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home : opinion : columnists June 25, 2016


12/19/2012 3:00:00 PM
Merry Christmas - a simple way to share your Christian love

Bill Forhan
Publisher


According to our President America is no longer a Christian nation. The reality is that America is the third largest Christian nation in the world with nearly 80 percent of the population considering themselves Christian. Only Brazil (90 percent) and Mexico (95 percent) have a larger percentage of their population calling themselves Christians.

Yet in the interest of diversity and tolerance Christians are asked to ignore their joy and exuberance during this glorious season and avoid any reference to the fact that the reason for the season is the birth of Jesus Christ. The real question is why should the intolerance of the minority be allowed to dampen the exuberance of those who wish to celebrate their faith and express their joy for the gift of their savior?

Christianity is also the largest religion in the world with one-third of the world's population claiming to be followers of Christ. That fact should give everyone a reason to pause and consider why. Jesus life was short and his time as an active preacher was even more limited. While many have said it more eloquently Jesus remarkable life inspired more people to become followers than any other. His short ministry has changed lives across the globe and inspired true human progress.

Jesus taught us love was the most important element of our communal life. Even today, Christians argue among themselves about what Jesus meant when he called us to love God and love one another. But those discussions have done more to change hearts than all of the other religious teachers, politicians, writers, artists or musicians that have endeavored to inspire a more loving world.

Jesus also taught us that forgiveness is the second most important element of our communal life. We all fail and fall short from time to time. The human response is to criticize the failures and shortcomings of our neighbors or even reject those who violate our individual concepts of perfection.

Even today too many Christians reject sinners as being unworthy of being a fellow Christian despite Jesus call for us to forgive one another. Jesus called us to reach out to them and surround them with our Christian love because in Jesus ministry it is love that heals the broken heart and mends the errant ways that keep each of us from being a whole person.

Over 2000 years and around the globe Jesus's story of love and true human compassion has resonated deeply in the hearts of all of us - Christian and non-Christian. Jesus did not condemn those who heard his message but refused to accept it and neither should we. God has given each of us free will - the ability to accept him or not. It is our personal choice.

If God will not force someone to accept him, we cannot. We can only reach out with the joy and peace we find in our own heart because of our faith in Christ. So, in this season remind those around you of your joy as a Christian and wish them all a Merry Christmas.

Bill Forhan can be reached at 509-548-5286 or publisher@leavenworthecho.com.





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