About Jesus  -  Steve Sweetman

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'Jesus Untangled'
by Keith Giles


First of all, I suggest you read this book, especially if you are an American.  Many, if not most, will disregard what Keith writes, but that is problematic.  When I read or hear something that differs from my own thinking I listen.  I attempt to understand what I read or hear, just in case I am missing something in my thinking.  Most people don't approach differences from this perspective.  They simply reject, tune out, get defensive, and argue their position.  In part this is why Christians are so divided, that by the way, defeats the very prayer of Jesus found in John 17. 


I am a Christian who lives in Canada, and like many Christians living in Canada see America and American Christianity from a different perspective than many American Christians, similar to the perspective seen in this book.  I suggest that all Americans might benefit from listening to what others outside of America have to say about their nation. 


I do differ with Keith on eschatology.  I once held his position, but over years of struggle and serious thought hold to a different opinion.  That being said, issues over end time thinking should never separate true disciples of Jesus as is often the case.


What Keith says about what is commonly called church in western culture I am in agreement with.  That we call church (I don't call it church) in the west has little to no relevance to New Testament thinking.  I applaud Keith on his position on this issue. 


I've thought long and
 hard concerning my involvement in the political affairs of men.  I lived in a Washing DC suburb and also in Richmond Virginia. in the early 1980's  Living in Richmond put me right in the middle of Jerry Falwell in Lynchburg and Pat Robertson in Virginia Beach.  It was hard to escape the influence of the Christian Conservative Right, and so I didn't.  Even though I could not vote because I am Canadian, I participated in the re-election of our Republican member for the U. S. congress in the 1982 mid term election.  I would knock on doors encouraging people to vote for a man that I myself could not vote for.


Upon returning to Canada I involved my self in the newly formed Christian Heritage Party that has long since amalgamated with the Conservative Party.  During this period I asked one of my favourite Bible teachers (Ern Baxter) what he thought about Pat Robertson's attempt at the presidency.  His response began to change my thinking.  "If Robertson becomes president," he said, "he must realize that he has demoted himself from being a preacher of the gospel by becoming president."  I had a lot to think about and since then, little by little my thinking has been changing.


At the moment, I do not go as far as Keith when it comes to political involvement in the kingdoms of men, but, that doesn't mean I won't end up where he is.  At the moment, I'm utterly disgusted with American politics that not only dominates the American media but the world's media.  Like Keith, I strongly believe that there is, has never been, nor never will be, a Christian nation.  All nations oppose God and I believe in various articles I've written have proven that.  Besides, Jesus did not commission us to make nations into disciples.  He commanded us to make individuals from every nation into His disciples.    


Take a look at what Keith writes, and give it serious consideration.  Never be so defensive that you are unable to hear what a brother in the Lord has to say.   



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