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As for Us It’s Different

One of the most famous speeches in the New Testament is known as Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. Using this mountain as a natural pulpit, Jesus begins his message with a set of attitudes to emulate. Just before making a transition to prayer and giving, Jesus uses logic to explain why Christians are called to a higher standard. To stand out like a lighted city on a hill, you need to go above and beyond what an average citizen would do. In other words, it’s different for us.

You have heard that it was said, You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy; 44 But I tell you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 [aj]To show that you are the children of your Father Who is in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the wicked and on the good, and makes the rain fall upon the upright and the wrongdoers [alike].

After playing four sports in high school, I decided to take a step back and just do intramurals in college. Little did I know that I would become the Intramural Coordinator for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. One of my responsibilities was attending weekly coaches and referee meetings. During one of our basketball games, a teammate threw a punch and was kicked out of the game. Following his ejection, I had to explain to Chris the importance of “turning the other cheek.” While this discussion took an expected turn as Chris thought Jesus would have punched this guy too, my main point to him was as for us it’s different.

For if you love those who love you, what reward can you have? Do not even the tax collectors do that? 47 And if you greet only your brethren, what more than others are you doing? Do not even the Gentiles (the heathen) do that? – Matthew 5:43-47

Jesus makes this clear in the passage above. Christians aren’t called to blend into their surroundings like a chameleon, Rather, anyone who enters into a personal relationship with Jesus is expected to gradually become more like Christ. This transformation won’t happen immediately. However, as new believers begin to study the Bible and ask other Christian’s questions, change will occur. Subsequently, as maturity takes place over time, James 1:2-4, Christians will come to realize as for us it’s different.

by Jay Mankus

Shame on You

The origin of the expression shame on you comes from The Court and Character of King James. This book written by Anthony Weldon in 1651 refers to an Italian proverb which helped shape the saying “shame on you.” Shame is an unpleasant self-conscious emotion typically associated with a negative evaluation. As I child, whenever I got caught by my parents doing something that I knew was wrong, shame on you was expressed to expose my sinful act.

But I say to you, Do not resist the evil man [who injures you]; but if anyone strikes you on the right jaw or cheek, turn to him the other one too. 40 And if anyone wants to sue you and take your undershirt (tunic), let him have your coat also, Matthew 5:39-40.

As a former member of the print media, spending two and a half years with Travel Golf Media, I understand the power of words. On December 19, Mark Galli, the editor in chief of Christianity Today made a conscience decision to write on article expressing his opinion on Donald Trump. This piece entitled Trump Should Be Removed from Office slams president Trump’s character, immoral acts and previous relationships with woman. Meanwhile, Galli quotes the founder of the magazine, Billy Graham, to give him cover to write this scathing opinion editorial.

And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two [miles], Matthew 5:41.

If this piece made the argument that President Trump doesn’t Turn the Other Cheek, I would agree. As a former builder, Donald Trump is a fighter who has developed the mentality “if you attack me, I will strike back even harder.” President Trump’s responses in the form of comments, tweets or words can and have been offensive to others. Sure, this is one of many character flaws that every individual possesses. However, when you speak at press conferences daily or counter negative media reports weekly, turning the other cheek is not in Donald Trump’s DNA. Despite these weaknesses, president Trump goes the extra mile every daily to achieve his goal, Making America Great Again.

This they said to try (test) Him, hoping they might find a charge on which to accuse Him. But Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with His finger. However, when they persisted with their question, He raised Himself up and said, Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her, John 8:6-7.

Since this article was published last weekend, Franklin Graham, Billy Graham’s son has appeared on Fox News several times to defend president Trump. Franklin Graham commented on how Christianity Today has strayed from his father’s original intent. Meanwhile, liberal seminaries have fed this article’s anti-Trump narrative to curry favor with the mainstream media. I don’t know Mark Galli nor do I follow Christianity Today. However, whenever a believer casts a stone at another sinner without first looking at their own life, this doesn’t look good. Thus, I am compelled to remember the words of my mother, “shame on you” Mr. Galli for not going to President Trump privately, following the Matthew 18 priniciple, with your concerns before writing this hit piece.

by Jay Mankus

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