Eastern Christianity

I was walking through Barnes & Noble the other day and was stunned with laughter and tears at the same time when looking through the religious section. After passing through the Christian fiction-titled section, I came to the section titled “Eastern Religions.”

The insinuation here seems to be that Christianity is not an Eastern religion, that it happened somewhere in Brooklyn or out in the fields of Iowa. But it didn’t. In fact, Christianity is as Eastern as you can get. The Bible is so alien to our culture that sometimes we don’t understand it because of the cultural differences. But the message is so universal it goes beyond culture or geographic borders or national governments.

The Gospel message of healing, blessings, and salvation works in America, Africa, Asia, even in outer space. It’s a universal truth.

The other day I was surfing the web and decided to pop over to Atheists.com because I was curious what they had to say about Christianity. Of course, as no surprise it wasn’t flattering remarks. Though I was surprised that for a website, a whole philosophy that asserted to be true that they took a lot of Biblical scriptures out of context when attacking Christianity. In fact, scripture after scripture was taken out of context to make their point. Of course, anyone could do this. The truth comes when you leave everything in context, backed by facts, to come to the truth, which it seems they didn’t care to do.

But what stuck with me besides the blatant lies was their tired excuse that geographic location of birth determines religion. This is great excuse when trying to bring down a religion that claims to be universal. The only problem is that is filled with holes. Even 14 year olds know that this line of reasoning is futile. I should know. When teaching in Peru last year I had my English class answer that exact argument. While their vocabulary was simple (seeing that English is their second language), their arguments weren’t.

It’s not how one starts the race, but how one finishes. We all start innocent and as we grow older we all loose out, all of us. Then the choice comes—accept what Jesus Christ did on the cross as payment for our sins or reject it. Now it doesn’t matter if you were born in America or Iran. In all of our lives we will all have a choice to make—acceptance or denial.

For those who are born in countries where the Gospel is not as widespread, missionaries are sent. Those who have felt the love of God and the fire burning inside of them to preach it find their way to those people. For those who earnestly desire to know the truth, the truth will find a way.

While other religions like Islam limit their truth to only language, the Gospel message is universal. It doesn’t matter if it’s in the jungles, the battlefields, in this country or that, standing in a rice patty field or inside Wal-Mart. Truth is truth—universally.

Christianity is not Western or Eastern. It’s not American, Asian, or Israeli. It doesn’t have any geographic locale. Truth is universal. It doesn’t matter where you’re born or where God decided to send His messenger from to begin with that determines truth. Truth determines truth. To those who balk at the credence of Christianity, an honest, open-minded eternal investigation would put their questions to rest.

With an honest, seeking open mind it doesn’t matter where you start—the library, the church, the mall, America or Iraq—what matters is where you finish. After all, truth is universal.

   

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