the annals of its past.

Remember that sometimes God tests us with some leadership, to know whether we trust him more or believe the person he has allowed. What if it is a test from God? We cannot throw away Godly reasoning that comes out of truth for an emotional benefit. We are more responsible than that. ‘Vote’ doesnt just mean to participate in a democratic process to elect a leader of their choice, but we are giving someone authority to reign over us . We cannot take it easily, the one who ultimately reign is Christ, and our allegiance should only belong to him.

An Excerpt from my previous article fits as a conclusion :

“What’s more alarming to me is the trend in some nations of invoking Jesus Christ who is the symbol of Love and Justice for their hate agenda in politics, and many who profess Christ fall for it ,and many who belong to the Church very comfortably turn a blind eye towards hate mongering in the realms of power. I may not know the real problems every nation faces,but we all have to draw a line somewhere based on truth.One must not forget that the Church has the calling to be the conscience of the world, that we are ultimately under Christ’s righteous reign and are called to represent Christ Jesus. When we support hate, we become part of that hate and nullify God’s truth. It means we reject the call of Jesus Christ to be the salt and light of this earth, if salt loses its savour, how can it be useful? The world is watching,a hurting and broken world is in desperate need of the love of christ, if the Body of Christ fails to show up, it means we have lost our duty of leadership. How can we take the message of Love to the world ? What hope can we offer apart from unconditional love and compassion? If our politics is leading us to hate somebody, discriminate somebody, abuse somebody . Then its better to leave it, its not worth it. We cannot lose our higher calling for a cheap deal. We dont serve a political saviour, but the real saviour”.

Who Am I?

Who am I? Was the question that loomed large as I kept pondering about this article. Who am I to question the leader of the free world? Who am I to throw aspersions on someone many in that Nation love ? Who am I to point finger at someone many Church leaders acknowledge? Who am I to judge a man who carry such great responsibility on his shoulders? Eventhough feeling not so comfortable with all these questions, I still chose to express rasing myself the question. Whose am I?

Being the Prophetic Voice of Justice:

There can be endless debates and arguments on this, because these matters of beliefs and opinions. May be many there in the Nation would have much better reason, intention and knowledge to support. Somehow it looks unconvincing, confusing and deceptive to me. I wish I will be terribly wrong in my opinion about Mr. Trump, I desire to terribly fail about my judgement and understanding, fall short in my discernment. I only fear if I’m right on this.

I pray earnestly there would be a change even now.

Some will say Politics and religion or Church and the state should be separate, and others think it should not. Political opinion exists within the Church, and everybody will have a verse from the scriptures or two to validate that opinion. All I can say is, the Church exists to show the authority of Christ and his reign, we are P.R.O. for Jesus, to him belongs the power. We can have choices in a democratic world, but be careful to draw a line according to the scriptures. I think that line surely exists!

The Church is called to be influencers in the society and world at large even without political powers, and thats how the early church functioned. I think the only power they depended was the power from high. I think we need to go back to that calling, and not allow anyone misuse or misrepresent this sacred calling brought by the precious sacrifice of Christ.

I only pray and wish that the Church will be the prophetic voice of justice in our generation. Let it be the voice for the voiceless, weak and the suffering. The voice of Nathan even against the ‘Anointed King’ David brought sanity in the Kingdom. In the same way the Church has to be the prophetic voice of Justice against the powerful, for the sake of a better world. If we lose the responsibility of self assessment and accountability, the core of our soul and Identity gets crushed. Even if we gain the whole world will it matter? The Church has to speak God’s truth to those who are in power.

There may be many good reasons, but nothing is beyond Godly discernment. We have to test every spirit. Church, you represent Christ to this world, where he stands we must stand. It is up to you to decide where he would take a stand, where he would draw a line. All I wanted to ask through this is, Church, will you be the prophetic voice of justice in this generation, if God wants you to be? Don’t miss the opportunity!!

“Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God”. 1 John 4:1

Must Read : Isaiah 58

A Call for Preparation..

Is God Communicating us something Powerful through COVID-19?

What’s the story behind such pandemic?

These are unprecedented times that we are living in and going through. Each day we look forward with great anticipation of recovery. One thing is very clear, that we are all in this together. Epidemics and pandemics are not new to this world, there is nothing new under the sun. But this is strange because of its magnitude and the proportion of its impact. I believe there is no time in history there was a complete standstill as this. In a time and age of high technology and awareness we are locked down to contain a deadly virus. Nevertheless, as we evolve through every challenge, hope will take us through this and this too shall pass. Certainly there is a time for everything as the writer of Ecclesiastes quips, certainly a time to mourn for those who are suffering in the midst of this crisis. As Jesus said ‘Blessed are those who mourn, they shall be comforted’ . I pray that the God of all comfort will cover those who need comfort in this hour of trial. Especially we remember those who are in the frontlines fighting this deadly virus on behalf of us, they deserve our valuable prayers and our constant encouragement. Whenever I thought of them I was reminded how Aaron the priest stood between life and death with the incense of atonement in his hand when children of Israel was stuck by a plague, secondly the parable of the Good Samaritan who was there for the ailing man and rendered a hand of support to him. Nothing would be apt than dedicating this article of mine to those who are fighting the good fight against the disease in the frontlines.

When was the last time our Church buildings went completely empty on a Sunday that too during Lenten and houses became mini Churches ? When was the last time a robust international trade came to a screeching halt, I was left to wonder. But my imagination relating both these occurrences left me with a less of fact and a more interesting answer, may be back in the early Roman era or the early Apostolic age, and I know that would require some scrutiny! Things are not certainly mundane . Especially many are deriving many positives out of it and why not? What I loved about these lockdowns are the invasion of animals in many prominent places across the world, they even spotted a Civet in Kerala, an adjacent state to ours, the animals could sense a sudden change around, not only that many of us feeling sick because we are breathing fresh air in years with industries, work and travel facing a ban, the pollution seemed to have hit a considerable low leaving us with some fresh air, and what about rare family times and prayers together; something which many have missed it in a long while in this busy world; many are getting to know their families for real for the very first time, some are in to their much missed hobbies or creating one since their teens, but everybody is filled with a sense of responsibility and caution being keen to help somebody in need, it also made many restless minds to rest and think about the purpose and priorities of life. This certainly have unified our world like never before. We have gone through so much of divisions and hate recently around the world, and this has somewhat given a sense of togetherness, it also solidified a known truth that we are united in the midst of a bigger enemy.

There are multiple questions people are asking on why did this happen? Why did God allow this?

When questions multiply and loom large, there are also answers that come up in the form of various responses like it’s a bio war, imaginative stories as well as scary conspiracies. I too in the light of God’s word and the premises it offers kept meditating about this outbreak. Filtering all the others, if I could narrow down to a one single big message from God ,it is “Return to me”. If we flip through the pages of the Bible, and meditate on the different plagues and other disasters, the conclusive message would be ‘Reent of your sins’ and ‘Return to God’. There is also a verse which penetrated deep in to my thoughts.“Return to your fortress, you prisoners of hope; even now I announce that I will restore twice as much to you”. Zechariah 9:12.

In a way we all are prisoners of hope wanting to return back to normalcy, especially out of our homes.

There were some thoughts which made me ask some exotic questions..

1. Is this sabbatical with much needed rest enable people to value human life and relationships, especially altar the ambitions of people and give top priority to human relationships? Is it going to cause changes in the budgeting of governments with disinvestment in military and various space programs to investment in healthcare and education?

2. Is this standstill a pathway to the shuffling of old systems to an emerging new system. Is the world going to drastically change with many new way of functioning? Is this going to lead to new world order?

3. Looking at the way in which the necessity of government’s intervention in our day today lives became mandatory, is it paving way to an authoritarian state with minimal rights to citizens with governments controlling the activities of people in the days to come in the name of this virus? Is technology going to play a prominent role in that control? Where will healthcare go from here?

4. Is it going to bring more conflict in to our world with blames already beginning to be exchanged, once the recovery happens will we see a more unified or a divided world? And what would be the process of such a recovery in terms of economy?

But I was also asking a bigger question looking at the nations in which the damage was high, those were the nations from which the Gospel of Christ was once largely heralded. It made me to seriously think that God is giving a bigger message to these nations to ‘Return to him in Repentance’. Since as the word says,

For it is time for judgment to begin with God’s household; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God?” 1 Peter 4:17.

He is certainly expecting the return of his sheep to the fold, his children to his presence!!

The Bible shows that God gives signs before doing something, and its found all throughout the Bible. Even his birth was filled with signs. In Matthew 24, when the disciples were asking him about the signs of his second coming or his return to this world. He was willing enough to elaborate with sufficient details on the signs that would take place in the world before his return. He said ‘These things must happen’ .Especially plague was one of them…

“Nations will go to war against each other and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be terrible earthquakes—seismic events of epic proportion, horrible epidemics and famines in place after place This is how the first contractions and birth pains of the new age will begin! Matthew 24:7,8.

I like the way the word birth pains is used, and I want to righteously quote Apostle Paul from one of his epistles,

“ I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God. We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to son ship, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently”. Romans 8: 18-22.

Lord Jesus relates the signs of his coming to a birth pain, to a carrying mother birth pains are indicators that the baby she is carrying for months is to be delivered. Same way these signs would be an indicator that his coming would be near. Apostle Paul calls it a day of redemption which the whole creation is eagerly waiting for to be justified by the one who saved us. So the coming of the Lord is not only a judgement, but also a justification for those who believe in him and eagerly wait for him. He calls it Hope. The birth pains or signs are clearly suffering in the end times before the return of the Lord Jesus to this earth to judge all creation and justify his faithful. And I believe this Corona virus is a big indicator that we are moving in that direction of seeing the Lord soon and living in the times of his return. Since Jesus has warned about such epidemics before his coming. I would say that if God is communicating something it is this message of his return, and he calls us for preparation. In other words it is ‘Preparation Time’ or a ‘Call for Preparation‘.

In the final hours of last year as I was seeking for a word of promise, and a promise message for the congregation. The Lord spoke to me through Micah 7:15,

“As in the days when you came out of Egypt, I will show them my wonders.”

And I was delivering sermons based on this verse throughout the last few months. In the wake of this corona virus, as I was meditating on its reasons, the Lord pointed me to the same verse and enabled me to derive my conclusions about this pandemic. First of all I was able to see the word ‘ Wonders’ as ‘’Signs’ and it made more sense to the meaning of my subject.

Second ‘in the days when you came out of Egypt’ caught my attention more deeply, what happened in the days when Israelites came out of Egypt, there was severe plague in the Land and I meditated on what happened because of the plague and Israel’s deliverance to bring out God’s word through this write up. It all came to four points on what God is trying to convey to me during this pandemic.

1. A time of deliverance:

“Therefore, say to the Israelites: ‘I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. I will free you from being slaves to them, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment. I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God. Then you will know that I am the Lord your God, who brought you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians”. Exodus 6:6-7

When Moses was sent to deliver the people of Israel, one of the signs was a disease in his hand. Especially at the time of deliverance God struck the whole Nation of Egypt with plague, and through Moses he informed the Israelites there will be mighty acts of judgement or warnings. So before the deliverance of his people came the mighty acts of judgment in the form of plagues. God says “ I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God’. It was not just to set them free God delivered them. But to be their Lord and God. Till then the children were ruled by the burdensome yoke of Pharaoh and he enslaved them and controlled them. Now God sends his acts of judgment to deliver them so that he can give his righteous rule over them. May be this pandemic has caused so much pain and suffering but it’s also a time of deliverance from the control and oppression of this world .When Jesus returns, our redemption comes with him, our deliverance comes with him and he is going to rule over us, and his kingdom doesn’t have end. After the plagues came the deliverance, so this plague is an indicator that our deliverance draws near and Jesus going to return and rule over all the earth. Even in Revelation the same words are used. “And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God”. Revelation 21:3. After the plagues came the deliverance and even now after these birth pains will come the deliverance of God when he returns.

2. A sign for the Chosen:

“But Moses said to the Lord, “If the Israelites will not listen to me, why would Pharaoh listen to me, since I speak with faltering lips” Exodus 6:12.

Plagues all through the Bible was a sign for the God’s chosen to return to him. It’s a sign that God wants a revival among his people. The children of Israelites were not willing to listen to Moses who was sent to share the words of God, because of their much burden. I believe God allowed those plagues not only as an act of judgement, but also as a sign for his people to seek him and put his trust on him. They even though who were chosen were not a obedient group of people, there were sins of Egypt in them and they were willing to remain as slaves, but when the plagues came, they were filled with the fear of God. Its important to note that in the first nine plagues they had an automatic protection from God, but the final plague required their obedience in order to be saved, they had to put blood in the door posts. I believe that God was preparing and turning their hearts towards him during the plagues. And Passover is also a symbol of Revival where they feared God and turned to him to obey him. In the same way this is a sign for God’s children to put away the sins and pleasures of the world and return to God, so that we can see a revival among us. As Apostle Paul says, “reject every kind of evil. May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ”. 1 Thessalonians 5:22,2.God wants to prepare the Church first to sanctify it and make it worthy during his return and redemption, and these are the times God is giving to the Church to amend their ways.

3. An opportunity for the lost:

“And a mixed multitude also went up with them, along with great droves of livestock, both flocks and herds”. Exodus 12:38 .

The plagues were not only a sign for the elect to repent and revive. It was also opportunity given for the lost to turn back to the living God. The Lord showed his mighty deeds for Israelites to trust but also other people who have not known the living God to believe him and his plans. Its not only ten plagues but ten opportunities for them to surrender and come to the Lord. Pharaoh was seen as God in that culture, and he had pride in his heart. His heart was hardened by God because of his pride and he stood against God and his plans, every time God gave an opportunity but his pride made God to harden his heart and God showed his might. He had ten opportunities but he didn’t use it and he finally perished with his mighty army. He didn’t seek the Lord’s favour when it was available. But those mixed multitudes were delivered along with the Israelites because they put their trust on the living and almighty God. There could be Egyptians, Ethiopians and people from other nations who lived in Egypt could be part of that mixed tribe. All those who believed in God’s power, and his word were saved and was delivered because they were watching closely the signs God was performing among them and used the opportunity to believe in him. Pharaoh and his army because of their pride and negligence ended up being destroyed. In the same way, these pandemics and other signs which is to follow are opportunities for those who have not believed in Christ Jesus to turn to God before he returns. “This is good and pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.1 Timothy 2:4. He is allowing this because he wants them to be saved, those who are proud, unwilling and hardened in their hearts will miss his rescue. He came save the world and not condemn it.That’s why Jesus stressed in Matthew 24, that this Gospel will be preached to everyone then the end will come, the Gospel of end times and his final redemption has to be preached all over.

4. A Journey towards the Promise:

“And I will bring you to the land I swore with uplifted hand to give to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob. I will give it to you as a possession. I am the Lord.’ Exodus 6:8.

Finally, it was after the plagues came the promise. Plagues were actually the door to the promise, as the birth pains are the door to the actual birth, as sufferings is the door to glory. God had designed it that way, he knew people will not relent and repent unless extraordinary things happen, extraordinary things reveal the presence of an extraordinary God. For us its suffering, for God it’s the revealing of the truth. When Jesus was saved and rescued from Bethlehem many children’s lives were lost, it was suffering because of one man’s sin, but God rescued his chosen to fulfill his promise. The plagues enabled the Israelites to walk in to the promise he swore to their forefathers, a land flowing with milk and honey. In Jesus God has promised us eternal life, and his return or his second coming is the assurance of that eternal life with him, and that we rule with him as co- heirs. So these signs through these plagues is a way through which we receive God’s promises through his son Jesus Christ. There will be even more terrible occurrences in the days to come as the plagues became more severe in Egypt, even more dangerous signs, and for God’s people it will be like a hard wilderness journey but we have to remember that after the wilderness cones the promise. “And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. 1 Peter 5:10. So we must see the sufferings through these different signs of his coming as means to enter the promise, these are not circumstances to lose hope but filled with hope. As the scripture says “We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God,” Acts 14:22.

God has graciously given us these days to prepare us and others to meet him. We are approaching Passover according to Jewish traditions in the days to come, and we must remember one important truth that God has revealed all these to us through the scriptures so that we will be prepared. A wonderful example is found in the same Exodus story itself . During the final plague, God instructed them specifically on how to prepare for their deliverance and their rescue.

He instructed them to eat the Passover in this way,” This is how you are to eat it: with your cloak tucked into your belt, your sandals on your feet and your staff in your hand. Eat it in haste; it is the Lord’s Passover. Exodus 12:11. What God meant by it is a truth we all need to hold on to these days, God asked them to eat that way is to show them the urgency in which they need to prepare. They have to be in all readiness to leave. It is the same way God wants us to prepare to meet him in all readiness and urgency, enough are the days of complacency and lukewarmness, God wants us to be alert and act to prepare him the way. Apostle Paul instructs in the same line in Ephesians 6:4 “Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.”. In all readiness that we must prepare ourselves and others to meet the Lord. I believe this is God’s strong message through this COVID-19 that all must return to him in repentance and that we must prepare ourselves and others for the things that is going to take place in the days to come.

Especially our prayers are important as Moses and Aaron prayed for Pharaoh and Egyptians in the midst of the plagues, when his people pray God will remember and have mercy on people as he heard the prayers of Moses.

“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 1 Chronicles 7:14

‘Healthscare’: A case of misplaced priorities?

“Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift. Matthew 5:23-24

The Sermon on the mount contains the grandeur of the ideals of Christ, somehow it makes me think that Jesus revealed the peak of his teaching incidentally at the top of the mountain, his foundational teaching was taught on toughest rock clad mount. The summarization of what God expects was clearly laid out on those three chapters in Matthew, that’s the crux of the morals on which Jesus Christ laid the basic values of his Kingdom. I would call it the prioirity list of Christ. In his closing statement of the sermon he ends like this ‘Seek ye first the kingdom of God. “In the beginning God set priorities…” , order was the theme of creation and that order exists even now, he functions in a particular order because that’s what gives meaning, purpose and clarity, most importantly it proves his wisdom. What if he had created Man first and everything else? it would have taken out the meaning from all he wanted to accomplish. We too have to set out priorities right, or else we got to face the consequences that comes with it. Jesus gave priority to justice to truth, when pharisees were trying to find fault of him for not following sabbath regulations in healing the sick (Luke 14:1-4). But Jesus knew his priority.We all have at some point in time in our life have misplaced our priorities and would have faced the brunt, and may be learnt out of it. No, this is not a Bible study on priorities, its a wake up call for Nations, Governments and People who have misplaced the priorities. Misplaced priorities can become sin against God, and when its in the echelons of highest powers then it brings pain to lot of people.

Sometimes crisis gives us space for analyzing what went wrong and where we went wrong, it also gives us a chance to learn and evolve through it. The COVID-19 crisis is a Global Health crisis thats threatening the whole world, the outbreak has broken many hearts and it has caused such an unexpected trauma to so many people. I hope nobody would have wished for something like this. As I was spending time in prayer and was processing all that took place, one aspect loomed largely in my mind. There are many conspiracy theories about the cause, but its still unknown, but a known factor I was able to understand stuck me real deep. We are in the 21st century, we have come a long way in treating viral diseases, our treatment methods and techniques in handling such outbreaks is far superior than all the foregone centuries but still we were caught unprepared by this virus, we were caught in our neligence, and yeah,we were caught red handed because of our ‘Misplaced Priorities’.

The development and growth of human beings always involved risks, there were necessary risks and there are unnecessary risks, there were unavoidable and avoidable risks in our growth story. For example, the Chernobyl disaster in Ukraine, 1996 and the Bhopal gas tragedy of 1984 in India where thousands of lives lost in a matter of days resulted because of human error and negligence. May be it bypassed the safety nets available to run such an infrastructure because such systems requires careful monitorng at the highest levels. These are unprecedented times,no matter how prepared we are,still it cause damages,but we are looking at this deeply to know whether we have done enough, whether Governments moved in the right direction.

Global Healthcare is vital in this era of mass movements, In his speech in TED talk Microsoft founder Bill Gates had a word to say on what he fears the most for the world in the near future, and he pointed not to a world war 3 but a Global pandemic, he said the nations are not prepared for such big outbreak. I want to call it ‘Healthscare’. There are many Global health isuues which we are not under control, many times things happen beyond humans power over it. But the problem is when we are unprepared and underprepared due to negligence. Does our approach to Healthcare is proactive or reactive. If its reactive, it means ‘Healthscare’. Most of the world countries doesnt see healthcare and education as an important obligation as compared to its defence. Many countries are prepared for its defence and military threats than its health problems. Even many countries who declare themselves as a welfare states, are slowly moving from its primary standards which is evident in their budgets. Many hold on to their same old reaction and repentive stratergy rather than precaution and preventive strategy. One of the indicators to it is the amount of focus that is given to education and healthcare, superpowers are not determine based on their effective healthcare systems and Human development indices, but based on its large economic and military capabilities. Developed countries are identified based on wealth accumulation and not wealth distribution, not on healthcare but on military capacity. I think the fundamental issue is our misplaced focus.

Misplaced Focus:

Therefore, Your Majesty, be pleased to accept my advice: Renounce your sins by doing what is right, and your wickedness by being kind to the oppressed. It may be that then your prosperity will continue. Daniel 4:27

Especially the comparison of budgets allocated to Military and Healthcare gives us an understanding on how unprepared and underprepared we were. As we see even the developed nations with great health and sufficient healthcare systems couldn’t manage the current scenario due to various insufficiencies due to lack of healthcare professionals, ventillators, masks and other healthcare products, why such lack in essential medical services? because we had misplaced priorities for a long period of time. In the below statistical map its evident where we lost the important part of the game. Its not that nobody did anything, but whether we did things right?

Here we see the spending on healthcare in different parts of the world. It might look that most of the developed countries got it right by sheer comparison of numbers in terms of spending on healthcare is higher than military spending, but it has to be noted that it may not be enough since the access to healthcare is covering large population than access to military and defence. It also became evident , how the developed nations too are struggling in the fight against this deadly virus. But on the whole Europe has done well, but it has always a room for improvement in terms modern day healthscares, especially they being the widest travellers naturally they become effective contractors. The most disheartening thing is the countries which has the maximum number of poor and still struggling to give basic healthcare access have spent more budget on military than the healthcare. They can give reasons as hot bed of conflicts,but no excuse for their overspending.Look at the areas where the red dots (Military spending) are bigger than the green ones. Its certainly a case of misplaced priorities. Peacescience Digest states that “When Countries Increase Their Military Budgets, They Decrease Public Health Spending Retrieved May 16, 2019. Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).Apr 29, 2019 infers that “World military expenditure grows to $1.8 trillion in 2018.Total world military expenditure rose to $1822 billion in 2018, representing an increase of 2.6 per cent from 2017”. So we do get an understanding through these observations where does a part of our problem lies. Military with right motives have brought stability in many regions and combating terrorism.But have we focused too much on it.

Especially India is a prime example in this category , an article in The Wire observes thatDefence accounts for 11% of India’s overall expenditures and health accounts for 2%. India’s defence allocation this year (2019-2020) is Rs 2,82,733 crore and health allocation is Rs 63,538. The defence budget is 4.8 times the health budget“. This shows that the gap is ever widening between the Healthcare and Military. There is a shortage in Healthcare access in many parts of the nation, there is no primary health centres in villages , there are no adequate health professionals and medical equipments in India, yet India is one of the biggest spenders worldwide in Defence. A very dangerous case of misplaced priorities. More importantly Education and Research Development which contribute greatly to a booming healthcare too gets very less attention than military. There are not enough institutions that contribute to healthcare, interest and opportunities are not created to pursue Medical sciences among all sections of the society. Even if we view Medicare as an urban issue, we should understand the world is only becoming more and more urbanized. So, have we done enough to motivate the caring profession, to encourage them and to support their cause?There is no culture that promote awareness and equal opportunities among the underprivileged, that alone can become a remedy when we are left to face these dire strait situations in the future. What if we are better prepared? What if our focus was in the right place?

Global Mistrust:

What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? James 4:1

Global mistrust created by divisive agendas in a way causes healthscare.The reason for the spike in Military expenditure is the rise in Global Mistrust.The strength of diplomacy and political non-partisanship is hitting very strange lows in the recent times, consensus building has become a huge task between nations and political parties.Eventhough they do have high level meetings, countries have an uncomfortable mistrust underneath.An identity based populist right wing politics is on the rise across the Globe. There is a rise of hate in the political speeches today both domestically and globally, and in the post war world there is a legitimate space for such mistrust. They shoulld remember that politics has to be for the poor and not for staying in power.The reason also is that our budgets are framed in response to the negativity we see, and every country wants to express its supremacy, and they think that their sovereignity depends on its power to destructive arms, rather than its effective people welfare systems. They convince their spending that the country’s safety and National security as priority, negating the benefits of diplomacy. Safety need not depend on weapons alone, focus on welfare sounds safety,caring for each other spells safety,committed diplomacy spells safety.When it is supposed to be a peace force, military and defence is abused for selfish gains of human pride and vanity, used as tools of threat. It would be great to have a total cancellation of armed military in all nations, and enabling military to be an unarmed disaster management and welfare corporation, many might term this term as greedy. The more and more spending on the weapon system and the less money spent on military personnel themselves shows that we are standing far away from reality, when weapon deals are becoming the primary cause for stratergic partnership between nations shows why my unrealistic dream is a necessity. Sometimes I wonder the stockpile of weapons alone can become a reason for a casual war someday. I think the first step towards a right direction is by having more welfare based cooperations (Healthcare and Education) between countries than the defence deals, that more money be spent on military personnels equipping them for disaster managements and training and recoursing them as welfare professionals than spending millions on defence systems and nuclear weapons,and by being transparent in defence productions and becoming more accountable. Many political parties across the world keeps their nation’s political adversary as a strategy for dividends in politics, and boosting up the military has become a raw political stratergy hence many mock wars, and fake encounters happen because of this.India should focus on developing primary health centres in every village. If they take it as priority, then automatically all the focus on unnecessary issues will take a back seat. The nations must reduce the Global mistrusts by sharing their resources and strengths with other nations which lack it. In the atmosphere of trust alone, a caring based sector like healthcare can thrive and grow. Otherwise it can result in healthscare.

Breached Conventions:

“Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well”. 3 John 1:2.

An old proverb says “Health is wealth”.Good health is a human right. Health care doesn’t only relate multi-speciality hospitals, high efficient equipments and high powered medicines. When we talk about universal healthcare, we only think about insurance coverages. Our understanding has become very limited about health benefits. Universal healthcare should fundamentally means awareness towards healthy global practices and hygiene which stays as standard convention in any human system towards good health.Health comes in different ways, as much as we focus on the method and treatment of health problem, are we focusing on ways to promote good health. There are many reasons to good health and many which affects good health? Especially clean air, clean water,healthy food habits and lifestyle. The greatest reasons for healthscare is our focus on reaction and intervention rather than precaution and prevention. Especially Bible too talks about health through precautions right from cleanliness to healthy food habits. Rapid industrialization and automobile waste in the previous century has left our air and atmosphere in a dangerous position, rapid privatisation of water in this century is going to be a huge issue since air and water quality are two primary reasons for good or bad health. Then healthy food habits and lifestyle is important, especially consumerism culture in food have opened way for unhealthy intake, with adulterated and mutatuted food products. Lot of viruses are spread through animals is a reality. Healthy lifestyle includes emotional health, mordern day job stress, work life balance, and also our values play a major role in that Bible says in Proverbs 17:22 “A happy heart is good medicine and a joyful mind causes healing,But a broken spirit dries up the bones”. Physical activity too has many health benefits and adds health to our lifestyle. So healthcare includes precaution and prevention, and not just reaction and intervention. Not only government but also individuals should work towards clean energy and healthier lifestyles. Morality plays a huge role in our healthThere is no health in my bones because of my sin“. Psalm 32:3. We dont generally take this aspect in to consideration, unrighteous ways sometimes causes dangerous sickness. So everybody must take healthcare as a primary responsibility and seek God for healing and peace in our communities. So its important that we dont concede to healthscare due to our misplaced priorities but collectively work towards a better future. But after going through all this are we going to prioritize our focus for the good? Only time will tell!!

Prisoners of Hope.

Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. Psalm 23:4.
If Hope is all we have, Hope is all we need. We all are in one way or the other ‘Prisoners of Hope tied together with the chains of our destiny’.

The scorpions sang their famous song in the 90’s about the end of German civil war and the subsequent fall of the Berlin Wall calling it as the ‘Wind of Change’.It goes like this,

“Take me to the magic of the moment
On a glory night
Where the children of tomorrow dream away in the wind of change”

The world has seen so many changes, and certainly we are through such a change. In a short span of time , the world is facing a lot of unexpected changes. A Global pandemic is on the rise, like the one which the mordern world has never seen. A deadly virus has become the talking point of the world and even became a household name causing many a delusions, panic and fear, the aftereffects could be felt for a long time, which can have catastrophic influence on how the future of the world could be shaped. The impact it can have on the market and economy as a whole had to be watched with concern.As I look at these events unfold vigorously, I could not resist but think about what God wants to convey us through this? What’s the message underneath such devastation? All through the Bible pestilence is described as God’s warning to people to mend their ways and as an indicator for his people to turn back to him, and I was strongly reminded of a statement Jesus used after he explained the signs of his coming which includes pestilence , he said “These things must happen” (Matthew 24:6). So as I started to pen down this piece, I got convinced that I’m writing these in the light of that reality that came out of the mouth of Christ Jesus. The reality of the times we are living in!!!

Our market is global, Our systems and technology is global, Our connect is global and yeah our diseases too are global. The world has seen many epidemics and pandemics in its history, from Justinian plague to Spanish flu , from Black death to Ebola, yet one cannot deny the uniqueness of this. This is is truly a Global pandemic with its effects in every nook and corner of the world. There are many propogandas and presumptive causes thats been in circulation, but no investigation has proved the actual origin of this monstrous virus which has now taken thousands of lives across the world. ‘Corona’ as the world unanimously calls it is generally reffered to the halo around a bright light, but it also refers to a virus that is now put the world in to darkness. It is categorized as a Zoonotic disease which is transmitted from Animals to Humans. This specific virus which is termed as ‘COVID-19’ began its early trends in the Wuhan province in China and is now spread world over in a matter of days. This is unprecedent in many ways with people from all walks getting affected by it. As the Medical world is involved in coming up with a vaccine, as healthcare professionals are fighting day in day out treating the incoming patients with necessary aids to overcome this sickness, and as governments are making eloborate plans to tackle the challenge and to effectively resist the dominoe effect it can have on Society, Economy and even Systems. The world is literally in a stand still. How many would have expected such turn of events ? How many would have imagined the devastation of this magnitude?

Such is life! Sometimes things like these teach us humility, it reminds mankind about the fragility of human life. It also gives us the sense of togetherness, that we are all the same, facing a common adversity and that we should set aside our differences to help each other in our fight against a disaster which threatens us. This is real, This is us, we are all in this together. It’s not a time of hopelesness but hope, its not a time to be frustrated but to care, its not a time to cast doubts on each other but to trust one another, its not a moment to define life as meaningless but derive our purpose from it, its not a time to worry but to pray and analyze, its not a time to be disillusioned with God but to put faith on him and say ‘ I still choose to Believe’. If Hope is all we have, Hope is all we need. We all are in one way or the other ‘Prisoners of Hope tied together with the chains of our destiny’.

A little boy while helping his dad in the farm looked at the approaching dark clouds in the sky, tucking in to his pop’s legs, he said ‘Dad im scared, its dark and gloomy’, the father replied Son, cheer up, we are about to receive rain after a long time! As the Dad was there to offer hope to his scared son, God is calling us to offer hope to one another reminding ‘This too shall pass by the grace of God”. Especially our Heavenly Father is there to offer hope to each one of us’. The aim of this article is not force an ‘Unreal positivity’ or a ‘false motivation’, but to remind and encourage ourselves in the midst of fear and panic all over, that the only way to overcome this is by holding on to hope and covering ourselves and others with care. Sometimes adversities such as these enable us to to evolve, it fills us with the truths which otherwise would be hidden from our ever wavering eyes, it also makes us strong and seek things which are real instead of vanity. Amidst the images of sorrow and pain of those who lost their loved ones, and the emptiness in the avenues of the famed cities with restricted social contacts between people. This adversity on humans has certainly brought lot of best out of the citizens of the world, infact it has brought humanity much closer and together, it has given space for families to hold on to each other, for many it has given space to think about the meaning and purpose of life.

The images of the medical health professionals daring themselves to save others, the governments of different countries taking responsibilities in offering leadership, and the famous scenes in the balconies of the most affected in Italy shares a story of greater value and strength. Eventhough there is a lot to lose , there is also lot to gain out of it. We have always evolved through our most deepest pains and hardest challenges.To present an overarching reality in these tough situations may not be considered wise, but its also important to speak your mind with compassion and integrity. Many would argue, If there is God,why would he allow this? a good question indeed! but the bigger question is , what if he has allowed this to communicate something important to us? What if there is a message from God that we need to look closely in to? What if which he already told and warned is happening? Since these are the times where we humans realize we are not in control, just think that all our latest technology and innovations could not stop this impending danger. If we are not in control, then who is? I still remember those safety drills in my workplace where a siren blast of warning would gather thousands of us in an open space. Then they deliver an important message to all of us that in case of emergency like fire or earthquake we have to assemble like this when the alarm is heard. This pandemic has messages to share too, the importance of public health, the preparedness in us to tackle such situations, but the most important of all this according to me is what our creator God is trying to convey?  What if this is our one last opportunity of knowing him?

Certainly, God allows such moments as these to get our attention to his plans and promises. Such statements can irk many in sensitive times as these and even God can be ‘Anathema’ to those who want to deny his existence.I believe as much its the time to be sensitive, its time to speak the truth sensibly. Is our response going to end just with fighting just an other plague in human history? or whether we are going to take the words of Christ seriously and see this as a foretold sign to prepare us and others for the greater reality ahead of us is something we are left to ponder. These times can either break or build anyone’s faith. I hope and pray that it would build us to put our trust in God our only refuge. As the Psalmist sings “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble”. Psalm 46:1. Following are some of the key points I want to lay down as we walk in to those greater realities in the days to come…..

1. The Repeated DENIAL:

Seek the LORD while he may be found; call on him while he is near. Isaiah 55:6.

                          After the beginning of this virus outbreak in China. Many didnt understand the intensity of it. First of all it was so unexpected in many ways. The pandemic which began in a region started consuming lives across the world. Many also believed that it was a hoax, such was the ambiguity that prevailed over the disease. This denial and carelesness is also reason why it has come to this point. We usually tend to take anything seriously till it affects us. Are we going to deny  the reality of God and his righteous authority calling all mankind to know him in truth like many who denied about the reality and impact of this virus?Are we going to make the mistake of denying the return of Jesus Christ to judge this earth? Yet, its no secret that many will keep denying it till it takes place, generally truth might seem very unrealistic since we are not willing to believe in it. Even with all its warning and severity people don’t take the word of God and its warnings seriously, since they feel it doesnt become a part of their reality, but to deny it doesnt nullify its presence. One day truth will strike at our own door like many who have experienced this virus, and we wont have time to react to it. Truth is too costly to deny, seek it with all your heart. 

They will say,”Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? “Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.”  2 Peter 3:4.

2. The Robust SPREAD:

She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” Matthew 1:21.

                        Many would be aware of the speed of the spread of this virus. It is very robust , within the span of few days many were affected and many were killed in a span of few weeks. This is probably the fastest Global spread in the history, our universal transport system has a role to play in it.Even the awareness and warning about this deadly virus spread in faster pace, thanks to media, it really got everyone talking all over the world. This dangerous SPREAD got me thinking about the fact that evil, destruction, adversity, hate, lies and danger spreads faster than healing, love, truth, trust and goodwill. Fear convinces us more than what faith does, since we react to fear more easily than we react to faith,threats like these reach and gets our attention faster than precautions. Sin too spreads like this virus, it affects our lives, family and society in many different ways, it destroys our relationship with God and people. Bible says that “The wages of sin is death”, the spread of sin too is very robust and it brings God’s wrath which leads to death. How seriously do we take sin which spreads like wildfire. There is only one way to stop the spread of sin, it is by receiving the forgiveness of God through Jesus Christ and committing to live for him. The spread of sin also can be stopped by spreading of the Gospel, the awareness about the Corona virus spread fast in order to save lives, same like that the Goodnews of Jesus Christ has to reach faster to save lives from sin and God’s wrath. The question is, How seriously are we taking this SPREAD?

As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins,  in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient.  All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy,  made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus. Ephesisans 2:1-6.

3. The Relentless WASHING:

“Wash and make yourselves clean. Take your evil deeds out of my sight; stop doing wrong.Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed.Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow”. Isaiah 1:16-17.
         One of the guidelines given by the Health professionals to stop the spread of this contagious virus is to wash the hands regularly and properly, as well use sanitizers. I was reminded about this old Gospel song which says, “What can wash away my sin, nothing but the blood of Jesus”. Since the spread of COVID-19 we are reminded to constantly wash our hands, but how often are we reminded about our soul which needs cleansing. Do we give importance to our soul hygiene?Do we give importance to our Holiness and our responsibility to render Justice? . God wants us to live a blameless Holy and pure but how many times we remain adamant, unrepented and live a life insensitive of the Holy Spirit. Are we concerned about the cleanliness of our hearts same as we are about unclean hands? God reminds us today about the areas we need to be cleansed. Bible says that the blood of Jesus cleanses us from all unrighteousness, which means it offers us forgiveness. Many live in guilt, shame, hurts, regrets of the past, but a cleansing from God can offer us new hope which will enable us to live a Holy life unto him. The Holy Spirit will enable us to fight against the germs of evil and guard us from temptations. Are we seeking a clean lives like we seek a clean hands?

How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God! Hebrews 9:14

4. The Right RESPONSE:

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Matthew 11:28.

Response means ‘Responsibility’. In the midst of this outbreak, the role of the Governments became crucial. Many Governments came up with solutions and policies to tackle the damage and minimise the loss, various methods and techniques were used in creating safety. From making healthcare available to all to announcing special packages for its citizens the response have been sincere. Especially terms like ‘Qurantine’, ‘Social distancing’ , ‘Bending the curve’and ‘lockdown’s’ are doing the rounds with millions stranded across the globe devoid of travelling. They understood the truth if the response is poor then the danger is more. Even people are following the instructions from their respective Governments to fall in line in the fight against the virus. The bigger question is what is our response to the Call of God? do we give right responses to him? Especially God through Jesus Christ call us all in to a relationship with him, he calls us to inherit all the spiritual blessings that he has in store for those who believe and follow him, he wants everybody to repent and be saved. But many instead of responding to him, we give him excuses, we give him reasons. We dont understand the importance of that call and our response. The right response to him alone can lead us in to truth and everlasting love. We casually reject his call of love to be in communion with him for the temporary benefits of the world. Are we going to take his call seriously and return to his love?

‘Return to me,’ declares the LORD Almighty, ‘and I will return to you,’ says the LORD Almighty. Zechariah 1:3.


If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also“. John 14:3

The common activity for many across the world was buying sanitizers, masks and things for everyday use like household needs and groceries. Obvious that such drastic circumstances demands drastic measures. Urgent preparations are underway across the world to face this unknown future. On the other side how is our preparation to meet the King who is going to judge the nations with righteousness and truth? Do we have the same urgency and caution in preparing to meet him?As I said before one of the signs Jesus said about his second coming are pestilences that will erupt and it will be careless on our part if we bypass this warning from Christ casually. We need to be prepared to meet him, we need to prepare others to meet the Lord. The ways in which we can prepare is to looking in to our lives the areas in which we need change, the areas in which we need surrender and submit ourselves to his precious will. We also can prepare by seeking his coming dilligently and inform others even by warning them about his imminent return and his judgement. Another sign of his return is that the Gospel of his coming will preached across the world. We also can prepare by being willing to lay down even our lives for his truth since in the last days there will intense persecution of those who believe in Christ. As much it is important to prepare to figtht against this virus, it is much more important to prepare for the coming of the Lord. Are you prepared to meet the Lord?

But keep on the alert at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are about to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.” Luke 21:36                              

Our God is a God who conveys to us in mysterious ways, and this plague across the world is certainly a way in which he is communicating to us in order to be prepared for the coming times. He is also promises that he will be with us through this and his rod and staff will comfort us. The Big message from God in all of this is “RETURN TO ME”, “COME BACK”.

“Return to your fortress, you prisoners of hope; even now I announce that I will restore twice as much to you”. Zechariah 9:12.

Hope is the final word in all this. We cannot lose hope in these times but hold on it even stronger.

1. Hope through trusting God: 

Our hope is found in our living God and our resurrected Saviour, when we put our faith in him and his word , as we look to him in prayer, he will surely carry us through this . This is a time to pray for one another, pray together as families and meditate the word of God togeher and seek his ways (Isaiah 40:31).

2. Hope through Caring for each other:                     

We all are in this together, and in these times hope is spread through caring for each other in smallest of things. Giving words of encouragement, sharing resources and awareness can be a good way of spreading hope (Galatians 6:2).Return to the fortress, O prisoners of Hope. Return to God!!

P.S:Shoutout and prayers to all Health professionals, Public workers and those in the line of fire, fighting it on behalf of all of us. May God Bless You!!

The Conscience of a Nation.

“Before a downfall the heart is haughty, but humility comes before honor”. Proverbs 18:12

What is Nation without its people? what is a nation without its voice? what is a nation without its freedom? what is a nation without its justice? The idea of a community begins in the heart of the people who make the choice to live together under a common good, the idea of a nationhood begins when communities putting aside their differences to come and work together for common good. It is on this basis nations and unions are formed across the globe. There is nothing called a perfect union, because its a union of imperfect people, but nationhood is only possible when people are willing to move towards a perfect union. Any politics that doesnt take a nation towards a perfect union, carrying along every section of that union fails in its integrity to leadership. The foundation of any union is possible when everybody involved in it seek or desire that union. If its not sought then it will not be realized. Somebody like me would question the big deal being made out of the idea of nationhood, but I wouldn’t neglect the logical necessity of it.

We are a mirror image of each other, we grow and fall together as a nation.

There are only few countries in this world which has been shaped and reshaped like the Indian Sub-Continent. No Nation is as diverse as India. It is like a colourful art with various cultures and languages, like an Icecream with its multiple flavours, like a garden with its variety of flowers, like a fish market with different kind of voices. A mini world I can say. India is a wonder in world’s eyes, with all its faulty lines, its truly a miracle to beckon.

A dessert drink called Falooda is very famous in India . It has these multiple layers of Takmariya, vermicelli,jelly, rose syrup, ice cream, nuts and cherry on the top. Usually they give a long spoon to penetrate every layer so that every bite would have the representation of all these layers, which gives its mixed taste and they serve it in a large cup. India is like this large cup of falooda. It has a history of a great ethnic and cultural mix through many centuries. Many have invaded this land for power, trade and for so many other reasons, these invasions and interactions shaped the identity of the Nation which is today a multi-dimensional union. Every experience and experimentation it went through holds together like the cup of Falooda, its tasty because of its diversity. May be its not literally a total sweet experinence of that of tasting a falooda, the nation has seen both its best and worst times in history, but the purpose of the union is much greater than digging a falooda. Its a positive nation through various changes still resolved to be one under the constitution of India.

Our Nation which is today a multi-dimensional union. Everything holds together like the cup of Falooda.

The Constitution of India begins with the words ‘We the people of India’. It foundationally defines what the Nation of India stands for, it stands for the people of this nation, without its people , the nation is as dead as a Rock.

The Recent happenings in India has really caused deep hurts in our society. Its a symptom of a disease which existed for a long time. Many communities have peacefully lived together all through the years , but political powers and the recent change in India’s political climate have unleashed its worst fears, its worst nightmares, its worst character. Many of the recent policies of the government made communities to feel victimized. This is uncalled for, but above all, the hatred seen in the speeches of those in the most responsible of positions makes us to conclude that we are not heading towards a right direction as a nation. No government is perfect, but if its not right, its simply not desirable.

The Violence across the Nation especially in New Delhi, the vision bed of India which has the responsibility to stand as an example of solidarity,dignity and model for the entire country is suffering in its orchestrated accident and is left to lick its wounds of chaos. If the constitution of the Nation is not fully realized in the capital of this country what signals of hope does the leadership wants to convey to the most vulnerable parts of this land? If the most loudest of voices can be silenced in fear what happens to the most feeblest of them?

The bigger conclusion aimed to be derived out of this script is not the definition of a nation, but the definition of the people we are becoming, the kind of humans we are shaping ourselves to be. This is not ‘You’ versus ‘Me’ problem, this is not ‘Us’ versus ‘Them’ problem, this is not a ‘Majority’ vs ‘Minority’ problem, this is not even ‘Government’ vs ‘Opposition’ problem. This is a ‘Good’ vs ‘Evil’ problem, this is ‘Right’ vs ‘Wrong’ problem. On the whole this is a moral problem we are facing in our communities. We are shaking hard the gates of hell thinking that its a theme park of extreme fun, we are destroying ourselves thinking that we are destroying others. If we don’t wake up now , we will sleep forever!

First of all, there is nothing called majority or minority in a democracy. This is one of the biggest perceptional problem we inherited casually.Everybody exists in their right to be humans and citizens, their freedom to choose their beliefs and express it through their lifestyle without causing trouble or pain to others is fundamental and pivotal to the health of any democratic nation. Majority should not be defined by numbers, so is the minority. ‘Majority’ should be defined by where truth is, where good is, where love is, where justice is. ‘Minority’ should be defined by where lies are, where hate is, where evil is, and where injustice thrives. Love builds any society, hatred destroys everything love has built. Love always has a future, hate never does. It has this supernatural ability to destroy even those who value and encourage it.

Im deeply saddened looking at the state of my country, the way my beloved fellowmen suffer. Strangely, I saw it coming. I believe every good heart bleeds, every righteous soul yearns for peace and brotherhood. In this time of extreme rush and emotions, I cannot help but think the state of the whole world. Normalizing hatred has become a trend in today’s politics, no more we are sensitive about our standards, no more we are desperate for a touch of humanity , no more we seek the truth of morality. Everybody wants to be drunk with the pride of false identity and deceptive power without having a remotest of concern about the consequences of hate. Remember people alone don’t have ideas, ideas too have people. It sweeps from one end to the other like the virus which kills and spreads like a wildfire to destroy. It has become casual nowadays in world politics to demean and demonize fellow human beings for the sake of power.

What’s more alarming to me is the trend in some nations of invoking Jesus Christ who is the symbol of Love and Justice for their hate agenda in politics, and many who profess Christ fall for it ,and many who belong to the Church very comfortably turn a blind eye towards hate mongering in the realms of power. I may not know the real problems every nation faces,but we all have to draw a line somewhere based on truth.One must not forget that the Church has the calling to be the conscience of the world, that we are ultimately under Christ’s righteous reign and are called to represent Christ Jesus. When we support hate, we become part of that hate and nullify God’s truth. It means we reject the call of Jesus Christ to be the salt and light of this earth, if salt loses its savour, how can it be useful? The world is watching,a hurting and broken world is in desperate need of the love of christ, if the Body of Christ fails to show up, it means we have lost our duty of leadership. How can we take the message of Love to the world ? What hope can we offer apart from unconditional love and compassion? If our politics is leading us to hate somebody, discriminate somebody, abuse somebody . Then its better to leave it, its not worth it. We cannot lose our higher calling for a cheap deal. We dont serve a political saviour, but the real saviour.

The world is watching,a hurting and broken world is in desperate need of the love of christ, if the Body of Christ fails to show up, it means we have lost our duty of leadership. How can we take the message of Love to the world ?

The Righteous Judge knows the heart of all mankind and will judge the nations in truth. We cannot afford to make the same mistakes of the past, lets not be biased with our standards. Even human history will question our fairness if we reserve our morality just because it benefits us. Every nation has their own issues, but I had to talk about this since what happens in any other nation is certainly related in every sense to our nation. Most importantly, the body of Christ is universal. We should desire every government to do well for its people, we should look to support every good step they take. But we should be careful not to be used for the wrong, our faith should not be misused to hurt and mistreat somebody. It will make a mess out of our message of the Gospel, which is foremost a message of love and service for all humanity.

In the end all the governments of this world will fail its people and the world will yearn for one righteous kingdom with Christ as king. We cannot deny that all these we are seeing around is a sign of things to come. Yes, its towards a hopeful future.

Any society which doesnt desire listening, discerning and learning will stop growing, when we stop to grow we start to decay. India with so much poverty, with lack of basic infrastructure and various health crisis. We have so many fundamental problems in supplying human needs and achieving the goal of equal opportunity to everyone. When we had to go on the path of progress, we are going on the path of vanity. When we have to constitute a welfare state, we are becoming an identity based totalitarian state. The means of power is to uplift the poor, weak and the downtrodden. Is our focus really in the right place?

The conscience of a nation doesnt lie in sky scrapers, hi-tech technologies and monstrous defence systems. It lies in human hearts, it lies in the ability of its people to love one another beyond the differences. The conscience of a nation is shaped by the thinking, feeling and doing of its people. We are a mirror image of each other, we grow and fall together as a nation. This is everybodys blame, its not a time for pointing out the fingers at each other but a time to take collective responsiblity. First its time to say that we are hurt, we are sorry, and accept that we need a change first, that we need to become better. Thats where  I think transformation starts. If we can’t accept the mistakes of the past , its hard for us to move towards a better future. If we dont rise up now and say enough to hate, it will come as a flood upon all of us, it will not see whether we are rich or poor, good or bad but consume all who stand in its way. Let the greatness of this nation be defined by how we treat the most least and vulnerable of us all. Its important to look at our fellow human being as the one created by the image of God. A house divided against itself will not stand, so is a nation! Imagine a nation as a whole body, if we are hating one another, we are actually damaging different parts of our own body.

Jesus threw this question to the powers of the world, and its more relevant to our times “What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?” Matthew 16:26. We are not going to even take our own properties, even our own bodies when we leave this world. Just think how fragile life is?Then why we have to let pride and hate consume us, lets live for a better and higher purpose. Its wise to make the best out of this life and it is possible only through love and humility towards one another.