Faith and works

The last Sunday of June saw a special prayer meeting arranged in our church. The evening service ended around 8:15 pm. I was standing outside the church when our church members were leaving. At 8:30 pm, one of our believers and her two young sons came out of the church as they were in a hurry to catch the last bus to their town. They had to be in the bus stand within the next 15 minutes and it takes at least 10 minutes to reach the bus stand. So, they were really in a hurry. At the same time, one of the believers who has a mini truck was starting his vehicle. As his wont, he had few believers who was from his village along for the ride.

I told the poor lady and two sons to take the mini truck to the bust stand, but she said, “Brother, we are going to the old bus stand, while the mini truck is going via the new bus stand. So, we better walk.” Our town does have two bust stands, but it is not like our town is like New York City. To go to the old bus stand to drop this family and to be at the new bus stand, it would actually take less than 5 extra minutes. So, I called the junior pastor of our church, who was going to travel in the mini truck and told him that this family had to go to the old bus stand. He was confused and then he made it very clear to me, so that I understand without any confusion that the mini truck was going via the new bus stand while this family was going to the old bus stand. Before I could respond, that poor family started walking, so I just let it go.

But the weird part was when I mentioned this incident to few more believers, they were confused about why I am even mentioning this. That family was going to the old bus stand, but the mini truck was going to the new bus stand. So, what is so hard to understand? The problem was this:

And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two. – Matthew 5:41 (NKJV)

Matthew 5_41

I grew up reading memorizing the Sermon on the Mount and its practical applications. The church I am attending is a good church, but it has problems in dealing with practical applications of Christianity. It is always about, “Do you honour the Sunday service? Do you attend the Worship service without faith? Do you tithe, without even missing a penny? Do you honour your pastor and the servants of God? Do you tremble at the Word of God? Are you ready for the Rapture? Will you be forsaken by the Lord in His secret coming?” There are no practical applications. In other words, more and more Christians are becoming experts in beating the air (1 Corinthians 9:26).

Then I remembered an incident that happened many years back, when I was in college. It was a Catholic college and I was a Catholic then. Every Sunday evening, our warden, who is a Catholic priest, would go to the nearby town to conduct weekly mass and then, when he came back, he would take us to the nearby villages where the low caste people were treated miserably. We would social work among them. One Sunday evening, he was quite late from his mass, and we were wondering what happened to him. As we were off to our social work, after lots of pestering by us, he finally opened up and explained the reason for the delay.

As he was coming from the evening service, a man asked for a ride in his scooter. That man looked really tired, so the priest (who was without his priestly garments) asked him where that man wanted to go. It is a village nearby, except it would be an extra 30 kms for the priest to go and come back. And it is in a different opposite to where our college is. The priest gave that man the ride without telling him a word. As they were travelling, the man started to rant about how Christians are like grasshoppers, who should be packed off to western countries where they belong and on and on. There were few savage words thrown about Indian Christians, questioning their births and everything. The priest nodded his head for everything and finally dropped that man and started to turn his scooter. The man was bewildered and asked where he was actually headed. When the priest mentioned the college name, that man was shocked. “But it is in the opposite direction. Why did you do this?” The priest smiled at him and said, “Because I am a Christian and this is what my Lord Jesus Christ has taught me to do – to go the extra mile.”

Needless to say, it left a mighty impression on my young heart on that day. Now, I am not a Catholic anymore and I do not subscribe to anything that the Roman Catholic church advocates. The church I attend now is a Bible-based (at least, that’s what they are telling themselves) church, but when it comes to works of faith or love, there is a huge blank there. There is no comparison between an idolatrous Roman Catholic Church and a Bible-based church, though this church may have its shortcomings. But doesn’t the Bible commands us to show our faith by our works.  

But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. – James 2:18 (NKJV)

James 2_18

Let us show our faith by our works.

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Posted on July 10, 2017, in Christian Life, Personal and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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