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MESSAGE FOR THE FORTNIGHT
 

Of Elect and Select…



The Indian media in recent times has been abuzz with Electioneering news, what with the World’s biggest Democracy headed for National Elections. Will it be United Progressive Alliance (with principal ally Congress) or National Democratic Alliance (with Bharatiya Janata Party beings it main player) which will form the Government at the Centre or will a “Third Front” steal the show? Will the people give a clear mandate? These are the questions buzzing in the minds of Indian populace.

Drifting away from Indian political scenario of 2014 but very much toeing the Jesus’ line of connecting to his audience by using relevant, contemporary topics (He would speak about Living waters with the Samaritan lady beside a well, call His disciples’ of fishing trade beside the Galilean sea as “Fishers of men”), Yours truly feels inspired to select Christ’s ministry related topics for meditation which would revolve around a recent hot topic E.L.E.C.T (acronym please), with Electioneering lingo thrown in for good measure. So here goes…

E-Easy to understand manifesto


Heard of a party with complicated manifesto designed to confuse people’s mind? No, the name of the game is KISS....Keep it simple silly! Christ’s “party” manifesto even as He launched the campaign “Save Souls” was as simple as it comes “Repent, for the Kingdom of God is at hand” (Matt 4:17), reinforced by Apostle Peter on the day the Church was born (Acts 2:38).

The question which would follow on hearing the word “Repent” is who should “repent”? Let the Scripture itself give the answer “Each of you must repent of your sins and turn to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins” (Acts 2:38). Really everyone, including the respected ones’ of the society with no police record? Yes, for the Scripture says “…for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” (Romans 3:23). In connection with the fallen Adamic nature, all of us have inherited; I heard an insightful, humorous which goes thus…

There was bright student in school, who had a problem pronouncing the word “Electricity”, for it would roll out of his mouth as “ElectriKITTY”. Now his sympathetic, empathetic class teacher with an intention to help, wanted matters to be set right with proper training at his ward’s home itself. So the teacher went to his pupil’s home and explained the issue to the composed, well-educated, highly-placed (in society) dad who after a patient hearing sighed “You see that is not my son’s fault, it is beyond his capaKITTY to pronounce the word electriKITTY properly”. Just as the teacher was recoiling from a shock, in walked the erudite grandfather who had overheard the conversation from a nearby room “ Sir”, the grey gent pleaded “Please do not make publiKITTY, about this problem running in our family for generations”. We smile. Are only speech “impairments” inherited from our parents? Is not the deep down sin problem also “transmitted” which all began in the Garden of Eden, when our first parents sank their teeth into the forbidden? No wonder the Scripture says “The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?” Was not the Saviour sent specifically for performing the much-needed heart –transplantation operation (Ezekiel 36:26)?

The phrase “Kingdom of God” which is oh-so-near reaffirms not only the proximity of salvation (read Eternal life- Romans 10:8-10), but also that of abundant life (John 10:10) which the Saviour guarantees whereby with the Holy Spirit indwelling us (Gal 5:22-23), we can experience in full measure the joys of Heaven right here on Earth. Hey, not a sneak peek into what Heaven would be but actually scaling the peak of ethereal joys, which cannot be adequately described in words but has to be experienced personally to be believed! Have you “voted” (read accepted His manifesto) for Christ’s party? Have you parted ways with self-power (number one enemy which prevents a sinner from coming under Redemptive Grace) in trying to score over sin? If so, it would be PARTY TIME IN HEAVEN (Luke 15:7/ 24)!!!

L-Loyalty


After a terrific experience of enjoying the Heavenly joys on accepting Christ, if someone (God-forbid) wants to defect back to Satan’s party, then the divine Anti-defection law would be invoked and a terrible punishment would be round the corner (Heb 10:26-31/ 2 Peter 2:20-21)! Remember, what happened to the Redeemed Jews (from Egyptian slavery) who wanted to return back (how tragic) to the very place of their bondage, from which they had sought deliverance (Heb 3:15-19)?

Christ calls for total loyalty (Matt 10:37-39), so much so one Biblical Scholar remarked “One is ready to live for Christ, only when one is ready to die for Him”. If we indulge in “cross voting” even after the whip has been issued, there would be nothing to look forward to except severe whipping (Heb 10:26-27)!

E- Easy to understand Party symbol


Just as the Party’s manifesto has to adhere to KISS principle, it’s logo too has to be kept simple for people to understand, otherwise it can kiss its chances of getting elected goodbye. If the Leader personally identifies himself with the Party symbol, there would be no doubt whatsoever in any voter’s mind as to what the Party represents. Any doubt on Christ’s party symbol? CROSS on which the peerless Leader laid down His life atoning for World’s sins’ ladies and gentlemen.

The Cross of Christ was in the middle of two crosses not only on the Good Friday (enemies of Christ wanted to insult Him all the more, by assigning the middle cross to Him, for in the middle cross was crucified the biggest criminal, whenever three people were crucified together) but in the middle of two groups of people throughout History from the First Good Friday onwards. If in the middle cross was the Saviour dying FOR the sins of the World, the cross of the unrepentant thief has all along represented that group of people who preferred to die IN their sins, while the cross of the penitent thief has throughout history symbolized humble souls who are willing to die TO their sins by accepting the Saviour (Luke 23:32-43). You see the “Party symbol” is very easy to understand. Having accepted Christ, can we testify like Apostle Paul did “As for me, may I never boast about anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. Because of that cross, my interest in this world has been crucified, and the world’s interest in me has also died.”

The Cross since last 2000 years has been calling everyone at crossroads of life for deliverance from the weight of worries caused by unconfessed sins (Matt 11:28). Why delay, go affix your voting seal on the Cross!

C- Canvassing


Heard of an election in a democracy with no canvassing? Hey Christ’s Party member, when did you last “canvass for your party” (read did evangelism)? Before we go any further, let’s apply the interrogative, “why at all should we canvass for the cause of Christ”? Is to merely increase the Christian population and enjoy the privileges which go along with one being part of a majority community? NO, NOT AT ALL! We who have experienced HIS POWER (in saving us from sin) and HIS JOY ought not to keep this GOOD NEWS THAT HE CAN DO LIKEWISE IN EVERYONE’S LIFE TO OURSELVES (Acts 4:20)!!! Talk of hitherto poor, unemployed citizens of a Nation now made rich by the novel employment Governmental schemes acclaiming from rooftops, the wondrous change a New Government in power has wrought in their lives…Are we going to fault these folks?

Didn’t somebody say that GRACE is actually God’s Riches (poured into the lives of poor languishing ones’) At Christ’s Expense (2 Cor 8:9)? While Mass evangelism (organizing huge public meetings) may be one way to canvass (sole preserve of the gifted souls from whom the Lord expects a lot – Luke 12:48) for the cause of Christ, personal evangelism (simply sharing with love what Christ means to you with others after developing a rapport with them –I Cor 9:22-23) is an universally acclaimed way of sharing the Gospel, effectively.

I repeat the question…”when did you last canvass for the cause of Christ…

T- Triumph


In conclusion, coming to the Electioneering lingo usually used at the end of Elections contest …LANDSLIDE VICTORY! Now consider this Scripture portion, which applies to every Christian equipped with Christ’s power wrestling with the dark forces “… overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.”Romans 8:37 (the key operative word being overwhelming)

Never depend on your fallible strength to secure a victory over sin, that is a recipe for certain failure (remember an overconfident Peter denying Christ – Matt 26:31-33 / 69-75) but depend on Christ (Zech 4:6). WHEN IT COMES TO SCORING AN EMPHATIC VICTORY OVER SIN, THE ISSUE IS NOT YOU ARE TRYING OR NOT. RATHER THE MAIN ISSUE IS YOU ARE YOU TRYING ON YOUR OWN TO DO THE SAME OR ARE YOU ALSO RESTING ON THE SAVIOUR POWER? When you are prayerfully relying on the power of Christ, mark my words…you will not only secure victory over sin (stage 1 of Christian life) but you would also be greatly used by the Master in His service thence. Your opponents? Well, take my word they would lose their deposit… (Romans 16:20)!!!


(Suresh Manoharan)