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Rev Robert Barthram's Monthly Letter

Welcome to the Rev. Robert Barthram's monthly letter

 

Here Robert will expore what is happening in the world and his life and how it affects his belief and his ministory.

April 2015

By Rev Robert Barthram, Apr 2 2015 07:44PM

Dear Friends,


Recently on a Sunday evening the BBC began a new drama series Poldark based on late 18th century Cornwall. There were various publicity efforts for the new TV series including some still photos, everything appeared to be right in the photo for the period then someone spotted a burglar alarm box on a house wall. A bit similar to a publicity photo for Downton Abbey last year when on the mantelpiece was a plastic water bottle. Despite the probable hours spent on production the mistakes had been made and missed.


The photos illustrate how mistakes can be made and often very soon spotted and pointed out for everyone to see. I read some words recently that made me think of how easy it is to miss glaring mistakes.


I read, ‘Wherever you are, whatever you are like, whatever you believe, you are going to find a welcome,’ words referring to one persons view of heaven. They struck me as a bit odd, for is not the bible full of calls to repent and believe? Is not the Christian message summed up in John’s Gospel saying, ‘whosoever believes?’ Did not Jesus tell only one robber he was today to be with him in Paradise?


It was a strange thing to read in a Christian book. It did not take long to find the reason for such an idea for on the next page it said, ‘when Christ became man, God brought all men in as his children, not just the ones who made a profession of faith.’ One mistake leads to another. The bible states, ‘all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God.’ God becoming human, the incarnation means we can enter into a new relationship with God, not that we have automatically done so; we are still free to reject God. He does not force us into His family.


The error made is actually a common one. Christmas is seen as more important than Easter, the incarnation and not the death of Christ is mistakenly seen as the crucial thing. As Christians we must always remember the cross and not the cradle is the heart of our faith. The death of Christ is the very heart of Christianity. Jesus died because there is something wrong with us all, keeping us from God. His death was for us. By faith it can be our death to the old life. Christ risen tells us He won a victory and if you believe in Him you share that victory. This is good news rather than the wishful thinking and the easy words of earlier.

It is good to spot mistakes, which is false teaching. We must refute that which undermines our faith. For in this sick and sorry world the honest if uncomfortable truth is better for all and means we do not vaguely hope we will go to Heaven but know that in Christ we do.

Wishing you a joyous Easter,


Robert


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