Chapter 3 – “Getting it Right”

Each chapter in this book ends with a section that  Hamilton calls “Getting it Right.“  This is where he sums up the chapter and highlights or addresses those areas he deems most important.  In this study we will do the same thing on the weekend.  You can bring out any point that was made, you can address again an issue that struck a chord, you can give a general impression, or if you are like me you can use the weekend as a day to catch up.

This chapter and the following discussion has been interesting.  I expected more people to come at this week from what Hamilton named “Christian Exclusivist” viewpoint.  I believe that there are those of you out there who are reading this and think that I am way off base.  Let me tell you now, that is fair.  I expect that and would encourage you to think through what you believe and discuss it here, so that we all may benefit from your feelings.  We have been very cordial to date so that is not a problem.

When Hamilton writes about getting it right, he tells the story of the Muslim who through love and acceptance found out about Christ.  If we do not live our lives in this manner will turn people away and they will never have the chance to see what we have to offer.  Following Christ is not about heaven, for me it is working to help bring about what the New Testament calls the Kingdom of God.  This is the place where love and caring abound.

Is this utopian idea possible with all of the divisions we have in the faiths that surround us.  What would “the Kingdom of God” right here and right now, look like to you and your family?

I have asked two questions, you may comment or ask others.  If you have not commented this week I encourage you to do so.  I have been overwhelmed by the people who have commented and I am amazed by the number of folks who appear to be participating by just following along.  Please continue to ask others to join us.




10 thoughts on “Chapter 3 – “Getting it Right”

  1. Bonnie Boehl

    Hi everyone
    I can definitely see where this chapter can bring some questions up regarding our own beliefs. A few comments are way too deep for me too so please don’t allow yourself to feel inadequate to respond to the readings and sharing your interpretation. We have all been raised or have developed our own beliefs throughout our lives, and no matter what anyone says during this study we can hold true to our own beliefs regardless. It’s ok if we disagree. There are many things that have been said I out and out don’t agree with. There are things that have been said that cause me to question my own beliefs, but it is up to us individually whether we consider taking seriously someone elses thoughts or stand fast to what we are sure of.
    I agree, the next few chapters may get a little more “uncomfortable” and it is our right to sit back and just read other posts rather than share our opinions. This class is a chance to hear and learn from each other, but also to strengthen ourselves and our relationship with Jesus. It’s not fun to feel uncomfortable or inadequate. But like the Word says, God loves each and every one of us the same.

  2. Judy

    I have been one of those following the blog —-reading, rereading, and going back to the source, The Bible, to other Commentaries and studies. One voice that I trust and repect is that of The Reverend Billy Graham; I went back to him many, many times this week. I found that the conversation on the blog this week left me feeling sad, not frustrated, no ire, just sad. I am one of those conservatives –that many probably would like to see move more to the left! Sorry – the more I read, the more I heard, the stronger my own convictions became that Christ is the way to Life Eternal. My Christian walk has led me to believe that Jesus died for my sins, was buried, was resurrected, and offers salvation to all who will receive Him in faith. In other words, I believe that my salvation depends solely upon my relationship with Jesus Christ.

    The parable of the “Good Samaritan” has been referred to, when Jesus had asked the lawyer what was his understanding of how he would inherit eternal life — he answered, as any Jew of that time would answer, he quoted Deuteronomy 6:5 and Leviticus 19:8. At that time Jesus was not understood to be the Second Person of the Trinity. So what this Lawyer said was as true as me saying To Love Christ as your Savior with …….. After the parable was told, Jesus did say “Go and do likewise.” This was not to be done in place of “To love the Lord your God…………..” My understanding of what Jesus said was that anyone of us that accepts/loves The Lord (Christ as our Savior) should perform in the same manner as the Good Samaritan.

    I believe that John 14:6 (many have referred to this verse) really says it all! (As I read it) Jesus did not say that He shows us the way He says, “He is the way”, “He is the truth” (not a teacher of the truth) and “is the Life” (all life, the source of our spiritual and eternal life). These words of Jesus I believe.

    Since I do believe that The Bible is the Breathed Word of God, if God had wanted the Bible to say —-you shall be saved by good works – it would have been said it just that way. Just the opposite, there are many verses that say you are not saved by good works. If I could be saved by Good Works, why did Jesus die on the cross, why did he need to die for my sins’? Do my good works cancel out my sin? I know I will never be accepted by the Lord because I am sin free; I need my Savior who died on the cross, to intervene with the Father for me. Are we going back to the OT and the law, with sacrifice for sin or perhaps a scapegoat? The Jewish people in the Old Testament, God’s chosen, were not able to follow successfully the laws of God. “I” need Christ our risen Savoir.

    This week, in reading Billy Graham’s Storm Warning – in the Chapter called the Cult of Self, Rev. Graham says that Satan is the Architect of popular culture and one paragraph really gave me much to think about. He writes, “In the 21st century, his (Satan’s) leading brands are called “acceptance” and “tolerance.” He takes God’s laws, twists the meaning with the sleight of hand, and tells society there is no consequence to anything that will satisfy our every desire. Satan has slipped this into the church under the guise of love and forgiveness, without repentance and transformation. We have turned a deaf ear to the truth. The Bible warns, “Watch out for those who…put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. ………” (Romans 16:17-18)”

    For those who have not had the opportunity to ever meet Christ, know of his love, accept his saving grace, I know God will take care of them. Our God is an Awesome God! For those who have known and rejected Christ regardless of good works, could be a problem. But as was stated so well by many there is not an “Accept Christ by – due date”. What I do know is — that I need Jesus!

    1. Mike

      Well stated Judy, I agree completely! I particularly like the warning from Rev. Graham. Satan isn’t “obvious” with his trickery – it will only work if he is sneaky. A great call for us all to be vigilant in our beliefs!

  3. Me

    Good Works? Where did you pull that from. There is no one thinking that good works will do anything. I think were talking about other religions. I think that my sister-in-law, who is muslim, will be judged on her heart and relationship with the Almighty God. It is not for me to decide if she is saved or not. I am called to LOVE her. I do love her very much. Do you think that the God that created the universe can not see the heart and sole of a this person? Do you think because she prays to God but not through Jesus that he does not hear her? Do you think that Our God turns a deaf ear to those that around the world may not as of yet found the salvation of his son? The God of Abraham loves me, he loves you, and he loves those of other faiths. I am called to live my life following Jesus. Jesus didn’t say put down all the other faiths. He wants the message spread with love and grace. I think that would include loving those around us, not tearing them apart. I think Hamilton is trying to make us look at how we handle those around us. I want to show the light of Jesus, not beat people over the heads with it. I want them to feel the love and see Jesus as they get closer. God can work through all things. Don’t doubt what God can do through a different religion. If that weren’t so, you would not see people around the world giving their lives to worship to Jesus. I think that if you don’t listen to what Hamilton is trying to tell us through a young persons eyes. We, as a church, may miss an opportunity. If you spend your time thinking about ways to show that person that their belief is wrong and yours is right, you may miss the speck in your own eye. People don’t want to be told they are wrong, they just want to know that you care about them. Sorry, if I went on, it just hit a cord in me.

    1. John McDowell

      It struck something in me too and I could not figure it out this morning, but I did when I was on my way to church. It was not just that someone was posting their beliefs that were contrary to others, it was the way in which some posted speaking of other people’s posts. Even regarding Billy Graham I think he is talking about people guarding their own salvation. I still feel that people are in different places on their journey and God offers many and different things in the world to help them along the way. It is still their ultimate choice the direction they take.

    2. Mike

      @ Me: You are right that people don’t want to be told that they are wrong. However, Jesus preached repentance. He preached turning away from decadence and sin. He had no problem at all telling the Pharisees (and others) they were wrong. In fact, we are called to rebuke those who sin (Luke 17:3). If we shy away from telling people things they don’t want to hear, we will gradually find ourselves not telling people anything, then where will we be?

      The trick is preaching the Truth in love. Religion has become a bludgeon in our society today, and unfortunately, I’ve detected a bit of that in the posts this week. We need to present ourselves as Jesus presented Himself – not afraid to rebuke when necessary, but doing so in a kind and loving manner. It is possible to tell someone they are wrong in love. It isn’t easy, but I’ve seen it happen. Without acknowledgement of sin, there can be no repentance. Without repentance, there can be no salvation.

      It is not for us to judge another’s heart. It is not for us to God’s heart. It may turn out that in the end all religions are the same in God’s eyes. However, based on what is presented in the Bible I don’t know how that can be true. If Jesus’ sacrifice applies equally to all, then why have him spend so much time teaching & ministering? If all he had to do was die, then that could have easily been accomplished with Herod’s baby massacre, but it didn’t. If all we had to do was “nice things” then his ministry could have been a quick sentence letting us know that as he was climbing up on the cross, but it wasn’t. There’s something more to His coming, something we need to acknowledge and preach. Those of other faiths (or no faith) may be headed in the right direction overall

      I agree with you that God loves those of all faiths. God loves those that have no faith. However, my understanding is that the standard is to follow the rules. Quite simply, there are those that are loved, but are not following the rules if they don’t acknowledge Christ. It pains me greatly to punish my children when they have done something wrong, but my love for them doesn’t stop me from handing down a punishment when it is deserved. The Bible often portrays God as a parent, and I don’t think for a minute that His love for me would prevent him from punishing me if I deserve it.

      In summary, we DO need to be able to tell someone else that they are on the wrong track, even if they don’t want to hear it. But, we need to do it with love, and not just yelling across the room “you are wrong!”

      1. Mike

        Golly, should have re-read before I posted:

        End of third paragraph: Those of other faiths (or no faith) may be headed in the right direction overall, but they still have not taken the step of acknowledging where their salvation came from.

      2. John McDowell

        That was very well put. I will always try to be respectful, however I susptect there are some posts coming up where people will not agree with me I will still respect their opinions.

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