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Feather's Miscellany: Christianity

"If practised aright, religion makes us aware of what is good and reveals a loving God at work in the world and our personal lives,'' says John Waddington-Feather.

It's said with justification that religion has been responsible for many wars and injustices over the years. But so have atheist creeds like Nazism and Communism, when millions died in death camps or gulags and prisons.

Christians believe it is man's flawed nature, his choosing to do evil when he could do good, which brings misery into the world. It certainly is not God's doing; indeed, we believe God shares our misery with us, so that when we suffer, God suffers.

We also believe God wants his creation to grow to perfection under his guidance; in other words, to develop the good side of our nature and allow the evil within us to die. One reason we confess our sins to God is to be aware how flawed we are and through God's grace become better. Those who don't confess their sins begin to imagine they're demi-gods.

If we listen to God through prayer, He enters our lives in many ways: through family love, through helping our fellows, through seeing Him in the beauty of the world about us. Yet for much of the time we're being programmed by the media to see only what is rotten in life. We're being trained to be cynics rather than sceptics.

If practised aright, religion makes us aware of what is good and reveals a loving God at work in the world and our personal lives. As Christians, we see God in the life of Christ in the Gospels, and it is Christ's Holy Spirit who is still at work in the world today. We can experience his power only if we open ourselves to Him, for Christ won't force Himself upon us.

Far from being warlike or promoting terrorism, Christianity is a religion of love, for Christ commanded us to love all people whatever their creed or colour.

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