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Faith Comment published in the Petersfield Post

15 October 2014: David Storey, All Saint's Steep

First steps to becoming a Christian

What is it that is required to become a Christian? When someone says a sense of sin I cringe. I don’t think that Jesus would have said it like that. If we read our Bibles well we know that Jesus is said to have said, “Come to me all who are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11 28). He goes on to say, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me.” In that he is identifying himself with God, his Father.

Sorry, I am using metaphorical language. Jesus was not suggesting that you take on a physical yoke, but rather that you accept the restraints that Jesus himself accepted. Jesus accepted direction from God, who he metaphorically perceived as his loving father who he would obey and work with to build a society where we help to create that which the creator intended, where everyone worked for the betterment of everyone else, including future generations.

He did not suggest that the Christian church would be perfect, thus sin. We get caught up in wrong decisions by selfishness, going our own way, or by being led astray. Sin, to me, is falling short of what God hopes of us. But Jesus taught that God perpetually forgives us, we though have to accept that forgiveness, and recognise our sins, and recommit ourselves to a Christian (good/godly) life. Christians should develop a sense of sin, not to feel awful sinners, but praise the one who makes us forgiven sinners, who are committed to building lives committed to God’s ways.

Yes, sin has come into the discussion. But I suggest the first thing we might need is a will to discover from the source of life what it about. That source Christians call God. Jesus called him Abba which was the traditional word for children addressing a loving father. You too can have a conversation with the same Abba.

This article was submitted for publication in the Petersfield Post on 15 October.

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