It’s hard to believe, but it’s true…
It is so interesting to live in a christian country yet constantly endure religious discrimination due to belonging to christianity. But this is a fact. Even if the legislation of the ukraine was to declare today “freedom of religion”, it would still remain simply a declaration and desired dream. That is why i would like to shed a bit of light on christianity.
From a historical point of view it is possible to see (in the case if you want to see) that not only orthodox believers are christians, but also catholics and protestants.
Persoanlity changes everything
Martin luther king, jan hus, george fox and other well-known reformers of society were protestants, who made the language of the bible understandable to common people divulging the foolishness and senselessness of indulgence; they were the first founders of many educational institutions; they brought the truth, incorruptibility in the law and politics for which they were finally hung and burned, they hardly died a natural death.
Another personality giordano bruno was burned, because he knew for sure that the earth was not flat. “but “to burn” does not mean to disprove!”- were his last words. They were the people who were not recognized while they were still alive. Great personalities are never recognized in their lifetime. They can be awarded only posthumously, because personality sees further and deeper, this ability is unfortunately not given to the crowd.
Is it proved?-it is proved!
Let’s have a look at the interesting researches that were made in the scope of the project “culture has its meaning” (culture matters research project) on the base of tufts university, boston, and the usa. The goal of the research was to trace and prove the influence of one or another religion on economic and social wellbeing of a country. 65 experts from 25 countries took part in the aforementioned research. There were many famous scientists among the authors. Practically in all conclusions there was the thought that protestant values and principles contributed to confidence building of people, development of social institutions, establishment of high standards of civil and political liberties and suppression of corruption. Correspondingly, they impacted the dynamics and quality of economic growth that is obvious for the most prosperous european countries where protestantism is the predominant religion.
Sectarianism or true christianity?
Why then are protestant churches nowadays named as “sects”, and people who attend them as “sectarians? Why do we hurry to comment, condemn and reject something we do not understand? Why do we not want to sort this issue out? Just because it is easier to embrace a generally accepted opinion, not to separate from the crowd, and not to be “contrarian”. Let’s examine this issue once and for all.
The explanatory dictionary of s.i. Ozhegov gives the following definition of the word “sect” as a “group of people fenced off from communication with other people, interest group locked in by itself.” Why do we today term as sectarians those people who are open, friendly, do not hide their principles and views, beliefs, live next to us, and at the same time attend not orthodox, but protestant churches? Why do we try to pin a label “sectarian” on those people who sincerely desire to do good deeds for their city?
Why do we stigmatize, disprove and deny something we do not understand? What is the matter with christians who open non-government organizations and conduct social work? In addition to that they do it for free. Please indicate where the crime and sectarianism is in that? That christians strive to raise the standard of the culture and morality and that these people are keen to see a free, healthy society without harmful habits? Maybe the crime is that christians attend church more often than the overwhelming majority of orthodox christians (hoping orthodox brothers forgive me for this), and moreover they invite other people to go there? It is high time to burn at the stake or hang for such a “crime” as was done in the middle ages. Why not? As our society has chosen for itself the role of the “holy inquisition”… the strange thing is that all of this happens not in the middle ages, but in the 21st century, and moreover in a free and in independent country! Independent… it is not a shame for people in this christian country to go to a soothsayer, but dependence on social opinion keeps them from attending a church. It is weird that people are more open to someone with a harry potter book or a fashion magazine, but they suspiciously avoid the person with the bible in his hands. Why do we not dare to tell these people what we think of them? Why do we smile nicely while meeting these people, but shout “sectarian” behind their back? What wrong do social organizations do with christians-protestants as founders?
What is crime?
As the head of the youth social organization “new world” i challenge every one of you who has doubts concerning our activity and i ask you directly: “what is my crime?”
That we are trying to help the coming generation to form noble vital values and views? That we are trying to organize our work with the help of social and approved by board of education programs because we eager to see our society as a healthy society and nation as a strong nation? Or that for the last few years we have involved approximately 5 000 young people in conducting different social actions? Or that we take an active part in almost every city arrangement? At the same time we do not pursue any selfish goals, neither have we any hidden motives. You probably say:” you boast!” That is not the truth as facts and concrete deeds speak for themselves. But for some of us it is easier to believe in all these rumors than to attend one of these actions and be convinced that everything is quite normal, adequate and legal.
“Christians” and christians
I came to understand a long time ago that the crowd is a certain form that was in the past, exists at the present and will be in all times and nations. The only difference is that in the times of jesus the crowd was shouting:” crucify!”, but in our time it shouts:”sect!” Only brave people with no mercenary motives are able to bear that for many years. These people are called by the heroic word-christians. I do not mean those people who attend a church once a year at easter flattering themselves that they are christians. I do not mean those who try to host noisy guests to drink and feed them at christmas while completely forgetting about the true meaning of this feast. I do not mean those who prefer to watch favorite tv programs on sunday instead of attending church. But i do mean those who endure gossips, slander and contempt every day not swaying from their convictions. I openly declare with joy and pride that i am the member of such a protestant church! There i was taught to love people who do evil in response to good; there i was taught to forgive, help my neighbor unselfishly; there i was taught not to surrender in the face of hardships. That is why i will not give up. That is why i will not keep silent; i will not turn back, will not become weaker and will not slacken the pace. I will not stop as my eyes are opened to the fact that jesus died for my sins and i can be next to him in eternity. As he did it for the sake of me and did not fear shame, why should i make excuses for being christian and fear the view of people who haven’t done for me that he did? Why did the thrown in ditches with lions, into prisons, burned and killed early christians not deny their faith? But why do our principles and values vanish into thin air as soon as somebody says:” where do you go? To a sect?”
I do not accept sickly, trembling, tractable, full of compromises, pliable christianity. Christianity is different. That is why i do not seek glory, position or popularity. I do not depend on people’s point of view, recognition, praise or reproach. It is not possible to buy me or to force me to compromise. I will not tremble if there is a need to sacrifice my life. I have no doubts that when bad weather comes i will not sink in the ocean of popularity. I will not surrender, keep silent, weaken or burn out till my generation takes into consideration principles of jesus christ written in the bible. I do not care what people think about me, the most important thing is what god thinks of me. It may seem strange, but i do not care. I have a firm stand, and it is not possible to influence it. I forgive those who betrayed, feared, began to tremble, and gave up. I am grateful to those people who despite everything stay faithful and undergo rumors together with me. In the end they will get their reward. I forgive offenders and slanderers. And of course i continue my work of bringing the truth, light and god’s love to people.
…I am not ashamed of talking openly about Jesus Christ, because He died openly for me… – Viktoria Murich
Translated by Valeria Granova
Edited by Kizito Leacock