There was an interesting case in the court. One smart looking man accused an impoverished man that he was creating trouble. When the judge asked him, what was his issue: “I just stood erect.” Judge told that ‘standing erect’ was not a crime. “No sir, I fell down.” Judge: “What happened?” The poor man said: “He was sitting in my back for years. I decided to stand erect. He fell down.” The poor man by standing straight did what was normal. The smart man who was sitting on the back accused the poor man of ‘committing crime.’ Smart man was accusing the poor man of ‘unleashing an idea to assert his rights’ and unsettle the comfortable sitting position of smart man.
In the Bible also the Apostles are accused: “These men who have turned the world upside down have come here also.” (Acts 17:6) They were preaching the gospel, that unleashed ideas and unsettled the ‘status quo.’ There are several examples, of which few could be explored here:
1) Widows: True spirituality is to take care of widows. (James 1:27) Widows were burnt alive along with husbands or relegated to ignominy, loss of dignity and penury. Jerusalem church took care of widows. (Acts 6)
2) Reconciled Races: The Antioch church had five leaders from three different known continents of Asia, Africa and Europe. No race differences, all are one in Christ. (Acts 13:1)
3) Equality: Paul writes to Philemon to treat Onesimus a slave as brother. All distinctions created by birth or society or religion or economy or education were dismantled to create a new community.
4) Women: In the ancient society and even today, women were treated as objects or a piece of property. Paul taught man has to have sacrificial love on his wife as Christ loved the church and gave his life.
5) Jesus is Lord: This was the creed of Christians in Roman Empire. Caesar could receive taxes and respect and never the worship.
Has the gospel changed my life, family and community?
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