Editor’s Note: This article was submitted by guest author Dave Hernandez.
I’m enjoying life residing on a tropical island of the Indian Ocean with my wife and kids at the moment. It’s a beautiful place and we’re enjoying our stress-free lifestyle.
This island features a real multi-faith society: Hinduism, Islam and Catholicism make up most of the religious expressions and traditions its people practice. It has been a bit of an eye opener. I have to admit that I enjoy the richness of the cultural and religious expressions. We can hear the call to prayer from the nearest mosque to our place of residence. As you drive through the towns you pass places of worship representing each religious expression within less than a kilometer of each other.
It got me thinking. We categorise people. In this case, we categorise them by their religious affiliation. We also categorise them by their ethnic origins. On this Island, for instance, there are many ethnic backgrounds represented. We also categorise people into classes based on wealth and fame.
Being raised in a Christian circle kept me confined to my category of religious expression enjoyed with like-minded, same-coloured, middle-class people. That was my world. And to be honest, we feared those who weren’t like us. Evangelism was therefore a conversion of “others” to our way of seeing and doing life!
Recently, though, God has pulled me out of this classification system and pulled me closer to Christ, the Cross and the Resurrection. The new lenses of seeing the world Christocentrically has done wonders in setting me free from my old fear-based, deceit-infused and shame-filled mindset.
Instead of seeing the world as separate from me because they’re not “Christians” like me, I am beginning to see everybody on a journey of transference from the dead Body of Adam to the resurrected Body of Christ. Our lives are in Christ. We are alive only in and because of Him. The original Blueprint of Humanity is revealed and restored to us in Jesus who gathered all humanity into His death and released us into true life in his Resurrection.
If the Apostle Paul were writing today, I believe he would be saying this: “In Christ there’s no Christian, Hindu or Muslim…”
Paul writes this:
For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died; and He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf. Therefore from now on we recognize no one according to the flesh (2 Corinthians 5:14-16a NASB).
Paul says that he no longer sees anybody according to their carnal state (through our fear-filled categorisation of people) which means that he sees them according to their restored identities made available to them in the fact that Christ died and resurrected for all of us into himself.
It means that people of all expressions of faith are, in fact, in their own traditional and cultural expression, seeking their resurrected state because they are dead. They are dead in and because of Adam. And Jesus nailed the Adamic “Body” to the cross. All are dead in Christ! And all are resurrected in Him!
The problem is that we are imprisoned by the lies, fear and shame we’ve inherited from our forefathers.
The good news is that the Spirit of Life and Freedom is at work in the world leading seekers of life as well as the most enthusiastic lovers of death to places where the “elevated Christ” will draw them to a realisation of their forgiven and redeemed state in Christ. Jesus said, “if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself (John 12:32 NASB).”
I have repented of my old way of seeing things. I see nobody according to the old Adamic state although I know they are still imprisoned and struggling with the Adamic inheritance of lies, fear and shame. And I also see how the Holy Spirit is working in every person’s inner being leading them to love, truth and honour found in the Trinity. The Holy Spirit is working in the world in ways that the institutionalised Christian Church cannot. Muslims are seeing Jesus in dreams and visions; Hindus are hearing the voice of Jesus while worshiping in their temple; Catholics and Protestant alike are coming alive to their real state in Christ.
Some are totally unaware of this process. Some are aware and believe but still imprisoned by terror, deceit and a broken self. Others are recovering the blueprints of their lives. We are all on this journey!
What does this make us then? And what do Hindus or Muslims “become” when they come into the awareness of the true state and identity in Christ? And what of the atheist? It makes us children of God!
Editor’s Note: Would you like to submit an article for consideration to The Raven Foundation? Find out how in the guidelines of our new section, “Your Voice.”